Clerkie Life: A Day in the Life of a Surgery Clerk


I asked my mom once, “Do you have any idea of what we actually do in the hospital as clerks?”

She guessed, “Went on rounds?”

Well, yes. We went on morning rounds with the residents. We also had teaching rounds with consultants. But really, has she never wondered why my white uniform turns brown every after duty, and how I still manage to sleep wearing them at the sight of my bed?

Gross, yes. But my mother had no idea.

Maybe you don’t, either. So using these pictures, let me share to you about my usual day as a clerk, specifically during my two-month Surgery rotation. Just read the captions. 🙂

Early Call Time

Clerks-On-Duty at the Emergency Room

After the conference and morning rounds, clerks on duty for the day first assume post at the emergency room. When there aren’t a lot of patients, we get to hang out and still have a lot of energy. Well, except for some…

Wards Clerk and SICU

Time to Scrub In!

Another clerk is assigned to scrub in on all emergency operations for the night. Ideally, the patient has to undergo anesthesia and internal medicine or pediatric clearance first, and the operation is scheduled during the day. These are called elective procedures, and the most common that I encountered was cholecystectomy, or removal of the gallbladder. The rest are emergency cases like appendicitis (with the risk of rupture), stab wounds, and gun shot wounds.

From Duty Is The Longest

In other departments, we get to rest or just do papers when we are from duty. It is only in Surgery where we are still in charge of all the carry outs in the wards during the day. Remember, the clerks on duty for that day are still in the emergency room and will only assume post at 5 pm.

That’s it! If you’re wondering, hmmm. I admit I don’t see myself as a surgeon in the future. I had a LOT of fun (probably the most fun my whole clerkship year) and I learned a lot of practical knowledge too. (Like, between two patients with appendicitis and ureter stones, which one would scream louder at the ER?) Still, I am not that excited about holding a scalpel or feeling lumps and bumps, unlike some of my other co-clerks. That’s how I know.

As much as I don’t want to limit myself with doubts or self-depreciating conclusions, I guess it’s nice to somehow limit my options. I just honestly don’t think I’m bad ass enough for Surgery! Hahaha.

My groupmates are probably thinking, “Finally, a specialization she’s not considering!” They say that before you even know which specialization you’ll take, you’ll know first which one you probably WON’T. I’m afraid I have an answer.

Goodbye, broken bones and joints protruding in all the wrong places.


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