I Hate Med School – And That’s Okay

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Here’s a quick post-call ramble: I had a pretty bad night on call last night.*

And it was still better than medical school.

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Base Image by DearFreshman, click for link

I hated med school.

In first year, I hated the loneliness. I had went in hoping for intelligent conversation with the country’s cream of the crop and at least initially, I could not find it. What I found was a narrow-minded and selfish little campus, and I hated it. Continue reading

DIY ≠ Change Agent – But Right Now, It’s All I’ve Got

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My medical school always made a big fuss about training us to be “Change Agents” – so much so that I guess it sometimes became a joke to us. The idea was that we would be active role players in whichever environments we found ourselves instead of sitting back and complaining, but it often seemed like an unrealistic expectation, given some of the challenges we face in public healthcare.

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As I was reflecting on the past three months, I caught myself thinking: have I been a Change Agent? (And then I automatically almost scoffed at myself. I like the idea of being an agent of change but the term is so over-used that I have come to hate it.) Continue reading

Conversations in Zambia

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This post brought to you by a lovely few days spent in Zambia with Lisa. Yes, I am on leave for a few days. Much-needed!

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Everywhere in Livingstone, Zambia:

THEM: Where are you from?

ME: South Africa

THEM: Oh, we are neighbours! I will give you neighbour-price!

*proceed to give me normal tourist price*

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My miniature baobab which I bought for SIXTY FREAKING RAND. But I love it.

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The Passion Deception: Beyond What You “Like”

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Last week, I wrote about how the idea of “passion” can overwhelm us into unrealistic future prospects. I actually got some good feedback from readers, which leads me to believe that I am certainly not the only one with this experience.

But if you’re a high school student – or otherwise at the threshold of choosing a career – you might wonder, WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ME? If you have been told your whole life that you need simply to do what you love (and you’ll “never work a day in your life”, yada yada yada), you might not know HOW else to choose a path forward.

My suggestion? Ye ole’ trusty mindmap.

Many of ours (mine included) may have looked something like this:

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When in reality, it probably should have looked something like this: Continue reading

Less Happy

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It’s hard for me to admit this, but a week has actually passed where I did not enjoy work.

This week I switched over to the other hospital in our complex. I’m technically doing internship at two hospitals, so now that I have completed two months in O&G at the one, it’s time to do two months in O&G at the other. And… it’s not the same. The one is an inner-city hospital, the other is a more rural hospital.

But the differences don’t end there. Continue reading

The Passion Deception: Why Passion Is Not Enough

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I had the pleasure of visiting my old high school recently to talk to some of the Matrics about life, their final year of school and their future plans in general. I spoke at length about what I call the Passion Deception. It sounds like a bit of a downer but to be honest, it’s real talk and the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.

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I feel like many talented youngsters have a pressing desire to do a job that makes them “tick”, and they are taught (myself included) from a young age that the profession you choose should be one you feel passionate about. I can understand why we tell people that too: talented youngsters can often do anything they want to, so “passion” becomes a good indicator of what to leave and what to dive into. Continue reading