I MET MARIA PHALIME! *fangirls*

This will be quick because I have my Paediatric cases tomorrow and I am far from ready. Last night I had the fantastic opportunity to attend an event hosted by the Open Book Festival in Cape Town, where CityPress editor Ferial Haffajee intereviewed Maria Phalime. In case your memory fails you, Phalime wrote Postmortem: The Doctor Who Walked Away, which I reviewed here.

Phalime was kind enough to offer the Safe Working Hours for Junior Doctors group some tickets to her talk, and I was one of the lucky people to grab one. (If you’re interested in the campaign, we still need more signatures! We hope to reach at least 2000 before taking it to Minister Motsoaledi. The petition is here and the Facebook page here.)

It was a great talk which gave me SO MANY EMOTIONS. Before I read the book I was worried that it would make me feel more negative, as I was already having a hard time with my studies. But it actually did the opposite. It inspired me.

I feel like although Phalime “walked away”, she will always be a Doctor in my eyes. She is probably one of the biggest influences healing healthcare in the country at the moment, and because of her book more and more doctors are speaking out and demanding change.

My friends and I discussed how our knee-jerk response is to defend the system when somebody criticises it, and that is why so many doctors and students fail to speak up. But in fact, we don’t have to protect the system: the system is BROKEN and needs to be fixed, and Postmortem has put that in the open so that nobody has to be afraid of mentioning it anymore.

We spent some time chatting to Maria afterwards and she is SO AMAZING. Just let me fangirl a little. And she signed our copies of her book!

Anyway, that’s me for today. If you happen to find that flash-disk that connects to your brain and gives you all the knowledge, please let me know. 😉

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