Wednesday, September 11, 2013

On living a full life as a surgeon‏

On my companion blog "Ask Skeptical Scalpel," a medical student asks, "Is it possible to live a full life as a surgeon?"


CG Mixter said...

As one who graduated 40 years ago in a family where the previous 3 generations had produced multiple surgeons I too Newberry questioned my life style. It is clear to me that my personal relationships suffered because of my career and my children also lost out. The is a conflict between ones personal life
and the need to take care of a patient who is relying on you and to whom you have made a commitment. Nobody can define for you what the balance must be as unselfish as possible in defining the balance and Misty realize that when you became a physician you have given up the opportunity to define your life independently. If one does not struggle with this I do not believe you can be either a good parentheses or a good surgeon

Skeptical Scalpel said...

CG it looks like that devilish autocorrect got into your comments, but I think we get it. You have summarized it well.

Anonymous said...

I think some of you may be just full of yourselves. I know plenty of surgeons who go in every day, get busy, do a very good job, and are just regular people otherwise.

Interestingly, the most down-to-earth surgeons are those living in the richest areas. My guess is that if you are the town surgeon in BumF Central Valley then you feel like god. On the other hand, if you are in Marin where half your fellow docs also graduated from Harvard and your 25 year old neighbor just got a $2 million bonus from Google, then being a surgeon isn't that big a deal.

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Anon, thanks for commenting. I agree that many surgeons are regular people, myself included.

And you are right that location may have a lot to do with perceived status. I thought I was rich until I moved to where I have lived for the last 23 years.

Unknown said...

I am so thrilled that I have found this blog. I am a German med student , 19 years old, and it is my aim to become a surgeon one day. And I am working hard for it. BUT : I still have some negative thoughts about it. Maybe its just because I am a woman and they think to much ... but still can't help it.
My worries are: Will I be able to have hobbies / family / work out/ just enjoying life ?
Medicine is everything to me but working, working forgetting about myself and then one day passing away, that is not my imagination of a LIFE. A friend of mine is a neurosurgeon here in Germany and as I asked her if I should study medicine she said: "No it is terrible. I have no life ."How is your day and life organized? and do you feel happy with it ?

Skeptical Scalpel said...

Anna, Here are links to a few posts I have written on the subject.,,,,,

Don't forget to read all the comments on those posts too.

You can also click on the "surgical residency training" label to the right of these comments.

If you still have other specific questions, comment here again or email me a SkepticalScalpel at

Anonymous said...

I have one question. Do you feel as if all that you gave up in your personal life was an option or is it a necessity for surgeons?

Skeptical Scalpel said...

In my opinion, it is not optional. It is necessary.

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