in memoriam

it is a curious thing, when one of our own dies young. and I do mean curious there are just a handful of common things that kill young doctors and our profession demands nay normalises we find those common-things-that-occur-commonly this is no simple diagnostics it is more than morbid curiosity it is a need-to-know (ifContinue reading “in memoriam”

The Future of This Blog

Someone once commented on this blog’s heading*. “Reader, traveler, politics, medical student…” they mused, “Are you sure you’re in the right field of study?” For a second, I thought they were joking. But they weren’t. I had spent enough time wrestling with my career choice. Suggesting that it was a poor one did not dissuadeContinue reading “The Future of This Blog”

Intro for Anaesthetic Undergraduate Students

The student was standing on their tip-toes, peering over the drapes. They had barely looked at the ventilator, so engrossed were they in the surgery.  “So, are you here for anaesthesia, or for surgery?” our registrar asked.  The student turned. “Well… I am on my anaesthesia rotation, technically… but I’m actually interested in surgery.” TenContinue reading “Intro for Anaesthetic Undergraduate Students”

“What Makes Anaesthetists So Special?”

It is a well-known fact that anaesthetic doctors in South African public hospitals have guaranteed pre-call and post-call. The medical officers that I know from other surgical departments, all appreciate the reasons we insist on safe working hours. I have never heard them suggest it be taken away. But management staff and senior consultants (ofContinue reading ““What Makes Anaesthetists So Special?””

[Book Review] Every Minute Is A Day by Robert Meyer and Dan Koeppel

Not all COVID-books are for doctors. Like many healthcare workers, I have often turned to narratives to cope with my work, and these have been plentiful during the (COVID) pandemic. But eventually one reaches a point where you can no longer look into the mirror of your daily life – and I have reached thatContinue reading “[Book Review] Every Minute Is A Day by Robert Meyer and Dan Koeppel”

Train your trainees

Sometimes, I think clinicians forget that they were inexperienced and under-qualified juniors once, too. There is nothing admirable about learning to place an intercostal drain on YouTube, without senior supervision, as many of us like to brag.

Why I left private practice for the public sector

Some of the greatest psychological stressors are said to include breakups, death, moving house, and starting a new job. Sometimes we choose one or more of these willingly, and hope to hell that the payoff will be worth it. For two years, I worked in private general practice in Cape Town. The benefits of this kindContinue reading “Why I left private practice for the public sector”

My Advice for Your ComServe Application

It’s almost time for the asynchronous community service applications in SA, and shortly thereafter the regular applications will begin. So I thought I’d take a break from dispensing medicine, and dispense a tip I could have used: Apply somewhere that is going to challenge you. Apply somewhere that you will be expected to work withContinue reading “My Advice for Your ComServe Application”

Read This Book: In Shock by Rana Awdish

“In Shock” is about medicine’s broken telephone. It is about our inherent, but often unintentional, disrespect for patients and ourselves. It is about seeking comfort in the wrong ways, and about righting our bad medical habits.

General Practice and Emergency Med: A Bad Combination

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been working semi-permanently for a private family practice. More recently, I’ve also started doing shifts in the emergency centres of both private and public hospitals. While doing each of these separately comes with their own challenges, doing them together has proven to be a demoralising combination, because they highlightContinue reading “General Practice and Emergency Med: A Bad Combination”