When I first arrived at the Surgery Panel, I admit I wasn't really expecting anything remarkable - I thought the doctors and residents would be tired and impatient after a long day (and they all had long days) and that what questions would be answered wouldn't be any different from what I could Google or Wiki.
So this would be one of those times I just have to use a cliche and say I was proven wrong by a long shot. The surgeons quite possibly changed my life in the way they expressed how they change other's lives through their work. I was reaffirmed in my belief that being a doctor would mean haing a chance to make a serious impact in an extremely rewarding way. I suppose I'm one step close to being wholeheartedly embedded in the path of premedicine :)
What interested me the most about the panel discussion were the questions and answers concerning how the personal life of a surgeon is affected by stress and long hours. I myself am most concerned about this - how does one balance manageably the intensity of a surgeon's workplace with the complete dedication of a family life? I have to say that Dr. Jackler's response to this question sort of hit me with a sense of reality and hilarity: "I do make it home for dinner up to four times a week." This really made me understand the sacrifice of a surgeon in terms of a family life. In a situation like this, where you might be working 12 hours a day, your life could very possibly be overrun by your job. Despite the initial shock, I was relieved to hear that the amount a surgeon dedicates to work and to family is unique to each person. Even better - the best surgeons are those who don't in fact overwork.
Other questions covered during this hour and a half were those concerning life as a medical school student (Pass/Fail!!!), resident, fellow, and finally a full-fledged physician. This look into the true reality of a surgeon's life experiences was far superior to any hospital TV show. Now I know that, like how high school was a long yet worthwhile journey to arrive at the wonderland (mecca, heaven, nirvana...for some an endless abyss perhaps...) which is college, college and medical school and residency (well...this journey is a bit longer) is an adventure course towards the goal of a way of life and rewarding career. But I feel like I'm glowing too much writing about the panel so I'll leave it at that :)