Defining Moments of 2012: Med IV

Consider this a wrap-up post of sorts, in collaboration with The Daily Post’s Weekly Writing Challenge. It has been a big year for me, but also an incredibly tough and exhausting year. It’s nice to look back at what has taken place. I hope I have grown in some way, and I do hope that 2013 will be an even better year.

I started the year pretty eagerly, but discovering that I was the only remaining member of my original clinical group really bummed me out. It’s hard when the people who keep you positive – and people who helped you to study! – are suddenly in danger of not becoming a doctor. I realised again and again how incredibly fortunate I am to be studying medicine.

So I started putting my back into it. My grades started improving – not nearly what it used to be, but much better than it was in my second and third year. I began to think that just maybe I won’t be a colossal failure as a doctor.

Continue reading “Defining Moments of 2012: Med IV”

If I Could Teach Them One Lesson

Registrars are meant to be clever people. Duh, they’ve graduated medicine and practised a few years and are brave enough to specialise. I’ve seen a lot of registrars do a lot of stupid things, but I won’t dwell on that because that’s not what today is about.

I recently heard a registrar complain, “If you think fourth years are bad, wait til you get the third years next week. I feel like a total babysitter! They don’t know how to do anything and I keep having to check up on them!”

I laughed along and told them to team each third year up with a fifth year to solve their problem. But that’s not what I really wanted to say.

Continue reading “If I Could Teach Them One Lesson”

Morbid Cartoon Anatomy

You know what’s awesome about fourth year? The lecturers go through so much effort to teach us. They put together nice slideshows, they share interesting tid-bits and they are friendly. They could have saved us all a lot of grief if all lecturers were this nice from first year. But I digress.

Anatomical art, which once took the world by storm (think: Frank Netter) is back and cooler than ever. Our lecturers have been alluding to some artists in their presentations. Here are some examples. I include links to the artists’ sites where I was able to find them. Please visit them, I will only include one example of each here.

Michael Paulus has an entire series of popular cartoon anatomy:

Continue reading “Morbid Cartoon Anatomy”

We See a Light

As part of Infectious Diseases, we must learn about Syndromic Management. It is not the best approach for a qualified doctor, but it is important to understand – especially in a primary health care setup.

During one of these tutorials, the doctor in charge made us close our books and asked us about our approaches to the full waiting room and the possibly accute patient.

We answered well.

Continue reading “We See a Light”

The Original Guinea Pigs

We are currently doing our Infectious Diseases and Clinical Immunology theory block – which means lots of freaky latin names and difficulty staying awake in class.

Occasionally though, our class is graced by a lecturer with some spunk.

This is South Africa: needless to say, Tuberculosis was one of the first things discussed.

You know how we refer to test subjects as guinea pigs? Pretty good reason for that.

Continue reading “The Original Guinea Pigs”

Lost in Translation

Little Brother (still) says the darndest things.

A while ago I posted the following as a status:

Practising Derms surgery on pig. Yummy!

But in my home language, “derms” means “guts”.

So, Little Brother tells The Family that Big Sister is removing pork gut for med school. Nomnomnom indeed!

The funniest thing is that a few hours later, one of my non-medical friends, ten years Little Brother’s senior, made the same mistake.

And people ask me why I love my country’s many languages…

Oink – look at the face!

First Ever Guest Post: Elective in India

A while ago, a friend suggested guest posts for my blog – which is completely understandable, as I represent only one sphere of med student life. At my school, we do electives at the end of fourth year and in the middle of fifth year. As is custom, most students attempt to use it as an excuse for some travelling. Last year’s fourth year group had students who went to Rwanda, India, Zambia and other fun places. I’m trying to get more students to write about their electives – I’m sure it will be of use to those of us still to plan said module. Continue reading “First Ever Guest Post: Elective in India”

Ode to the Hair Follicle

The picture on the right illustrates vitiligo, an autoimmune disorder causing destruction of the melanocytes of the skin, resulting in hypopigmentation.

We had a patient like this today, only with a very severe form. What she also had was many small round spots of repigmentation, like the few round spots seen in the picture here.

Continue reading “Ode to the Hair Follicle”

Superspecialists use elevators?

Me. Gobsmacked.

So I had one of those gobsmacked experiences today.

Running to catch an elevator to the eighth floor, someone held the doors open for us.

Someone who is a very scary super-super-super specialist, and quite famous for his research. And he is a formidable professor who has the propensity to make one feel rather unintelligent.

So he smiles as we enter, and I mumble something incoherent in the line of, “Hullo Prof.”

Fortunately he suppresses the urge to tutor us on some or other topic we doubtlessly know nothing about. He laves, and all I can say to my ammused clinical partner is, “He uses an elevator?!”