in memoriam

it is a curious thing, when one of our own dies young. and I do mean curious there are just a handful of common things that kill young doctors and our profession demands nay normalises we find those common-things-that-occur-commonly this is no simple diagnostics it is more than morbid curiosity it is a need-to-know (ifContinue reading “in memoriam”

Mini-Reviews: Medical Non-Fiction

I like to read medical non-fiction. Not textbooks, but the kind of book a layperson with an interest can read, and someone in a medical profession may also enjoy, and learn from. There are three important things I look for in these books: Contributes to the non-medical reader’s understanding/interest of their health and/or bodies inContinue reading “Mini-Reviews: Medical Non-Fiction”

The Future of This Blog

Someone once commented on this blog’s heading*. “Reader, traveler, politics, medical student…” they mused, “Are you sure you’re in the right field of study?” For a second, I thought they were joking. But they weren’t. I had spent enough time wrestling with my career choice. Suggesting that it was a poor one did not dissuadeContinue reading “The Future of This Blog”

That One Patient [Book Review]

I told myself I would remember her forever – the first patient I lost. I was just a third year medical student, and really, it was my team doing the looking after, not me. I’ve forgotten her name by now, but I still remember her.  I initially resisted reading Ellen de Visser’s That One PatientContinue reading “That One Patient [Book Review]”

Intro for Anaesthetic Undergraduate Students

The student was standing on their tip-toes, peering over the drapes. They had barely looked at the ventilator, so engrossed were they in the surgery.  “So, are you here for anaesthesia, or for surgery?” our registrar asked.  The student turned. “Well… I am on my anaesthesia rotation, technically… but I’m actually interested in surgery.” TenContinue reading “Intro for Anaesthetic Undergraduate Students”

A Fullness of Uncertain Significance [Book Review]

If a medical doctor pens a memoir, I will read it. I don’t care if they are a surgeon (uneasy relationship), a physician (intimidatingly book smart), or an anaesthetist (well that’s pretty close to home). Even if nobody else reads your book, I will be your audience of one. But A Fullness of Uncertain SignificanceContinue reading “A Fullness of Uncertain Significance [Book Review]”

Prescription Comedy: An Unlikely Antidote to Physician Burnout

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”

“What Makes Anaesthetists So Special?”

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?””

The Last Weekend Of Mental Health Awareness Month: Watch This

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”

Why I left private practice for the public sector

Some of the greatest psychological stressors are said to include breakups, death, moving house, and starting a new job. Sometimes we choose one or more of these willingly, and hope to hell that the payoff will be worth it. For two years, I worked in private general practice in Cape Town. The benefits of this kindContinue reading “Why I left private practice for the public sector”