On Call During A Riot

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. 

Elective Extravaganza: Forensic Pathology in South Africa

Today, a fifth year medical student, Ryan, joins me to talk about his fourth year elective in Forensic Pathology. Readers of the blog might remember that I found Forensics to be immensely interesting but also emotionally heavy. You can read more of those posts here.

Forensics Study Break: Mellanby Effect

How is it that I perform better at Anaesthetics and Infectious Diseases than at Forensic Pathology? It was a short two-week module and by all accounts my class should have done well., but our average was dismal. It must be the completely unappetising subject-matter. You’ll remember that I found the practical rotation rather difficult. StudyingContinue reading “Forensics Study Break: Mellanby Effect”

Morbid Cartoon Anatomy

You know what’s awesome about fourth year? The lecturers go through so much effort to teach us. They put together nice slideshows, they share interesting tid-bits and they are friendly. They could have saved us all a lot of grief if all lecturers were this nice from first year. But I digress. Anatomical art, which onceContinue reading “Morbid Cartoon Anatomy”

Latin, Law and Medicine

We are doing some forensics theory for two weeks. It’s a lot more work than the practical rotation I had at the beginning of the year, but also a lot less disturbing. One of the specialists also has a law degree. They taught us something interesting: we can prevent justice from occurring. In a badContinue reading “Latin, Law and Medicine”

Matryoshka (disambiguation)

Medical Students quickly become desensitised. It is a coping mechanism and it works well – not the least because it makes us laugh. Nevertheless, it’s no wonder people think we are weird. Case in point: Clinical Partner and I discuss our feelings on autopsies. He says, “Wow… doing that autopsy on the pregnant woman wasContinue reading “Matryoshka (disambiguation)”

“Interviewing” our Forensic Pathologist

The Forensic Pathologist in charge of our clinical group these past two weeks was one of the best doctors that has worked with us. She gave us confidence and got us to such a point that we were willing to ask questions. We asked her why she decided to go into this field, and sheContinue reading ““Interviewing” our Forensic Pathologist”

Delivery in the Lab

Our last day of autopsies today and I finally took a deep breath and asked my question: “Do you ever get pregnant mothers? Do you look at the babies?” Yes. Sometimes the pregnancy is an incidental finding, tiny 12-week old fetuses. Sometimes they pregnancy is almost term. They won’t usually dissect the fetus, but theyContinue reading “Delivery in the Lab”

Brain Cut: Fatal Fall?

We are privileged to have weekly tutorials from the only forensic brain pathologist in Africa. He is retiring soon – which is sad, because he is clearly a genius. He also teaches with passion, which seems rare in our field. Anyway, we had an interesting case during brain cut today. A 22-year-old man fell. TheContinue reading “Brain Cut: Fatal Fall?”

Not all babies grow up

I enjoyed obstetrics so much last year, not for the “miracle of new life”, but for the influence one might have. I keep thinking: There are 15 babies learning to walk in this province, and the first person to touch them, to see that they are perfect, was me. We performed an autopsy on aContinue reading “Not all babies grow up”