Implanon in the Bible. Apparently.

ME: I’m sorry to tell you that you’ve had a complete miscarriage. HER: Oh. Okay. ME: Was this a planned pregnancy? HER: No! It was an accident. ME: Are you planning a pregnancy in the near future? HER: Not really. I have one¬†already. I can’t afford another¬†baby. ME: Then I think we should discuss familyContinue reading “Implanon in the Bible. Apparently.”

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”

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.

Remedy for Burnout [Book Review]

The book is certainly not all-encompassing, but it is a great starting point, given that most physicians would hardly have the time to read a much more detailed book on the matter. Of course, to take these “prescriptions” seriously, one must be aware of one’s own vulnerability, so it is of no use to physicians who refuse to admit to compassion fatigue.

The Sangoma and the Intern

This is one of those you-know-you-work-in-Africa-when stories:

A young pregnant woman is admitted with severe early-onset pre-eclampsia. She is managed well and her blood pressures and kidney functions normalise. She is discharged for a few days with a return date and lots of medication.

At home, her condition worsens. When she develops anasarca, she seeks the help of a Sangoma. The Sangoma, after the required chat to the ancestors, declares that her client is severely ill and has been cursed.

A Tale of Three IODs

Exactly one year ago I had an injury on duty. It changed the course of my final year of med school and my general approach to medicine. It put me through four weeks of awful medicine and several terrifying blood tests. I won’t forget it, and I wish it hadn’t happened, but today I wantContinue reading “A Tale of Three IODs”

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!

Does New Data on Patient Confidentiality Change Anything?

The recent NPR-Truven Health Analytics Poll data illuminated some interesting data. In this poll, 3,000 Americans were interviewed about their concerns (or lack thereof) regarding their health records. Surprisingly, by the responses it seems at first glance that American patients are not all that concerned about the confidentiality of their health records. As per theContinue reading “Does New Data on Patient Confidentiality Change Anything?”

On the Ethics of Treating Ebola (or refusing to)

The topic has come up among our students too. We train at one of the nine South African hospitals that are to be the first port of call for suspected Ebola cases. What would we do if we actually had a confirmed case? Would we, as students, treat them? Mostly we think we would not (right now… read on).