• Seven Pearls for Your Resident Surgical Experience

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    For residents embarking on surgical training, the journey from competency to mastery can be both demanding and overwhelming. Here are seven must-know pearls for getting the most out of your resident OR surgical experience.

    1. Show up early. You are learning; no one likes to wait for someone lower on the chain of command.
    2. Practice makes perfect. Spend time in a wet lab. You can't expect to just show up and do well.
    3. Fill out every pre-op/post-op form possible. The easier you make things for your faculty, the more time they will have for teaching you.
    4. Know the details about the case. Treating the patient as if they were your own will show your attending physician that you are responsible.
    5. Know the steps of the surgery. If you don't know each and every surgical step, how do you expect your attending physician to trust you in actually performing parts of the surgery?
    6. Help the OR staff out. An appreciative staff is more likely to look out for you. You are part of a team.  
    7. Record and review your surgeries. Removed from the "heat of battle," you'll find that it is much easier to review and refine surgical techniques.

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    About the author: Edward Hu, MD, is a cataract specialist practicing in Iowa’s Quad Cities. He received both his MD and a PhD in retinal electrophysiology from the New York University School of Medicine and completed his residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.