Campus Life, Real Medicine, Studying Medicine

Mental Health Begins With Medical Students

Every few months, the mental health of doctors/medical students makes it to popular media. It seems like these spikes in attention occur, and everyone shouts YOU SHOULD CARE FOR YOUR DOCTORS! and then we write blogs and we tweet and we make youtube videos and eventually we go back to work, and nothing has changed.

I think we are the missing link. And by “we”, I mean qualified doctors. And also, you, the older doctors. Continue reading “Mental Health Begins With Medical Students”

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Campus Life, Studying Medicine

FAQ: Will I Get Into Med School?

Ever since I first posted tips for applying to medicine (in South Africa) in 2014, I have received multiple questions from aspirant medical students.

give up hope dont

The hardest to answer (and thus one of the most popular) is DO I STILL STAND A CHANCE? – usually prefaced with the person’s failure to achieve the desired grades for medical admission, or some other stumbling block. Continue reading “FAQ: Will I Get Into Med School?”

Real Medicine, Studying Medicine

A Key To Disillusionment In Work And Play

disillusionment2The phenomenon of disillusionment is well-discussed in the world of medicine. Roundabout third year of medical school, students begin to realise that the medical world simply does not live up to what they envisioned.

It is easy to say, “Just don’t have such high expectations,” but in reality a doctor without vision becomes a mindless drone. Disillusionment is discussed so widely because even though by definition it seems simple, its origins and characteristics are complex.

Funnily enough, I began to really understand disillusionment when I started club-running. Don’t be mistaken: joining a club was the best decision I could have made. It introduced me to many like-minded people and provided ample opportunity to amp my mileage.

I joined a club because I felt that I loved running enough to do so, but not long after joining I started experiencing an emotion I recognised from the medical world. I was feeling disillusioned. Continue reading “A Key To Disillusionment In Work And Play”

Studying Medicine

[Guest Post] From Nursing to Medicine

While the best-known route to medical school in South Africa is the “conventional”: finish high school and enter med school the next January, it is by far not the only route followed by medical students here.

The journeys are numerous, like Tash’s journey of an older medical student, which she graciously shared here.

nurse to med school

Today, Roxanne shares her journey from nursing to medical school. Roxanne is a fourth year medical student at the University of Stellenbosch. We lived across from each other when she was a first year and I in my fifth. She impressed me from the beginning, with her humility, passion and eagerness to learn. This is her story: Continue reading “[Guest Post] From Nursing to Medicine”

Campus Life, Getting to know me, Real Medicine, Studying Medicine

Dear Medical Student: Med School Is Not Worth Your Self-Harm

[TRIGGER WARNING]

A while ago this secret appeared on PostSecret:

7-fromoverseas
“Medical School made me self harm. It better be worth it.”

Continue reading “Dear Medical Student: Med School Is Not Worth Your Self-Harm”

Studying Medicine

Overview: A New Study About Selection Criteria at South African Medical Schools

So many questions on this blog pertain to admission to medical school in South Africa. I’ve written a few posts about it, but at least once a week I get a question I can’t really answer.

Stethoscope, compass and blank notebook Continue reading “Overview: A New Study About Selection Criteria at South African Medical Schools”

Bookishness, Real Medicine, Studying Medicine

Review: When Breath Becomes Air

“The fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live.”

cover71692-mediumWhy do we do what we do – choose a career in science, in business, or in the arts? Why do we procreate, and why do we sometimes choose not to? Is it that we are avoiding the inevitability of life – death – or are we actively working to meet it with our highest expectations?

During his mid-thirties, Paul Kalanithi is faced with a life-changing cancer diagnosis.

He is a neurosurgery resident with a unique grasp on literature and the philosophy of mortality – which in part, contributed to his career choice.

So as a means of addressing his diagnosis, Kalanithi explores his journey towards becoming a neurosurgeon, and reflects deeply upon the sacrifices that were made in his endeavours. And he writes When Breath Becomes Air, a stunning memoir that can be widely read. Continue reading “Review: When Breath Becomes Air”