Paired Reading: Refugees and Displaced Persons in Africa

How does one express the kind of tenderness evoked by this narrative? And yet it is not overtly biased. It is not manipulative. It is a stunningly crafted narrative that focuses on a young man’s memories and struggles. Struggles that were meant to change when he reached South Africa, the supposed land of milk and honey.

Ten Books for Readers who Like… The World

I know that with things like We Need Diverse Books a lot of people are trying to read beyond their own milieu. I think for me, the biggest problem as a youngster was that I was constantly reading narratives about young people in the USA or the UK, and so I was getting a very narrow view of the world and indeed of what I could be.

For Healthcare Workers: Turn Their Pain Into Power

When one patient after the other in Antenatal Clinic is a teenager, and I feel angry about their bad decisions and angry at their parents for not looking after them well enough and ANGRY with whatever boy did this to her…

I ask them if they go to school. What they want to study after school. Affirm that yes, that’s a great decision, and yes, you can do it.

Turn their pain into power.

Does New Data on Patient Confidentiality Change Anything?

The recent NPR-Truven Health Analytics Poll data illuminated some interesting data. In this poll, 3,000 Americans were interviewed about their concerns (or lack thereof) regarding their health records. Surprisingly, by the responses it seems at first glance that American patients are not all that concerned about the confidentiality of their health records. As per theContinue reading “Does New Data on Patient Confidentiality Change Anything?”

On the Ethics of Treating Ebola (or refusing to)

The topic has come up among our students too. We train at one of the nine South African hospitals that are to be the first port of call for suspected Ebola cases. What would we do if we actually had a confirmed case? Would we, as students, treat them? Mostly we think we would not (right now… read on).

Reviewing “Ebola” – and can we just admit that we don’t have a handle on this?

I read Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus by David Quammen. There is hardly a more current book on the matter and I am getting so many questions from friends and family that I figured I might as well inform myself a little more. In 1976 a deadly virus emerged from theContinue reading “Reviewing “Ebola” – and can we just admit that we don’t have a handle on this?”

A Tale of Two Sisters (and Grief and Mental Health)

Two little sisters had an extended stay in the small rural hospital. They were the stars of the Paeds ward. The little one was absolutely shining and brightened up the whole ward. I spent ward rounds with her in my arms, on my hips, and eventually falling asleep on my back. She was loved. The olderContinue reading “A Tale of Two Sisters (and Grief and Mental Health)”