The Importance of Clarity: A Story

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Today is fibromyalgia awareness day. I find it quite apt that this happens the day before Mother’s Day.

For as long as I can remember, my mom has suffered from pain. She has always been particularly sensitive to noise, bright lights and abrupt touch. It was only when we were little and clumsy that it didn’t seem to bother her. An overriding maternal instinct I suppose.

I inherited my migraines from Mom. I remember trying to occupy my little sister and baby brother when I was eight and nine, because Mom was in pain and I wanted her to rest and feel better.

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In Honour of Family Medicine

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Today I leave for a two week family medicine rotation in a small rural town in the Western Cape.

This year, family medicine will supposedly be a lot more fun than in third year. Calls will be a mish-mash of every rotation. Lady in labour? We catch it (yay!). Stitches, we do it (uh-oh…).

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First Psych Consult

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At a recent community volunteer clinic, I had my first proper psych patient. I have dealt before with suicide attempts, but those were unconscious patients in casualty and thus did not present the opportunity for a consultation.

This patient came for help herself – something I though was a good sign. Her affect was blunted and she was clearly depressed. There was a positive history too.

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We See a Light

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As part of Infectious Diseases, we must learn about Syndromic Management. It is not the best approach for a qualified doctor, but it is important to understand – especially in a primary health care setup.

During one of these tutorials, the doctor in charge made us close our books and asked us about our approaches to the full waiting room and the possibly accute patient.

We answered well.

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Antibiotics: So Now What?

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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’t care about their suffering. I don’t see many doctors being happy with that.

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