I started this blog exactly eight years ago, today.
Who I was then, and who I am now, has changed drastically, and often. I wrote as I stumbled my way through new clinical and life experiences. I wrote as my mental health peaked and plummeted. I wrote as my love for medicine died, and was reborn. The first community I found was that of book bloggers, but gradually, I found the medical bloggers, too.
Continue reading “Questions on Blogging for Readers Past/Present/Future”
Remember that time I went to a little town (village??) called Greyton, with some friends, and had a blast?
It happened again.
This time, not as a student, but as a doctor. Then, Greyton enriched me. This time, it may well have changed my life. Or at least, my career. (Are they really two different things?)
Continue reading “This one time, at badEMfest18…”
One week of some GP locums and I am exhausted.
I can spend 10 minutes per consultation if people have straight-forward tonsillitis or gastroenteritis.
But what about the parents who are hesitant about vaccinating? I need more than ten minutes to make an impact.
What about the woman whose pregnancy test was unexpectedly positive, and needs to discuss options? She might not have anyone else to discuss options with.
What about the myriad people with psychiatric illness? I need more than ten minutes to figure out if it’s depression, or if there is a history of hypomanic spells. Is it substance induced? Is there another general medical condition? Who can start someone on antidepressants after a ten minute consult? Continue reading “GP Work is Hard”
Breaking this unintentional hiatus to tell you (read: shout from the rooftops) that I have watched Doc-u-mentally and
Continue reading “DOC-U-MENTALLY: The Film [Review]”
Whenever I talk about my love for child health, and my intention to pursue it as a career, I get this kind of response:
“Oh, I could never work with kids. It just breaks my heart to see them suffer!”
I don’t get it. Continue reading “Why I Paed”
Every few months, the mental health of doctors/medical students makes it to popular media. It seems like these spikes in attention occur, and everyone shouts YOU SHOULD CARE FOR YOUR DOCTORS! and then we write blogs and we tweet and we make youtube videos and eventually we go back to work, and nothing has changed.
I think we are the missing link. And by “we”, I mean qualified doctors. And also, you, the older doctors. Continue reading “Mental Health Begins With Medical Students”
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).
Continue reading “The Nicest Interns: Part 2”
It’s so easy to complain about my daily work.
Annoying patients, a system that is falling apart a little more every day, and inconsiderate or lazy doctors and nurses <– you see?
And then there are some of my colleagues who just really make me want to be a better person – and a better doctor.
One of our intern-colleagues is well-loved for being a bundle of fun and kindness. Whatever event our hospital’s social committee organises: he’s there, and he is their biggest promoter. He introduces people to each other, and he encourages them to get out of their shell.
Then there was that one time he walked around casualty on Easter Weekend dressed as the Easter Bunny, handing out goodies to all the interns on-call.
How nice is that?!?!?!
When he has a calm call-duty, he walks around and helps the services that are having a rougher time of it.
Written down, it may seem like he is the biggest gunner or kiss-ass. But he is just so genuine that it does not seem to get on anybody’s nerves (not even my very flammable ones).
I’m by far not a lazy or a mean intern, but when I see people like this guy, I just think: wow. I want to be like that when I grow up.
I heard this song for the first time as I was driving to my New Year’s Day call on Friday. Apparently I’m the only person in the whole world who hasn’t heard it, but WHATEVER okay.
I wept a little.
THIS is what I want to say to people. To the new interns who are hopefully going to realise this year that medicine was the right career for them; but who will certainly meet many challenges this year.
Medicine is hard and you’ll be expected to be super-human, never to have broken wings, never to feel like you can’t go on.
Remember that for every person who expects you to motor on without a wink of sleep, without any debriefing after a difficult resuscitation, there is another who will lend you their wings when it’s hard.
Look for them. Look for us.
Find the people who will support you when your day or week or month is shitty.
And when your wings are working… please help someone who needs them.
By now this is an old song, but I remember last year I thought: this is the song I want to dedicate to my class.
I don’t know if I’ve always followed its advice. Have I grabbed every opportunity to LIVE? Perhaps not. But I’ll keep working on that.
I keep saying this about medicine: it is when we learn and experience that we come to grow through this profession.
If you’re about to start medical school: grab every opportunity.
If you’re about to finish medical school: grab every opportunity.
If you’re somewhere in-between: grab every opportunity.
No matter where in your journey you are: make it one helluva ride.