1. Most of the procedures are awesome - something not too many people get to be (somewhat) actively involved in.
2. There actually is thinking involved - surgeons have a lot of thinking on their feet to do when something unexpected happens intraoperatively. It's not just for jocks.
3. Results - for the majority of patients, the surgeries actually work! It's amazing to see the overnight transformation in patients.
1. Hours suck - When med students are violating national hour-limit laws, I don't want to know what the residents are doing.
2. Not much to do for the student - unlike medicine where you can follow labs, actively discuss your patient, in surgery the most you get to do is throw a few stitches, hold retractors and get to open your mouth once every half an hour or so. There is a lot of standing around not doing anything, which sucks when you have to get up so early.
1. Ask questions, very few people are enough of an asshole to call your question stupid (you'll figure out who those people are and avoid them).
2. Try to do as much as possible, ask (if you actually think you can handle it) if you could do it. This isn't a rotation to be quiet and timid on. You'll have a pretty boring experience if you don't try to actively get involved in whatever the team is doing.
3. Don't kiss ass. This goes for most rotations, but students interested in surgery tend to be the worst. Everyone ends up hating the person (including, I presume, the attending).
4. Don't fret over studying for pimping. Study what is important for your exam, but don't spend hours reading about details of an operation that you'll never think about again. The reputation of pimping is overrated... it is not what you should be worried about.
5. Always have something to read in your pocket. That way you'll read what you need for the day in your downtime, giving you more time to eat and sleep when you get home.
6. Don't volunteer for scut work just because you think it will give you a better grade. It won't and it'll be a complete waste of your time.
7. Have fun. You may never get to experience being in the OR again, so try to make the most of it. This is especially important to remember towards the end, when you're completely burnt out.
Despite the fact that it wasn't too bad... I gotta say, woohoo!! My two (supposedly) most difficult rotations of medical school are behind me. Now I get a relative vacation with 2 weeks of pathology before starting OB/GYN, something I have no interest in, but at least having a baby on the way will somewhat have me caring.