Jonas Salk, A Life | Thinking About Biographies

Are biographies supposed to build up the heroes in our eyes? Or reveal them as the flawed humans they are? Or, are they supposed to give us the facts and nothing else? (If that’s the case, then some of my favourite biographies are interminably flawed.) Nobody wants to read a biased biography, but there were times that I felt as though the author was another intellectual who would never give Salk the acceptance he craved.

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?”

Injury on Duty: What it’s like to take PEP

This post follows on my previous post about Injuries on Duty. There is no shortage of war stories from healthcare workers who have taken Post-Exposure Prophylaxis ARVs (the medication you take to prevent HIV after being exposed to it).Days and days and days of nausea and diarrhoea are just the beginning of it. Before myContinue reading “Injury on Duty: What it’s like to take PEP”

Book Review: Seven Modern Plagues and How We Are Causing Them

Infectious Disease is interesting. In fact, I would wager that it forms at least part of the backbone leading to most medical students deciding to study medicine, regardless of whether or not they end up enjoying ID. Seven Modern Plagues by Mark Jerome Walters investigates seven diseases causing havoc today. He looks at the circumstances thatContinue reading “Book Review: Seven Modern Plagues and How We Are Causing Them”

The Time I Got Injured On Duty

It was hot summer afternoon and I was on my rural Family Medicine rotation; the Friday leading up to my birthday weekend. I was looking forward to an off-weekend, and I’d be going home to spend my birthday with my family for the first time since 2008. I had dressed up in a new skirt,Continue reading “The Time I Got Injured On Duty”

Question: On Contact Lenses and HIV Exposure

I have a very good relationship with my optometrists – so much so that I still have not found a Cape Town-based optometrist. At my recent vision test (my vision is significantly worse, again) I mentioned cutting back on my contact lens use and relying more on my glasses.

Things my PPD taught me

When I submitted my medical clearance form for SAS awhile ago, I was informed that I needed to provide the results of a recent PPD test. Obviously, on a ship with 600 students, as well as a fair amount of academic personnel and their families, one can’t risk having active TB going around. A PPDContinue reading “Things my PPD taught me”

Books Making Me Sick!

Made you look, didn’t I? I still love books. This is a fun meme started by SarawithnH, but I saw it at Anna’s Pocket Full of Books. It’s all about books coinciding with illnesses, which sounds weird but is actually really cute. I’m tired and this is the most medical thing I can muster atContinue reading “Books Making Me Sick!”

Things I Want: Infectious Plushies

Friday is my final final exam for fourth year. Exams have gone really well so far this year, but after this weekend’s news I guess my focus has been a little off.* Since I’m studying all sorts of horrid diseases, I figured I’d share something I want to get. Well, I certainly don’t want any ofContinue reading “Things I Want: Infectious Plushies”