What’s In My White Coat: Surgery Edition

From top left:
1. ID and scrub card: It’s always a good idea to have a pair of clean scrubs available.
2. Scalpel: For emergency airways. (Seriously, you should always have one with you. At the very least, you can hand it to someone who knows what to do.)
3. Dr. Pestana’s Surgery: This should actually be in your scrubs so that you can read it during downtime (in pre-op, for example).
4. Stethoscope: You need to evaluate bowel sounds for post-op checks.
5. Xeroform gauze
6. Lube: Because every GI bleed and acute abdomen requires a DRE. (You’ve heard this joke, right? Q: When is it okay for the medical student to skip the DRE? A: When they don’t have any fingers.)
7. Scissors
8. Phone charger: So you can charge up while you’re scrubbed in.
9. Tape
10. Forceps: Useful for removing packing. (Make sure to discard or clean after each use.)
11. Lunch!
12. Highlighter and pens
13. Gum: For post-call morning breath.
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The Health Scout, "Almost" MD

Dalya Ferguson (The Health Scout) is a PGY2 General Surgery resident at the University of Texas at Houston who is passionate about improving medical education, healthcare quality, and health literacy. Before medical school, she earned a BA in Literary Studies with a minor in Philosophy and worked at a healthcare consulting company for over 2 years. When she's not working, she is usually spending time with her husband and family, studying, reading, drawing cartoons, or tweeting.