Doctor Shadowing at WHC

Yesterday I got the opportunity to shadow the surgery resident at the Washington Hospital Center. He’s on the orange team which does more general surgery related things rather than specific cases like burns, or transplants. He didn’t go in to do any surgeries; his job was to go in and round on all the patients, then call his attending to give him an update. He is now a 3rd year resident so he’s considered a senior resident now, which really means that he gets to have a little more responsibility and freedom. He had an intern (1st year resident) working with him that day. It was interesting to see the amount of interaction that the resident gets to have with the patients out of surgery. It wasn’t too much or too little, but it was just enough to know the patient well. One interesting patient I saw was this guy who was HIV+ (and from the way he talked, he sounded like a homosexual) who had probably gotten it from anal/oral sex. He had come into the hospital a while ago because he had a pimple on his scrotum. Because his immune system is so compromised even that was dangerous, so they excised the pimple and removed any tissue on the scrotum that looked infected. Well it turns out that they didn’t get it all and the infection spread from his scrotum, to the shaft of his penis, up his left side up to his nipple; it was spreading via his Camper’s fascia, or the fascia that sits directly on top of muscles or organs. The surgeons had to aggressively remove all the infected tissue so by the time I saw him, and after they had removed all the gauze packed in the previously infected site, there was a VAST amount of the guy’s side missing, including all the tissue above the muscle on his left scrotum and the shaft of his penis. They had to leave him open like that because if they closed him up, he could get a wound infection which is even worse. I heard the technical name for the disease that he had and it was called Fournier’s Gangrene. Here is the description that had on the disease:

Fournier’s gangrene, sometimes called Fournier’s disease, is a bacterial infection of the skin that affects the genitals and perineum (i.e., area between the scrotum and anus in men and between the vulva and anus in women). The disease develops after a wound or abrasion becomes infected. A combination of anaerobic (living without oxygen) microorganisms (e.g., staphylococcal) and fungi (e.g., yeast) causes an infection that spreads quickly and causes destruction (necrosis) of skin, tissue under the skin (subcutaneous tissue), and muscle. Staphylococcal bacteria clot the blood, depriving surrounding tissue of oxygen. The anaerobic bacteria thrive in this oxygen-depleted environment and produce molecules that instigate chemical reactions (enzymes) that further the spread of the infection. Fournier’s gangrene can be fatal if the infection enters the bloodstream.

Men are ten times more likely than women to develop Fournier’s gangrene. Men aged 60-80 with a predisposing condition are most susceptible. Men with alcoholism, diabetes mellitus, leukemia, morbid obesity, and immune system disorders (e.g., HIV, Crohn’s disease), and intravenous drug users are at increased risk for developing Fournier’s gangrene. The condition also can develop as a complication of surgery.

Existing immune system deficiencies help infection to spread quickly, producing a disease that destroys the skin and superficial and deep fascia (membranes that separate muscles and protect nerves and vessels) of the genital area. The chambers in the penis that fill with blood to create an erection (corpora cavernosa), testicles, and urethra are not usually affected.

They guy was in a lot of pain to say the least. If I ever needed to convince a homosexual to wear protection, all I would need to do is videotape the guy with all the tissue (except the muscle) removed from his penis shaft, scrotum, and left side…I was literally looking and touching the guy’s left external oblique muscle; nasty. Honestly, God knew what he was doing when He told us not to engage in homesexual acts. It wasn’t just some aimless mandate, but He knew the kind of stuff that was out there; the kind of diseases Satan would cook up to hit them with. But it is not just with homosexuals; sex outside of marriage was forbidden for a reason. Not because God is cruel, but because He knew the problems adultery and premarital sex would cause. It would destroy marriages, jack up the kids of those marriages and their marriages in the future, cause the spread of debilitating diseases like HIV, sphyilis, herpes, etc. I know (trust me) that it is easier said than done, but if you wait for your honeymoon night, it will be so much more special. Lol, I can’t wait for July 8th, 2007!

Anyway I saw a lot of other cases as we rounded but all in all it made me fall more in love with the field of surgery because lives truly are changed for the better…usually.

My fiancé just submitted her AMCAS application, so we are both on our way. I predict now that I’ll either be accepted or be matriculating into Maryland or Loma Linda. It seems like the Lord is leading us to both schools, we just can’t discern which one just yet. I still hate research, but I need the money so I’ll get back to it right now.


App Fee

2º App Received

2º App Complete

2º App Mailed out

# of LOR Req.

LORs sent



Howard University




University of Maryland




Morehouse University SOM



University of Cincinnati






Loma Linda University



Meharry Medical College






TOTAL: $325

I have received a great amount of comments in my inbox about how my view on homesexuality is demeaning, insensitive, obnoxious, etc. One thing that makes SDN so wonderful is that you have a wealth of people with many different views, beliefs, and religions. But one thing I will not do is tread lightly on certain subjects because it might offend someone; as a physician I will never ever push my beliefs on someone, but I will also never believe (because the Bible doesn’t teach it) that sin and God mix.

I do RESPECT ALL PEOPLE, and this was shown even in my shadowing because I helped repack the dressing on that guys penis and scrotum, and talked to him throughout. So yeah, like I said, I do respect all people, but as a Christian I will never believe that alcoholism, homosexuality, lying, stealing, adultery, gossip, envy, pride, doing drugs, or premarital sex mix with God. This doesn’t mean that I won’t treat homosexuals, or laugh with them, or cry with them. Just like adultery, God hates the sin, not the sinner. I’m not one of those closed minded Christians who tries to judge everyone because I think I’m so righteous. I assure you that I have done much worse things than that man did, and its only by the grace of God that I’m still alive today. But that is the great thing about God, no matter how far you have gone you can still come back to him. When you realize the fact that someone died for you to save you from everything that you have done or will do in the future, you can’t help but love the guy and try to live a kind of life that will allow you to spend eternity with Him. But you have to call sin for what it is; I COMPLETELY reject the notion that homosexuals are born gay, just like black people are born black. If anything, people are born with the same sinful tendencies that their ancestors dealt with. I’m not here to preach to anyone, because if you believe that you can be a practicing homosexual, or heck, a practicing alcoholic, a practicing liar, a practicing prostitute, or a practicing gossip and still be right in God’s eyes, then we will probably never agree, because the Bible doesn’t teach it. I don’t care what the pastor, pope, or anyone says; if it goes against the Bible then its wrong. So for all of my gay/lesbian readers, I don’t intrinsically dislike you; I may not like what you are doing, but I will treat you just like I treat anyone else…with love and respect. Like one of my readers told me, doctors must treat everyone, even the insurgents in Iraq, and I will treat everyone, lol, so don’t lose faith in me as a future doctor; I won’t be insensitive.

I do want to apologize for something though. I have absolutely no idea how that man got HIV, so I shouldn’t have supposed it was from sex. It could have been from his mother or from drugs, or from his wife for all I know. I made an assumption because of his very effeminate voice, but I shouldn’t have (Thanks Darren).

One Response to Doctor Shadowing at WHC

  1. Tolu says:

    Hey DoctaJay, I was just referring to your blog again, I wanted to check out some info. on verifying your AMCAS and as
    always, u actually put up a copy of yours. Really thotful of u. Besides that, I was really impressed wt the way u addressed homosexuality, and sin in general and how u dealt with the subject matter. I found it interesting because I was engaged in a similar discussion this past weekend and I was termed “insensitive” becos I did not agree that homosexuals were born that way. Anyways,it’s just good to know there are still folks out there that share my thots. Love to Brit.

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