The Last Weekend Of Mental Health Awareness Month: Watch This

Or: Guess who’s back.

A little over two years ago, I heard of an old classmate working on a documentary project about bullying and discrimination in medicine. Longtime readers of this blog will know that I have written about bullying and discrimination before.

The director and brains behind the project, Adil Khan, interviewed a few doctors who came forward to talk about their experiences. Sharing mine was cathartic. Two years later, on 30 September this year, Behind the Frontline premiered to great success. Adhil was interviewed by newspapers and television shows, and I do believe that this documentary got people talking.

Have a look. Consider your own mental health. Perhaps it is time to admit that you need help, or at least, that you need to take steps to protect your wellness. Know that there is always help available.

Another Song for Medical Student, Interns, and Basically Everyone

I heard this song for the first time as I was driving to my New Year’s Day call on Friday. Apparently I’m the only person in the whole world who hasn’t heard it, but WHATEVER okay.

I wept a little.

THIS is what I want to say to people. To the new interns who are hopefully going to realise this year that medicine was the right career for them; but who will certainly meet many challenges this year.

Medicine is hard and you’ll be expected to be super-human, never to have broken wings, never to feel like you can’t go on.

Remember that for every person who expects you to motor on without a wink of sleep,  without any debriefing after a difficult resuscitation, there is another who will lend you their wings when it’s hard.

Look for them. Look for us.

Find the people who will support you when your day or week or month is shitty.

And when your wings are working… please help someone who needs them.

A Song for Medical Students, Interns, and Basically Everyone

By now this is an old song, but I remember last year I thought: this is the song I want to dedicate to my class.

I don’t know if I’ve always followed its advice. Have I grabbed every opportunity to LIVE? Perhaps not. But I’ll keep working on that.

I keep saying this about medicine: it is when we learn and experience that we come to grow through this profession.

If you’re about to start medical school: grab every opportunity.

If you’re about to finish medical school: grab every opportunity.

If you’re somewhere in-between: grab every opportunity.

No matter where in your journey you are: make it one helluva ride.

I Hate Med School – And That’s Okay

Here’s a quick post-call ramble: I had a pretty bad night on call last night.*

And it was still better than medical school.

hate med school
Base Image by DearFreshman, click for link

I hated med school.

In first year, I hated the loneliness. I had went in hoping for intelligent conversation with the country’s cream of the crop and at least initially, I could not find it. What I found was a narrow-minded and selfish little campus, and I hated it. Continue reading “I Hate Med School – And That’s Okay”

A Letter to Final Year Medical Students

Dear Final Year

On the eve of your examinations*:

I have been wanting to write you. I wanted to give you a “list of things to do” to survive your Hell Week, but time got the better of me and thankfully so, because trying to reduce your finals to a list of survival tips is a slap in the face of the hard work you have done, and will still do.

Base image by Angela Hart, click for link.
Base image by Angela Hart, click for link.

Continue reading “A Letter to Final Year Medical Students”

Things That Kept Me Going Through Exams

I’m waiting on exam results (nail-biting!) but I remain surprised and grateful that I actually survived TWO hell-weeks this year. Our exams don’t only assess our competence as future doctors, but also our nerves. They are an emotional game, pushing us to our limits in the span of a week. I mean, they won’t admit it, but that’s pretty much what happens.

When you’re studying and it feels like you will never know it all, this helps:

Continue reading “Things That Kept Me Going Through Exams”

On the Go: Jetting off to MWASA 2014

Firstly: I survived hell-week! It was very different than the first hell-week in April. In April I was examined on two completely different subjects a day. This month it was one a day, but with much wider subjects like Internal Medicine and Paediatrics, so it was still an insane amount of work. Continue reading “On the Go: Jetting off to MWASA 2014”

The Medical App You Should Get NOW (and an exam PSA)

Figure 1 might not be new to my international readers, but I am SO EXCITED to share that today the app launches in South Africa! I’ve been using the app a bit longer because I have access to an American iTunes account, but now it’s officially here and we can share some of our awesome medical images too! It is available on App Store and Google Play and you can download it here.

South-Africa-Launch21 Continue reading “The Medical App You Should Get NOW (and an exam PSA)”

A Moment: The Nurse and the Med Student

She was a professional nurse at our hospital, not much older than me, and with no time during shift-work to see her private gynaecologist, she made the scary decision to come to the hospital’s gynae-clinic (scary because she would most certainly be seen first by an inept medical student before seeing the specialist).

Continue reading “A Moment: The Nurse and the Med Student”