Campus Life, Real Medicine, Studying Medicine

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”

Real Medicine, Uncategorized

The Safe Working Hours Wristband Campaign is Missing the Point – Here’s Why

If you’ve been paying attention, working hours of doctors (especially junior doctors) have been getting some good airtime over the past few months. The Province of the Western Cape has committed to actively reducing maximum continuous working hours for doctors to twenty-four, the HPCSA has promised to “look into it” (not that we have too much confidence there), and our biggest representative, SAMA (South African Medical Association) has come out in our support.

One of the things to come from all this is the launching of an armband campaign. This has its origins, I believe, from a similar campaign in the UK – although I have not been able to find any source to this link.

608772084 Continue reading “The Safe Working Hours Wristband Campaign is Missing the Point – Here’s Why”

Real Medicine, Studying Medicine

A Key To Disillusionment In Work And Play

disillusionment2The phenomenon of disillusionment is well-discussed in the world of medicine. Roundabout third year of medical school, students begin to realise that the medical world simply does not live up to what they envisioned.

It is easy to say, “Just don’t have such high expectations,” but in reality a doctor without vision becomes a mindless drone. Disillusionment is discussed so widely because even though by definition it seems simple, its origins and characteristics are complex.

Funnily enough, I began to really understand disillusionment when I started club-running. Don’t be mistaken: joining a club was the best decision I could have made. It introduced me to many like-minded people and provided ample opportunity to amp my mileage.

I joined a club because I felt that I loved running enough to do so, but not long after joining I started experiencing an emotion I recognised from the medical world. I was feeling disillusioned. Continue reading “A Key To Disillusionment In Work And Play”

Studying Medicine

[Guest Post] From Nursing to Medicine

While the best-known route to medical school in South Africa is the “conventional”: finish high school and enter med school the next January, it is by far not the only route followed by medical students here.

The journeys are numerous, like Tash’s journey of an older medical student, which she graciously shared here.

nurse to med school

Today, Roxanne shares her journey from nursing to medical school. Roxanne is a fourth year medical student at the University of Stellenbosch. We lived across from each other when she was a first year and I in my fifth. She impressed me from the beginning, with her humility, passion and eagerness to learn. This is her story: Continue reading “[Guest Post] From Nursing to Medicine”

Campus Life, Getting to know me, Real Medicine, Studying Medicine

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

[TRIGGER WARNING]

A while ago this secret appeared on PostSecret:

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

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

Bookishness, Real Medicine, Uncategorized

A Thousand Naked Strangers by Kevin Hazzard | Book Review

25111005Medical memoirs are a dime a dozen, but I’ve never read a medic’s memoir and the title, “A Thousand Naked Strangers” is just too good to pass up.

A Thousand Naked Strangers is an Atlantan’s chronicle of the decade he worked as a paramedic in the city. I’ve never really known much about Atlanta, except for the stories my dad told of the month he worked there in 2000 – before Hazzard began his journey.

Hazzard’s narrative is genuine and unpretentious. There is no, “I always knew I’d be a great medic” kind of spiel. It is a story of a career that found him, and ran its course. Continue reading “A Thousand Naked Strangers by Kevin Hazzard | Book Review”

Real Medicine

Geeking Out About Lungs

Herds of Birds - click for link
Herds of Birds – click for link

I stood transfixed, with my finger deep in the girl’s chest.

She was breathing easier now.

With every breath, I felt soft, spongy lung tissue expand against my finger.

How incredible is that, I thought. Perfect lungs doing their job. Almost ruined by the knife of a callous boyfriend.

I had been slow on the uptake with intercostal drains. Until Tuesday, one ICD from start to finish could take me 45 minutes. But Tuesday I was in a zone. My hands knew what to do, and they did it. I even remembered to side-step the spurt of blood as I breached the haemothorax.

And because I was calm, I noticed the sensation of an expanding lung for the first time. Continue reading “Geeking Out About Lungs”