Pranathi Kondapaneni, MD, author of Prescription Comedy: An Unlikely Antidote To Physician Burnout, studied medicine some time before me, but our stories are not so different. Although on an entirely different continent, and an entirely different cultural background, her experience with burnout resonates clearly with me. While her writing somewhat lacks prosaism (and has anContinue reading “Prescription Comedy: An Unlikely Antidote to Physician Burnout”
It is a well-known fact that anaesthetic doctors in South African public hospitals have guaranteed pre-call and post-call. The medical officers that I know from other surgical departments, all appreciate the reasons we insist on safe working hours. I have never heard them suggest it be taken away. But management staff and senior consultants (ofContinue reading ““What Makes Anaesthetists So Special?””
Or: Guess who’s back. A little over two years ago, I heard of an old classmate working on a documentary project about bullying and discrimination in medicine. Longtime readers of this blog will know that I have written about bullying and discrimination before. The director and brains behind the project, Adil Khan, interviewed a fewContinue reading “The Last Weekend Of Mental Health Awareness Month: Watch This”
“In Shock” is about medicine’s broken telephone. It is about our inherent, but often unintentional, disrespect for patients and ourselves. It is about seeking comfort in the wrong ways, and about righting our bad medical habits.
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 differentContinue reading “This one time, at badEMfest18…”
I really believe that a medical student who is comfortable with therapy, becomes a physician who is comfortable with therapy; one who is comfortable with addressing the mental health of their colleagues, and one who can identify when their own mental health is spiralling out of control – and then do something about it.
Dear Medical Student: medical school is worth a lot of things. I can tell you that because I went from hating medical school to loving being a doctor (well, on most days).
But it’s not worth that.
In South Africa, two groups of people wear the white medical coat as a rule: medical students and old-school professors.
In fact, at my medical school, you celebrated your induction into student internship by getting to throw the white coat into the back of your cupboard. So the last time I wore a white coat was in the middle of my fifth year – two years ago.
Thing is, I’m a little over having to pick an outfit every morning.
I hated the selfishness I saw festering in my colleagues. I hated noticing how our passions died, how we began to work just hard enough to get through the day. Dreams clinical and humanitarian prowess fell by the wayside, and we shuffled forward towards that degree like zombies past their expiration dates.
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.)