Last night I worked my last shift for Community Service. 1 January 2018 will mark three years since I walked into my first day of work. And on that day, more than 1,000 new interns will enter our workforce.
I remember the nerves the night before: being unable to sleep. Feeling like a fraud, like I had been allowed to graduate by accident. Worried that I would be labelled Worst Intern Ever; worried that I’d have awful colleagues. But I survived the first week, and eventually the first year, too.
And so will our new interns. I have some tips for those who need ’em.
If you’ve been reading South African news, you’ll know that at least 300 interns and community service doctors stand to be unemployed next year, due to a lack of funded posts at accredited institutions.
I recently realised that some of my posts have disappeared into thin air. I’m not sure how, but I’m reposting them courtesy of the web archive.
By some kind of dumb luck, I am doing my Community Service posting at an incredible children’s hospital in Cape Town, rather than the archetypal middle-of-nowhere clinic post we all expect for ComServe.
And it’s incredible.
This hospital is just something else. It’s public, but has so much private funding that it might as well be a private hospital. It gets a lot of private patients so clearly I’m not alone in my perception.
It’s been nearly five years since I decided to get a nose piercing. I mused about the decision on the blog both before and after the fact.
Since becoming a “real” doctor, I’ve never had a patient refer to my piercing. As mentioned before, it really isn’t that conspicuous. I’ve also noticed more and more doctors who have nose piercings, so it probably isn’t so strange in South African healthcare workers as it was in 2011.
This year, after working with a certain doctor for three months, he finally noticed the piercing. His response was, “Well that’s atypical,” then he laughed and we moved on with our ward round.
It’s funny how sometimes, long after the fact, you start questioning your levels of care and competence.
During my first rotation of internship (last year), which was Obstetrics and Gynaecology, I was one of the few interns willing to do pregnancy terminations. (For the purposes of this blog, the matter is not up for debate – I have been pro-choice for nearly half my life, and have thoroughly evaluated my own beliefs.)
My four-month stint on the paediatric service comes to an end this week.
I enjoyed paediatrics in medical school, but never as much as this. How wonderful it was to be excited about work, to enjoy it so much that I willingly and eagerly read up more about all my cases.
It may have been one of the most challenging rotations – and it was good to see myself growing in confidence and ability.
There is so much work to do in paediatric healthcare, especially because you inadvertently treat the caregivers as well. And women are another group so sorely neglected in our environment. Continue reading “Does It Have To End?”→