Suzie Harriman

September 2016

University of Saskatchewan

1) It is your Chief year! Did you ever believe this year would come? How would you reflect on the journey overall thus-far?

NO I definitely did not think this year would come so fast… scary!! It’s amazing how fast the time has gone, but yet I don’t know if I could do it all again!? This journey has been so amazing and I’m so proud to be where I am. At the same time this journey has been so exhausting and trying for both my family and myself. I would never have made it here if I didn’t have the most amazing and supportive husband. My whole family have been such an incredible support group and kept me going during the rough times. We are so lucky at the U of S to work with such a great group of staff and fellow residents. I’ve really formed a lot of great relationships over the five years and really wouldn’t have changed much at all.

suzie harriman

2) So what is next? Where are you off to in July? Have you already lined up a job or a fellowship or are you still keeping your options open?

Things are still a little up in the air…. I took some time off the have the cutest little boy in the whole world (best decision of my life) so it put my timeline off a bit. I am hoping to do an Acute Care Fellowship, just not sure where or when quite yet…

3) What are you going to miss the most about residency?

Haha, is this a trick question?! Actually I’m going to miss support from your fellow residents that know what you’re going through and dealing with the same struggles in the day. Also, operating when you know you always have backup is pretty nice as well. I often think of that first call shift as a staff… sounds scary!

4) Where did you go to medical school and how did you come about the decision to specialize in General Surgery? Was it something you gradually got into or is there an “aha” moment from your background or training?

I went to medical school at the University of Saskatchewan. I honestly spent most of clerkship trying to like something else. But there was just something about general surgery that was just too appealing. I just thought it was all so cool! It was always general surgery. Never even considered a different surgical specialty.

5) Where did you grow up and what did you do in your life before medicine? Not just professionally, but did you have any hobbies or passions that you still pursue?

I grew up all over the place. We moved around a fair bit since my dad was in the RCMP. Before medicine I played basketball, a lot. I played tons of sports in high school and then basketball in university. Between sports and school, it took up most of my time.

6) What is the most memorable thing that you have done outside of surgery in the last five years?

Had a baby…

7) What was your most memorable night on call?

Too many to pick just one… I love the nights where the delirium sets in around 1am and everything becomes funny somehow.

8) What was the absolute funniest moment during your residency?

One night when we operated on an inmate from the prison; just before taking him into the OR, he shimmied out of his shackles and handed his chains to the guard. I think the reaction of the staff made it all that much funnier.

9) How about the scariest moment during your residency?

When I was on trauma call and there were three pediatric traumas that came in that night. One reminded me so much of my son I could barely run the trauma, and the other had an awful outcome for a little boy. So incredibly heart breaking! I do not like sick kids!!!!

10) Do you have any call superstitions or routines?

Nope. But I try to facetime my son before bedtime if I can!

11) If you could give some words of wisdom to new Residents starting General Surgery (or to your past self on the first day of residency) in the light of everything we’re facing these days across Canada (limited jobs, duty hour restrictions, more and more specialization), what would it be?

You have to do what you love. If you truly love what you do everyday, you’ll be happy and good at it, and you just have to believe the rest will sort it self out.

12) Rapid fire:

What do you listen to in the OR?

Honestly anything besides heavy metal. Yes, even country!!!

What is the operation you dislike the most?/h3>

Wire-guided breast lumpectomy

What is the operation you like the most?/h3>

Hmmm… an open right hemicolectomy is pretty fun

What is your favourite medical TV show?/h3>

The Mindy Project

What is your go-to surgery textbook?/h3>


Favourite post-call activity?/h3>

Brunch! I love brunch with my family!!

What is your favourite “go-to” food on call?/h3>

Not picky, pretty much anything I can find to snack on will suffice.

White coat or hoodie?/h3>

I can honestly say I don’t know where my white coat even is.

Single glove or double glove?/h3>

Double glove

Dry scrub or wet scrub?/h3>

Dry scrub

Trauma laparotomy or elective Whipple?/h3>


Inexperienced junior resident or inexperienced ER staff?/h3>

Hahahaha, ummm…. Obviously inexperienced jr resident!!

Open inguinal hernia repair or laparoscopic?/h3>

Open for sure! I spent four years trying to understand the groin anatomy and I never want to forget it!

Monocryl or skin staples?/h3>

Skin staples!

Perianal abscess I+D or ingrown toenail?/h3>

Ew, obviously the abscess.