Mental Health Begins With Medical Students

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”


Dear Medical Student: Med School Is Not Worth Your Self-Harm


A while ago this secret appeared on PostSecret:

“Medical School made me self harm. It better be worth it.”

Continue reading “Dear Medical Student: Med School Is Not Worth Your Self-Harm”

To White Coat or Not To White Coat

If you live in the USA or many other countries, you may associate the white medical coat with a number of doctors. Short coats, I am told, are for medical students. The longer the coat, the more senior you are.

Evolution of the White Coat by Fizzy McFizz - click for link.
Evolution of the White Coat by Fizzy McFizz – click for link.

In South Africa, two groups of people wear the white medical coat as a rule: medical students and old-school professors. Continue reading “To White Coat or Not To White Coat”

I Hate Med School – And That’s Okay

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.

hate med school
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 “I Hate Med School – And That’s Okay”

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

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.


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

Remedy for Burnout [Book Review]

In a short book – or a long essay, depending on how you look at it – Starla Fitch MD addresses the matter of physician burnout. She does not really waste time telling us things we already know: that physician burnout rates are high and prevention rates are dismal.

refill your cup Continue reading “Remedy for Burnout [Book Review]”

A Moment: The Nurse and the Med Student

She was a professional nurse at our hospital, not much older than me, and with no time during shift-work to see her private gynaecologist, she made the scary decision to come to the hospital’s gynae-clinic (scary because she would most certainly be seen first by an inept medical student before seeing the specialist).

Continue reading “A Moment: The Nurse and the Med Student”