Burnt to a Crisp: A Third-Year General Surgery Resident’s Perspective


  • Mayher Profita


I remember when I started surgical residency as a brand-new intern. Every page, from every nurse, no matter what the concern was, deserved my full attention. Patient complaining of heartburn; please order Tums! the page read.

Heartburn? Is it just heartburn? What if this is a heart attack? What if this is the start of a gastric ulcer that may perforate? I better go see the patient; this could be an emergency. I have three other postop checks to do, two vascular dressing changes, and four discharge summaries …and it’s only 5:30 p.m. I am on hour 11 of a 24-hour shift and I still have not had breakfast nor lunch nor any type of snack. Have I even stopped to pee? Do I even have to pee? I have drank zero ounces of water today—my kidneys can’t even make urine. But this patient with heartburn—this could be a medical emergency. I MUST go see the patient STAT!

Author Biography

Mayher Profita

Mayher Profita is a third-year surgical resident in Pennsylvania. When not recovering from an 80-hour work week she enjoys eating pizza, rooting for the Yankees, and traveling to Italy.

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How to Cite

Profita, M. (2022). Burnt to a Crisp: A Third-Year General Surgery Resident’s Perspective. Patient Safety, 4(3), 30–33. Retrieved from https://patientsafetyj.com/index.php/patientsaf/article/view/surgeon-burnout
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