Riding the PEP-Train

I’m on PEP again. And I’m angry. And miserable. But mostly angry. Because I’m careful. I am so, SO careful all the time, but others are not. I always make my surgical needles safe. But many doctors I assist do not. I always discard my sharps. And many do not. I never point a sharpContinue reading “Riding the PEP-Train”

Weekly Whine: Headaches

I am starting to get the idea more and more that too many healthcare workers (particularly doctors) know far too little about headaches. Having suffered migraines for more than a decade, I started having this suspicion while still in school, but now that I have a smidgen of knowledge myself, the suspicion grows. 

How To Pass Pharmacology (Part 2)

A while ago I shared how flashcards saved my (as yet metaphorical) career. The problem with flashcards – as with any rote-memorisation trick – is the “I studied, I wrote, I passed, I forgot” phenomenon. Because frankly, except for the most common drugs, I really have forgotten most of what I learned two months ago.Continue reading “How To Pass Pharmacology (Part 2)”

How To Pass Pharmacology (Part 1)

This post is in honour of good news received this past Friday: remember those exams I wrote shortly after arriving back in South Africa, and that I surely doubted I would pass? Well, I passed them. I was most nervous about Clinical Pharmacology – reasons being that a) I suck at it and b) IContinue reading “How To Pass Pharmacology (Part 1)”

Singapore’s Healing Garden

On a hot and humid day in Singapore, I visited the Botanical Gardens (entrance free, and beautiful) and found myself in the “Healing Garden”. Presented here are various plants and flowers appreciated for more than their aesthetic worth – plants that have been used for a myriad of complaints and purposes.

The Girl with the Smile

She is here for a nerve conduction test and an assessment of her Thalidomide regimen. Thalidomide: The morning sickness wonder-drug-turned-teratogenic-horror that gave birth to deformed and ill babies. It has some wonderful other uses. Crohn’s Disease and Myelodisplasia run from this drug. And mycobacteria hate the drug too. But special permission is required to use such aContinue reading “The Girl with the Smile”


In my first year we had quite a difficult Pharmacology course. It was well-known to be the course most often failed by first years and we were freaking out. We asked one of the professors for advice, and in his distinct German accent he said this: It wasn’t really what we wanted to hear, butContinue reading “Ellemenopea”

Antibiotics: So Now What?

Reuters reports that antibiotics are not useful for most sinus infections. Excessive prescription of antibiotics has lead to large-scale resistant organisms. Okay, this I know. But now what? Antibiotics make patients feel better. A frequent sufferer of sinusitis, I know this. So now my patients walk away from a consultation feeling that their doctor doesn’tContinue reading “Antibiotics: So Now What?”