Doctors and Piercings: Two Years Later


Just over two years ago, I had my nose pierced.

It was the end of my third year of medical school, and I preceded my action by seeking advice from many people – I spoke to my family, mentors and other students, and I posted this and this.

I never did post that I got the piercing. I guess it did not seem like massive news then. But I’ve been seeing a lot of searches for “doctors and piercings” directing to my blog, and I figured a follow-up was in order.

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Africa Needs More Books


I was walking through my home suburb (read:village) with my brother the other day. We went to the local library, sampled some books (slim pickings) and as we walked home, I asked about such-and-such a bookshop, and such-and-such a used bookshop. They were all closed down. Anyone wanting to purchase books needs to go to town (literally). A town which, incidentally, has only generic chain bookshops.

And I said to my brother, “This place needs more bookstores.”

And then, “Our country needs more bookstores.”

And then, “Africa needs more bookstores.”

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Should We Get Involved?


I recently read The Ask and The Answer by Patrick Ness. It’s the second book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy, which I quite like. The story line has very little to do with medicine, but in this book there is a lot of focus on the healers – basically, female doctors. As the book progresses battle lines are drawn and people have to choose sides – except, as in any war, some don’t want to choose sides.

One of these is a young apprentice-healer who believes that the resistance is doing as much harm as those in power. At one point, Viola (female protagonist) asks her why she won’t fight. She says,

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Semester at Sea: Happies and Crappies


sasfound2Yesterday was a whole month since I have been back in South Africa. That means that my whirlwind circumnavigating-the-world experience has been over for over a month! And I have written painfully little since I’ve been back. (What, I did have good reasons – namely exams and clinical rotations, wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am.)

I spent a lot of time on the voyage missing home, but I also spent a lot of time having an incredibly rare experience. Needless to say, there are things I miss and things I was so glad to see the back of. Here are some of the things I miss… and don’t! Continue reading

Hope for the Medical Community


The medical world is small, and like any small community it has its inherent problems. Piss someone important off and you can find doors closed in your face all over the world. Those born into the medical world often seem to have an advantage over the First Generations. Know the right people and you’ve got it made. The hierarchy separates juniors and seniors and allied professionals such that instead of learning from each other, we avoid and fear each other. A sense of unity is something I have missed dearly in this community, save for the few medical bloggers with whom I interact. Continue reading