Overheard: Memorable Quotes from My Surgery Rotation

In the third and final installment in my three part series on my general surgery rotation, we’ll close out with the fun stuff – my favorite quotes and conversations from my surgery rotation. Some were funny, some were insightful, while others simply made me smile.

For reference, GS = General surgeon, PS = Plastic Surgeon, PGY = resident

To check out my favorite quotes from family medicine, check out End of Rotation Review: Family Medicine



  • [Closing for the first time after a lap chole on my first day]
  • [Surgeon]: Did you actually try to suture or, uh, did you just watch those wounds heal naturally? I mean, I could’ve eaten lunch and run three miles in that time. And look at me – I don’t run fast.


  • [Anesthesiologist]: So do you know what you want to do yet?
  • [JS]: Not entirely sure, but I know it has the be in the OR.
  • [Anesthesiologist]: Well, would you rather sit or stand?


  • [Surgeon talking to new intern]
  • [GS]: Look at this young man. Nice beard. Polite. Smart. Worked his ass off to get where he’s at. And now he has to listen to me bust his balls and there ain’t a thing he can do about it.


  • [CRNA talking about her daughter’s breakup with her high school sweetheart]
  • [CRNA]: She told me that he (daughter’s ex boyfriend) broke up with her because she wouldn’t, you know…
  • [GS]: …
  • [CRNA]: She wouldn’t do it. She wouldn’t put out. So I texted him and said, ‘I hope you find someone who will give you what you’re looking for’.
  • [GS]: You texted your daughter’s high school ex boyfriend? What’s he going to do, get a prostitute? He’s 17. He went straight home to his bathroom.


  • [Surgeon and nurse talking about excessive libation at a summer party]
  • [Surgeon]: No, I wasn’t drunk — I was ~overserved~


  • [Nurse walks over to surgeon charting]: Dr. X, can you mark the patient really quick so we can bring the patient back to the OR?
  • [GS]: I’m busy.
  • [PS to GS]: Get up. Did you hear about the last doctor who didn’t listen to [nurse]? He will find you in the parking lot and fuck you up. When he asks you to do something, you do it.


  • [Attending]: [General surgeon] said he really likes working with you. And he hates med students. So, uh, keep doing what you’re doing.


  • [Plastic surgeon asking me to fix his 10 thousand dollar watch]
  • [PS]: You can do that can’t you? I’m not… oppressing you, am I? I’m not.. abusing my.. position of power right?
  • [JS]: No sir, that’s what I’m here for.
  • [PS]: Go ahead and wear it for the day. I know it’s frustrating, being a med student. Wear it and watch how everyone starts to treat you differently. Nurses might even start winking at you. Keep doing what you’re doing and remember that that’ll be you someday.


  • [Surgeon gets called into the OR early]
  • [GS]: Well I guess you guys weren’t ready, you just wanted me to help you intubate? You enjoy my company? My presence is irresistible?


  • [After suturing like previous surgeon instructed]
  • [GS]: What the hell are you doing?
  • [JS]: *looks up with blank stare*
  • [GS]: Who taught you to suture like that? If you want to be a surgeon you better learn how to sew like a surgeon.
  • [JS]: *internally dumbfounded and frustrated*
  • [JS]: Yes sir


  • [Plastic Surgeon]: When you get done with all of this, what are you selling?
  • [JS]: Uh, what do you mean?
  • [PS]: When you finish your training and you’re a surgeon, what are you selling?
  • [JS]: Um, skills? Expertise?
  • [PS]: No. What are you selling?
  • [JS]: Quality care?
  • [PS]: No.
  • [JS]: My time.
  • [PS]: YES. you are selling your time. You are giving up a dinner with your family, time with your kids. You better make it worth it.


  • [GS]: They can buy a 2 million dollar robot but can’t buy some decent speakers?


  • [Having lunch with resident after case with malignant surgery attending]
  • [JS]: Do you just learn to laugh that stuff off?
  • [Resident]: Yeah, but sometimes… sometimes man it just gets to you.


  • [Nurse telling story about her daughter who went to the same college as me]
  • [JS]: What’s your daughter’s name?
  • [Surgeon]: If you met her you’d remember.
  • [Nurse]: Wait — Jordan, are you single?
  • [JS]: Yes.
  • [Nurse]: *shows me her Instagram*
  • [JS]: She’s really cute.
  • [Surgeon]: I’m going to beat you up if you mess this up.


  • [Plastic Surgeon]: I’m a plastic surgeon but somedays I feel like I’m a half psychiatrist. You have no idea how many girls your age get work done. Most of those girls you see with the puffed up lips, trying to look like celebrities, most of them don’t need me or any other doctor – they need a fucking therapist.


  • [GS]: If you’ve never wanted to shake a baby you’ve obviously never had a baby.


