My “first” patient and operation

Last week during my DRS class I had a really funny experience.  Less then a year ago I worked as a computer programmer and all-around computer support guru for several different people and friends.  6 months ago, I started medical school and left almost all my computer experience behind in my new relationships.  I didn’t tell anyone but a select few that I had a B.S. in computer science and that working on computers was second nature to me.

Well last week when I was apprenticing under my preceptor (local doctor in the community) all that changed.  We had seen several patients and had some downtime in the afternoon.  My preceptor pulled out his personal laptop and plugged it into his computer network and mentioned under his breath, “I hope it connects because it didn’t work yesterday.”  Moments later, it didn’t work and I offered my experience to try and fix it.

After a few minutes debugging, it turned out that the 5th pin in the ethernet slot was stuck down and wasn’t making contact with the ethernet cable.  In order to fix it, I needed a small tool to slip under it and pull it up.  My preceptor produce a syringe with a 16 gage needle and the next thing I knew I was in an examining room with his laptop on the examining table (better light) and started my first minor operation.

First thing I did was to bend the very tip of the needle at a right angle so I could slip the needle under the depressed pin.  Next, I grabbed an otoscope, turn its light on and looked through it to get a better view of the problematic pin.  A few moments later, the procedure was over and I had brought the laptop back to my preceptor’s office (the recovery room) plugged it in and it worked.

Needless to say, I don’t have an pictures because I was unable to get the permission of the patient (actually I just forgot).