Delivering the Children of Children

They arrive in jeans and flowery T-shirts, or Disney pyjamas. Some hold their shoulders up straight, their body language aggressive or protective at the least. Their gaze defiant. “This is me, this is my body. You do not get to judge me.” Others make themselves small – and become more so because they already AREContinue reading “Delivering the Children of Children”

Healing our Healthcare

South African public healthcare is in a state of crisis. We train some of the best healthcare workers in the world. Send a South African doctor to Haiti, to India, to a war-stricken zone, and they know what to do. They are used to working with restricted resources under harsh conditions. They save lives andContinue reading “Healing our Healthcare”

Why super-specialists should have compulsory clinic duty

We were on call again last night. The CHC was going through a quiet patch (the last delivery had been just past 01:00) and my friends and I were sitting in the students’ room eating cookies, scaring ourselves by looking at all the additives and making silly jokes that are only really funny when youContinue reading “Why super-specialists should have compulsory clinic duty”

My First Delivery

My clinical firm and I were on obstetrics call yesterday. We arrived at a Community Health Clinic (CHC) at 19:00. We had been at the clinic for the day shift, but were sent home since the B.Cur (Nursing) students have preference during the day. The night shift nurses were very nice. A 20 year oldContinue reading “My First Delivery”

Of oranges and IV-lines

The medical sciences are obsessed with hierarchies. Fresh-out-of-school doctors perform rectal exams and enemas till it pours, well, out of every orifice (if you’ll excuse the crude pun). Nurses where epaulettes which all are supposed magically to understand, and don’t you DARE call a medical professor a “doctor”. There are some things that distinguish aContinue reading “Of oranges and IV-lines”

A Colossal Waste of Brain?

Just over two years ago I arrived on a grey little campus smack-bam in the middle of the Cape Flats. My almost-nineteen year old mind had mistakenly thought that I would be spending my student life very close to the beautiful Stellenbosch. Nevertheless, as first years we were told that “the people make campus” andContinue reading “A Colossal Waste of Brain?”

Ambam: An extraordinary gorilla, but that is all.

Many people have seen Ambam the gorilla walking upright (if not, click here), and many have been suitably impressed by this unusual (but not the first ever) occurence. Some, however, have taken this one step further and claimed that Ambam could be the missing link between man and beast. [This is not an argument forContinue reading “Ambam: An extraordinary gorilla, but that is all.”

Neurosciences 371: Pretty Darn Cool

Today I feel lazy and not in the mood to study, even though I have a big test next Friday. I felt so lazy that I actually got up and made some Rice Crispie cakes; and then proceeded to eat them all. All in the name of not studying. I feel quite ill, if thatContinue reading “Neurosciences 371: Pretty Darn Cool”

Human: Noun, Noxious Substance

There is a school of thought that the Earth, rather than being several physical and biological structures, is one big functional organism. It is called the Gaia Hypothesis, pivoting on much the same idea as homeostasis, except that in this case one rather calls it homeorhesis, meaning the return to a specific trajectory and notContinue reading “Human: Noun, Noxious Substance”

Travels without mindset

Yesterday I went to a little place called Onrus, near Hermanus in the Western Cape, with some of my friends from student government. We were to meet the new first years to our faculty at their welcoming camp. After spending a few hours in the sun watching the “kids” play (we felt rather old), weContinue reading “Travels without mindset”