I started working on this post on two days. Since then, I have received news of a colleague who died in an accident while driving post-call. She went to my alma mater and graduated last year, and though I did not know her personally, my heart breaks. A country with a shortage of doctors has lost a young doctor who was just starting in her career. She was well-loved, and we will all feel her absence.
A few weeks ago, the community around one of the hospitals where I work picked up their torches and pitchforks (well, sort of) and protested again. I’ve written before about South Africa’s protest state of mind, and about working during a riot.
The first time I partook in a baby’s resuscitation was during my fourth year of medical school. It was a disaster: the wall-suction malfunctioned, the nursing staff were in the precarious business of changing shifts, and all algorithms flew out of the window.
I vowed optimistically that when I was a doctor, I would not let a baby die that way.
I just recently finished a four-month Family Medicine rotation. Our after-hours duties on Family Medicine are as casualty officers at the Accident and Emergency Departments of two different hospitals. Because A&E has high-intensity decision making, our shifts were not allowed to be longer than twelve hours (compare: 24 hour shifts in any other department).
I want to address some pertinent falsehoods about health and fitness, and why the disenfranchised have such a hard time of it.
And then there are some of my colleagues who just really make me want to be a better person – and a better doctor.
Last night while on call I treated rubber bullet injuries. I treated MANY rubber bullet injuries. If you thought rubber bullets only cause bruising – well, you’d be wrong. They can penetrate. During my fourth year forensic pathology rotation, we did an autopsy on a man who died due to a rubber bullet embolism.
Before you read what I have to say, you should read Dr Nikki Stamp’s post: How tired is too tired? One day, I’d like to have a study to prove the post title. But for now, we’ll have to settle for another anecdote:
There are things that private patients get that I wish you could have too: fluffy duvets, enough pillows, air-conditioning, smaller wards, speedier test results…
I wish all my patients could have a “private patient” experience; but I need you to know that there are certain things I will not do.
I had such a lovely experience last week. I was working Accident and Emergency overnight, as I have finally completed my surgical posting and moved on to Family Medicine. A mother brought her nine-month old baby in with a chronic cough. Now, it was probably the happiest baby I had seen all night and probablyContinue reading “Something Only Family Physicians Experience”