I’ve decided to take a leaf out of Lifehack’s book and make a list of 25 things I want to do before I turn 25. Although, it’s more a leaf out of Laura and Ellie’s books, because their lists are more challenging and individualised.
Today is 19 months til I turn 25. That seems a long way off, but then again, so did 23! I count my lucky stars that I am studying a six-year degree: honestly, it gives me more time to get my ish together. So here are 25 things I want to do within the next 19 months. Some are necessities, some are a little embarrassing, some I just want to do.
A while ago I shared how flashcards saved my (as yet metaphorical) career. The problem with flashcards – as with any rote-memorisation trick – is the “I studied, I wrote, I passed, I forgot” phenomenon. Because frankly, except for the most common drugs, I really have forgotten most of what I learned two months ago.
Pharmacology is difficult for most medical students, and neglected by many. But I know I would hate to go to a doctor who does not know what to prescribe (or worse, prescribes the wrong thing). I don’t want to be that doctor. So it is important to remember it beyond the exam. And for that, we need to look at it in the long haul (something I did not do, and wish I did). Just like we would not try to learn mathematics from scratch in a few months, we cannot learn pharmacology from scratch in four weeks.
So here’s what you do:
In need of a little inspiration? The Mail & Guardian, one of South Africa’s leading newspapers, annually names 200 of the country’s top young people under the age of 35 who have done great things in various fields. Individuals are named in categories of Arts, Business, Civil Society, Education, Environment, Health, Media&Film, Politics, Science&Technology, Sport and Advertorial.
They are ALL amazing young people, but obviously I am attracted to the health section. Six young doctors feature here – who work in sometimes harrowing conditions, and who are change-agents in South Africa and the world. Four laypeople are also doing great things in healthcare fields such as TB, HIV and Malaria.
Need some inspiration? Check them out, or why not check out the whole 200? I, for one, am inspired. I never realised that there were people out there who recognised young healthcare workers for doing good in their communities – I always thought one had to discover something big to be noticed. There is so much good we can do for this country, this continent, this world!
I’ve been milling around senselessly because even though I’m done with call for the night, our water is off and an essential part of my post-call to-do-list is being excluded. If you’ve ever been on call in a busy hospital you’ll know how important a shower is afterwards…
I’ve been wanting to use this picture in a blog post for a long time.
The further you get in medical school, the more horror stories you hear about students who are told by professors – sometimes in ward rounds, sometimes during exams – that they will “never be a good doctor”. I have never been told that, if only because they know that with my political background, I will have them in the Dean’s office quicker than you can say “bad student”. But they’ve thought it.
What I don’t understand is WHY doctors in training hospitals seem to have this tendency to be so incredibly harsh on students. I understand being strict. I understand enforcing discipline. But this is a half-baked lesson that never reaches its full effect. Continue reading
Last week I posted about books for travelers, and I realised I never wrote about my forays into bookstores while traveling. Most Semester at Sea students decide to collect ONE THING in each country. One girl decided to buy a copy of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice in every country, preferably in a local language. Another chose Alice in Wonderland. I thought this was cool, except that a) I don’t have an all-time favourite book and b) I prefer books that I can read. So I decided to buy a book in every country, either about that country or by an author in that country. In English.
I started blogging as a way of debriefing myself and in the process discovered a whole world of medical blogging. I have found mentors and colleagues all over the world, but I have also met people from the “other side”. I have gotten to know – by means of what they choose to share with the world - people who sit on the other side of the physician’s desk. They have imparted knowledge and understanding that medical school could not, no matter how hard it tried.
Here are five blogs/twitters of people who unwittingly became my teachers – in no particular order.