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A Day When a Young Medical Student Tried to Feel Like an Expert Surgeon

Doctor teaching residents.

I was a two-year medical student when our university in Iran decided to teach us how to perform some clinical skills through different stations with moulages and models. We had some medical equipment and devices in each station, and we had to choose and use the right ones. We were very excited and ready to use many invasive types of equipment and feel like real doctors. One station addressed ascites (fluid in the abdomen) drainage, and we had different sizes of IV catheters on that station, as well as a large size suture and some gauze pads. I was so excited because I would perform a bunch of invasive procedures on human moulages. So, while I felt like an expert cardiac surgeon with over 20 years of experience, I started the drainage with a 16-gauge gray IV catheter, and the fluid began to come out through the catheter. We had limited time, and the moulage’s abdomen was FULL of fluid, and all I was thinking about was to complete the station as soon as possible in the best way I could. So, I pulled out the catheter and put a gauze pad on it while the abdomen still had fluid. Obviously, the hole started to leak — therefore, I tried a pressure dressing for a while, but it did not seem better. That’s when I took a look at the materials I had on that station. One was a size three nylon suture, which is pretty large for humankind. As I wanted to impress everybody and looked to do invasive procedures as much as possible, I decided to stitch the hole. So, I dressed it with one “simple suture knot,” but the suture needle was big enough to make another hole on the skin of the moulage, and the fluid started to come out around the suture. Now I had two holes instead of one and I ran out of time, so I again tried pressure dressing, which would have worked in the first place if I had tried it for enough time, but I had already lost a lot of my time, and at the end, I lost all of the points of that station.

So, in conclusion, it is always good to think out of the box, but try not to get too far from the box and leave the galaxy in such a way that the box becomes a dot to you!

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