Dr. Adrian Diaz is one of our newer advisors at MedSchoolCoach and a general surgery resident at Ohio State University. He joins us today to chat about general surgery, including how he got into it and advice for anyone considering getting into this field.[1:29] How Dr. Diaz’s path to general surgery got started.
Dr. Diaz traveled abroad with the Navy on a humanitarian mission trip in South America as a Spanish translator. He was often asked to translate in the perioperative area, and this made everything click; it changed his entire perspective of why he was going to medical school. Dr. Diaz then knew he would be a surgeon.[5:13] Fulfilling the interests of surgery and global health.
One of the most important pieces of advice that Dr. Diaz got early on in medical school was that you need to have a team of mentors that can fulfill all your needs. For him, that meant having diverse surgeons as mentors who could provide him with different perspectives, as well as mentors who were doing important things globally.[7:21] What to do if you’re interested in surgery.
It’s really important to get to know yourself. What kind of life do you want to have? Medicine is an all-encompassing career that will take up a large part of your time. One of the things that drive students away from general surgery is that most clerkships are very academic.[13:32] What the residency is like.
Surgery residency can be very difficult, but that’s not unique to this field. General surgery residency is usually at least five years which is a common amount of time for many areas.
The first year or two is usually not very surgical; you’re learning to manage patients and other things that every intern is doing. As you move through residency, you will participate more and more actively in surgeries. There’s a new requirement that you must log 250 cases by the end of your second year. By your fifth year, you’ll be in more of a teaching role.[17:03] How Dr. Diaz found his surgical niche.
As a third-year medical student on his surgery clerkship, Dr. Diaz spent a month in the surgical oncology service. The patients greatly resonated with him. To him, being able to see a patient after operation who is no longer suffering from their ailment is what surgery is all about. Therefore, he is quite certain that he wants to stay involved with surgical oncology.