Remember that episode in Grey’s Anatomy, where Christina, Meredith and Izzie discover “A Brave New World”, namely the Dermatology Department?
You know the one…
For the next two weeks, we get to discover Dermatology in a public South Afican hospital. And yes, it really is an oasis in the desert.
It is amazing. The doctors drag us away from presenting a patient to show us some or other interesting condition. They help is when we struggle with diagnoses. They tell us we can go home when our official time for the day is done.
The other nice thing is that these patients are actually relatively alive and lively. They are patients who care enough about their health to be concerned for weird appearances on their skin. They make jokes with us.
The parents are lovely too – caring enough for their children to sit in a line for hours to get their child’s skin seen too. What a refreshing feeling, after so many months of parents who couldn’t care less about a chronic cough, nevermind a strange rash.
I don’t mean to judge – in fact, it is not my place at all, but I cannot deny how good these patients are for my psyche.
An interesting clinical case… (Mind the image for sensitive readers)
A woman presented to us with punched-out ulcers on the lower legs, after having been taken off anticoagulant therapy for dilated cardiomyopathy. One can actually feel the areas of hypercoagulability in the lower limbs, where ulcers eventually form. She also has the most marked clubbing I have ever seen (I wish I could have taken a picture). She as Atrophic Blanche, but all we can currently do is wound care, while the lovely physicians try to figure out why they cannot get her coagulability under control.