  • [Sitting with urologist while resident does robotic prostatectomy]
  • [Urologist]: You see that there, what is that? (pointing to anatomic structure)
  • [JS]: Um, I’m not sure.
  • [Urologist]: Did you even go to med school? That’s the dorsal penile venous plexus. Really difficult to work around when operating on Italian Americans.
  • [JS]: …
  • [Urologist]: Because its so extensive and well developed due to the large girth and penile volume compared to other nationalities.
  • [JS]: Oh, I didn’t know that.
  • [Urologist]: *Blank stare*
  • [JS]: *Blank stare*
  • [Urologist]: Are you being serious? Dude, I’m completely fucking with you.
  • (Urologist was Italian American)


  • [Surgeon asks me a pimp question]
  • [I answer correctly]
  • [Surgeon to resident]: See that [PGY3], even the damn med student is smarter than you.
  • [JS]: Actually sir, [PGY3] just lectured me about that before this case.
  • ….
  • [PGY3 after the case]: I love you, bro. That made my day.


  • [Scrub tech introducing me to someone]: And this is Dr. Soze
  • [JS]: Ha, actually I’m just a med student
  • [Scrub tech]: I know. But you’ll remember the respect we gave you when you are a doctor someday, long before you got there.


  • [Plastic Surgeon]: You wanna get slapped with a fake titty?


  • [Banter with surgeon & PGY3 during hemicolectomy]
  • [PGY3]: Man, this procedure is so hard to do when you’re hungover. I was so drunk last night **this was said sarcastically**
  • [GS]: Yeah, no. You were watching the Bachelor with your girlfriend and in bed by eight.
  • [JS]: Wait– you mean [PGY3] has a girlfriend? Guess there’s hope for everybody.
  • [GS]: *laughs and gives me fist bump*
  • [PGY3]: J, you’re not allowed to make jokes. You’re a med student.
  • [GS]: Yes he is. Jordan, the more you make fun of [PGY3], the better your evaluation will be.


  • [After removing a lipoma]
  • [JS]: For comparison what would a liposarcoma look like? Grossly
  • [PGY3]: Angry. Real fuckin’ angry man.


  • [Chief resident after attending leaves us to close a case]: *shakes head*
  • [Chief]: I hate his OR. He never plays music.
  • [JS]: What would you play?
  • [Chief]: Tool. Fucking Tool man. And some country on occasion to keep things light.


  • [On choosing a specialty]
  • [Surgeon]: Sometimes you have one amazing rotation with an amazing attending and you think it’s what you want to do. But you have to ask yourself – do you love your mentor or do you actually love what he does.


  • [Surgeon]: That’s the problem with this country. Everyone wants to ask “why – why did he do it”. I don’t give a f*** why he did it.


  • [Patient]: You didn’t explain this to me
  • [ENT]: Yes, I did.
  • [Patient]: You know this isn’t 30 years ago. You have to treat women equally now.
  • [ENT]: I have no idea what that has to do with anything. I’m here to help you and I just ask that you trust me.
  • [Patient]: The other doctor said that it’s a cyst and you said it’s a pimple
  • [ENT]: They’re pretty much the same thing
  • [ENT]: Do you want me to just cancel the surgery? I am trying to help you but you keep challenging me.
  • [Patient and ENT]: *Both look at me to mediate*
  • [JS]: *Awkwardly standing there pretending not to exist*


  • [After rocking a lengthy stream of pimp questions in the OR]
  • [Resident]: Damn you know a lot, J. It’s really too bad you suck at literally everything else.


  • [At a bar on a Saturday night with surgery residents]
  • [PGY2]: *Orders round of tequila shots*
  • [PGY2]: *Hands me a shot*
  • [JS]: No thanks, I’m good.
  • [PGY1]: Yeah, you definitely don’t have what it takes for surgery. No grit. Stick with  peds or something.


  • [Asking plastic surgeon why he chose plastics]
  • [PS]: Well I was a general surgery resident when we met. She said she’d divorce me if I became a general surgeon. And the thing was, her saying she’d divorce me implied she was thinking about marrying me. So, yeah, that’s how I chose plastics.


  • [PS]: Her son is a real hardass, always confrontational and angry. I’m gonna go out there and say, “I’m Dr. X and I did the stomach surgery. Dr. Y is doing the vaginal rejuvenation and it’s going great“.


  • [PS]: That’s the difference when you get married, man. You no longer look forward to the crazy night out. You get her nice and marinated with wine. Leave, take her home at the exact right moment. If you stay and take shots, she’s falling asleep in the car.


  • [GS]: You know why I got into surgery? To bust balls for a living. Highlight of my week… Sad life.


  • [PGY3]: Dude, me and [PGY2 resident] talk about you sometimes.
  • [JS]: That’s never good
  • [PGY3]: Nah man you’re a really good student. Fuck that you’re a good person
  • [JS]: Bro ❤



Follow me on Twitter for my random musings and new posts: @JordanSoze


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