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”

The Best GP Advice I’ve Received: Part 1

  The night before my first shift in general practice, I frantically messaged one of my doctor-heroes on Twitter (@sindivanzyl). I think I was hoping for a cheat sheet, something about hypertension and diabetes, but the one thing she emphasised was, “Please, please, always examine your patients.” For medical students that would probably sound absurd.Continue reading “The Best GP Advice I’ve Received: Part 1”

Doctor. Counsellor. Freedom Fighter.

She was a healthy young woman who came to see me for a “complete check-up” before a holiday overseas. Although I tend to think “complete” check-ups are somewhat overkill, they do present a good opportunity for health promotion and disease prevention. As one does, I asked about sexual history and family planning. She hesitated justContinue reading “Doctor. Counsellor. Freedom Fighter.”

General Practice is not exciting, but it is fulfilling

The best thing I can do for an “exciting” patient is recognise their condition and keep them alive until transfer. Give me patients that don’t need hospital admission and I can make them feel better now, and try to affect at least one health-related decision about their future.

War, Latin America and Pre-Eclampsia: A History

The 1970s was a turbulent time in Argentina, which was experiencing a military dictatorship and a lot of oppression. At this time, anybody considered to be a remote threat was eliminated; including many talented young people who could be considered ideological threats.
One young OBGYN in Argentina feared for his own life after his brother and sister-in-law – similarly well-educated – disappeared. Nobody knew where these thousands of young people were disappearing to, but years later it was revealed that many of them were loaded in airplanes and then dropped out into the ocean.

The Ultimate Book at the Start of a New Era in my Medical Career [Review]

What I thought this book would be about:

Doctors are too paternalistic, patients know better than doctors, FREEDOM TO THE PEOPLE YO, doctors are obsolete, welcome our overlords the computers who will heal you now.

What this book was about:

The inevitable changes in medical science that give us the choice: adapt or die. (Spoiler alert: adaptation is usually the preferable option.) Awesome technology! Awesome ethics! Incredible advancements! Medicine is NOT stagnant! Awesome peer-reviewed research!

Healthcare for LGBT Patients in South Africa

In our third year, a friend of mine had an upsetting first shift in Trauma Surgery: the first suturing she ever did was on a young woman who had just survived corrective rape. Rape is common in our country in general, and so is the “corrective” rape of gender non-conforming women. A year later, weContinue reading “Healthcare for LGBT Patients in South Africa”

World AIDS Day 2012: Getting to Zero

Today is World AIDS Day. If you have been following this blog, you will know that HIV/AIDS forms a very big part of my daily work, and that I am passionate about finding solutions to this multifaceted problem (because it’s about more than just a cure). You can click here to see my previous postsContinue reading “World AIDS Day 2012: Getting to Zero”