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Friday–theatre day

March 20, 2011

You may be confused by the spelling of “theatre” very similar to the French way without an accent. It’s also one of the names the Kenyans use for the OR. Friday is the big OR day for my service. It’s hard to call it a big day, since most of the major cases are really the emergency cases. The emergency cases is handled by one junior medical officer who works the patient up. Calls the staff and then usually operates solo on the patient. He or she gets all the surgical calls for evaluation 24 hours a day for 7 straight days.  As you can tell from my post on Wednesday you’ll do everything except orthopedic surgery. How’s that for a trial by fire.

Our major theatre day consists of elective surgeries (hernias, resections of skin masses etc, hemorrhoid surgery etc). My attendings usually stick around until noon, teaching the students while we operate. There are usually 15 students crowded around the table listening to the senior surgeon talking about the cases and potential pitfalls. It’s a different system then the US. If I scrub in to help the case, then no student scrubs into the case. Once my bosses left the OR, I finished or supervised (hard to say that at my level of training) the remaining cases. It’s also different to be left solo doing cases. The attendings obviously respect the US training of residents, but that does not mean that we are fully capable of making the best decisions yet.

In any event, please pray that I do no harm to the patients. On a praise note Micah my friend is now off the ventilator!

He wrote:

‘Where I might usually make a joke or purely a pun, this is a message of all seriousness. My wife showed me this huge group of believers and unbelievers praying together, which can only be from Christ!!!

Christ reclaimed my life over five months ago, after being a Christian for over 25 years. I committed to Him that I would do anything He wanted me to do to be an example. I’m thankful He found it useful to use me in this way when it really isn’t about me. I hope to meet all of you someday, if not in this life, then in the life to come. Thank you for your prayers. ‘

(A quick PS the photo below of the three Kenyans laughing..was a little bit of a trick. Normally, they wouldn’t be smiling for a formal picture. But I was making some jokes and practicing some Swahili on them and caught them in the act. Duncan in the middle is actually testing me using my Swahili book. It’s funny how some Kenyans will hardily laugh when you practice Swahili with them. It’s meant to be a sign of respect that you are trying so hard to learn their language–or at least that’s what they tell me!)

Micah and Carrie

One Comment leave one →
  1. Val Anderson permalink
    March 23, 2011 2:32 pm

    So happy to hear about your friend Micah, Aaron. Hope all is well with you and you continue to learn and grow during your experience there. Thinking of you and yours!
    Val and Bob

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