Thursday, November 22, 2012

Spay that bitch!


After waiting an agonizing 20 hours for my results, I found out at 9:30 this morning that I passed my ROSSie, the mock spay exam that makes all 6th semester students' bowels turn to water. It was a pretty nerve-wracking exam. Your evaluator basically stands there stoic and mute while you do the entire procedure. They also try to trip you up by throwing every surgical instrument under the sun into your pack so you have to go hunting for the correct instruments.

I was only penalized for two things:

1. I forgot to make a window in the broad ligament of my second ovarian pedicle. This is very easy to do because there's nothing there on the model, you just have to remember that something is supposed to be there. It's not easy when you're stressed out. I eventually did remember when I started on my uterine pedicle and gasped really loud and said, "Oh shit! I should've made a window in my broad ligament on that second pedicle before placing my carmalts!" Dr. Betance just nodded. It's good to acknowledge your errors, they go easier on you than if you don't notice you did something wrong.

2. I accidentally engaged a bit of dermis into my subcutaneous tissue closure on my first bite.

After a night of conjuring up approximately 5,000 things I did wrong, a board-certified surgeon only noticed two, very minor errors. I feel so relieved I could pass out.

The last round of blocks was Monday. I only have two test results back so far. I got an A on SAM II and a C on SAS. I'd feel bad about the surgery grade, but I passed, which is more than can be said for a large number of people in my class. It was a very brutal exam, with a 62% average score and one of my classmates even scored a 5/20. And this is not a slacker student. She likely studies harder than I do. Luckily that class is curved each semester.


  1. That sounds so intense! Can you explain how the model works? You aren't working on real animals? Is it a computer model?
    - Jess, a reader :)

    1. In 7th semester we do perform surgeries on live animals. Starting in 1st semester we are working with models that consist of materials that have similar properties such as tensile strength, thickness, fragility, etc. to actual tissue. We learn instrument handling, suture patterns, catheter placement, and many other things on very realistic physical (not computer) models. We have to prove competency on these before we're allowed to touch a live animal.

      In 6th semester we learn and perform an ovariohysterectomy on the ROSSie model which is put together of various materials to look, feel and behave like an actual abdomen would in surgery. I posted a bit about it with a photo here:

    2. Okay, cool thanks for the reply. :)

  2. Hey, congrats! Sounds like they really pile on the pressure, but I guess you'd want to get used to it from the get-go and maybe handle it better when the real heat is on.

    Do you get to relax and enjoy your weekend before you have to start in again?


    1. Yeah, I get a bit of a break. Today only, though. Tomorrow starts reviewing old material before finals.