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.

Why I left private practice for the public sector

Some of the greatest psychological stressors are said to include breakups, death, moving house, and starting a new job. Sometimes we choose one or more of these willingly, and hope to hell that the payoff will be worth it. For two years, I worked in private general practice in Cape Town. The benefits of this kindContinue reading “Why I left private practice for the public sector”

My Advice for Your ComServe Application

It’s almost time for the asynchronous community service applications in SA, and shortly thereafter the regular applications will begin. So I thought I’d take a break from dispensing medicine, and dispense a tip I could have used: Apply somewhere that is going to challenge you. Apply somewhere that you will be expected to work withContinue reading “My Advice for Your ComServe Application”

Read This Book: In Shock by Rana Awdish

“In Shock”┬áis about medicine’s broken telephone. It is about our inherent, but often unintentional, disrespect for patients and ourselves. It is about seeking comfort in the wrong ways, and about righting our bad medical habits.