“Whatever You Decide To Be, Be A Teacher”

I recently had the opportunity to speak about medicine as a career at a local high school. It has been many years, and even as I narrow my fields of practice, I remain passionate about doing what I can to enable kids to make informed choices about their careers – and so that those whoContinue reading ““Whatever You Decide To Be, Be A Teacher””

That One Patient [Book Review]

I told myself I would remember her forever – the first patient I lost. I was just a third year medical student, and really, it was my team doing the looking after, not me. I’ve forgotten her name by now, but I still remember her.  I initially resisted reading Ellen de Visser’s That One PatientContinue reading “That One Patient [Book Review]”

Intro for Anaesthetic Undergraduate Students

The student was standing on their tip-toes, peering over the drapes. They had barely looked at the ventilator, so engrossed were they in the surgery.  “So, are you here for anaesthesia, or for surgery?” our registrar asked.  The student turned. “Well… I am on my anaesthesia rotation, technically… but I’m actually interested in surgery.” TenContinue reading “Intro for Anaesthetic Undergraduate Students”

A Fullness of Uncertain Significance [Book Review]

If a medical doctor pens a memoir, I will read it. I don’t care if they are a surgeon (uneasy relationship), a physician (intimidatingly book smart), or an anaesthetist (well that’s pretty close to home). Even if nobody else reads your book, I will be your audience of one. But A Fullness of Uncertain SignificanceContinue reading “A Fullness of Uncertain Significance [Book Review]”

Prescription Comedy: An Unlikely Antidote to Physician Burnout

Pranathi Kondapaneni, MD, author of Prescription Comedy: An Unlikely Antidote To Physician Burnout, studied medicine some time before me, but our stories are not so different. Although on an entirely different continent, and an entirely different cultural background, her experience with burnout resonates clearly with me. While her writing somewhat lacks prosaism (and has anContinue reading “Prescription Comedy: An Unlikely Antidote to Physician Burnout”

“What Makes Anaesthetists So Special?”

It is a well-known fact that anaesthetic doctors in South African public hospitals have guaranteed pre-call and post-call. The medical officers that I know from other surgical departments, all appreciate the reasons we insist on safe working hours. I have never heard them suggest it be taken away. But management staff and senior consultants (ofContinue reading ““What Makes Anaesthetists So Special?””

[Book Review] Every Minute Is A Day by Robert Meyer and Dan Koeppel

Not all COVID-books are for doctors. Like many healthcare workers, I have often turned to narratives to cope with my work, and these have been plentiful during the (COVID) pandemic. But eventually one reaches a point where you can no longer look into the mirror of your daily life – and I have reached thatContinue reading “[Book Review] Every Minute Is A Day by Robert Meyer and Dan Koeppel”

Why You Should Read “Manage Your Money Like A F*cking Grownup”

There are two books I regularly see younger doctors carrying around, sneaking a chapter during a coffee break or between theatre cases. The first is When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, which I reviewed here. The second is (delightfully titled) Manage Your Money Like a F*cking Grownup by Sam Beckbessinger.  Manage Your Money firstContinue reading “Why You Should Read “Manage Your Money Like A F*cking Grownup””

The Last Weekend Of Mental Health Awareness Month: Watch This

Or: Guess who’s back. A little over two years ago, I heard of an old classmate working on a documentary project about bullying and discrimination in medicine. Longtime readers of this blog will know that I have written about bullying and discrimination before. The director and brains behind the project, Adil Khan, interviewed a fewContinue reading “The Last Weekend Of Mental Health Awareness Month: Watch This”

Train your trainees

Sometimes, I think clinicians forget that they were inexperienced and under-qualified juniors once, too. There is nothing admirable about learning to place an intercostal drain on YouTube, without senior supervision, as many of us like to brag.