Dear Graduates: You Should Be Supporting #FeesMustFall

Dear Graduates of South Africa

Perhaps, like me, you shook your head when you first saw the hashtag #FeesMustFall. You empathised with the expense of tertiary education, but you had lives to save or exams to mark or bridges to build and you thought, “Why do young people in this country want to make everything FALL?”

Continue reading “Dear Graduates: You Should Be Supporting #FeesMustFall”


Another Disability Grant Request

“Uyagoduka namhlanje!” I say with the biggest smile. You can go home today! It’s one of my favourite things to tell patients. Sometimes I think it’s the only time they ever like me.

And she does smile. The physiotherapist discharged her day one post-op and she wanted to go home so badly, but I felt day one was a bit soon. What can I say: I’m an intern, I’m too careful.

Then she asks, “So what thing did you put in my leg?”

She injured herself playing contact sports and sustained a mean distal femur fracture. I tell her the basics: we put some hardware in her leg to keep the bone together.

And her neighbour, a middle-aged woman, says, “So that means she can get a disability grant.”

Copyright Faheema Patel 2010, “Human Inside” | Click image for link.

NO. Continue reading “Another Disability Grant Request”

Learning to Adult

I guess I’m going from deep end to deeper-end.

I spent some time at SARS (South African Revenue Services) yesterday registering as a tax payer (only to learn that I actually am already registered). I didn’t wait in line too long because tax season just ended but it was still pretty much a bee-hive.

I walked to the receptionist, put down my documents and started saying, “I would like to register…” but then, because you know, I wouldn’t really LIKE to, but it’s the right thing to do, so I started again, “I am here to register as a tax payer.” Continue reading “Learning to Adult”

Travel Throwback: Walking Aimlessly

It has been well over a year since Semester at Sea Spring 2013 and I find myself thinking about it more and more. It was fantastic, and I can’t wait to travel again.

wandering sas

Because I was on a fairly limited budget, I tended to stay in the cities where we docked and I tried to walk as much as possible. Of course I had plans and short trips, but I often spent some time just walking through the city without much of an agenda. I would like to say that I took really deep HONY-esque pictures, but most of those pictures are in my head, safely. Continue reading “Travel Throwback: Walking Aimlessly”

GoFundMe Campaign: Semester at Sea

As many of you may recall, I have been given the great opportunity to attend Semester at Sea Spring 2013. A while ago I unfortunately got news that I had not received the scholarship I had hoped for – and needed – to make SAS a reality.

So I got moved to an economy cabin, applied for more scholarships, and managed to receive a total $15,500 in scholarships. The remaining $8,000 is a lot less, but still a lot for someone dealing with the South African exchange rates. It is still more than my entire tuition and boarding costs for a year. I have approached so many businesses in the past month that I have lost count. I am still at $8,000.

Continue reading “GoFundMe Campaign: Semester at Sea”

Semester at Sea: Stumbling

Not such good news this update around. Scholarship and Aid results came out last night, and my Presidential Scholarship application was unsuccessful. I did receive a need-based grant, but the venture remains financially unattainable. We’re talking 20K US-dollars that I don’t have. And with the recent strikes in South Africa, our exchange rate went from an unaffordable ZAR8.44 to a dollar, to a ridiculous ZAR8.74.

To give some meat to the matter, $20,000 is more than the total sum of alllll the study debt I’ve rung up in my four years of study.

Continue reading “Semester at Sea: Stumbling”

Hands, Fingers, Knees and Toes…

How often do you use the tip of your right ring finger? No idea? A lot, it turns out. Just typing this is causing a considerable amount of pain.

On Thursday, ten minutes before my OSCE, I slammed my finger in a glass sliding door. It took me about ten metres on the way to hospital to realise that the pain was accompanied by a considerable amount of bleeding.

Continue reading “Hands, Fingers, Knees and Toes…”

Everything but Stupidity

If you’ve recently worked in a health care setting, you’ll be familiar with ICD-10: the International Classification of Disease.

ICD-codes are supposed to be of massive benefit in hospitals for pricing, statistics and confidentiality-purposes. It’s also a huge schlep, because there are massive volumes of books containing all the codes, so a lot of the doctors simply refuse to use them.

Continue reading “Everything but Stupidity”