Medicine: Keep Up!

I love how fast this field moves, and grows. It is refreshing, and it keeps me on my toes, and it demands: if you’re not ready for change, you’re not ready for MEDICINE!

Three years ago, during a Family Medicine rotation, a young Zimbabwean girl came to us for removal of a stick-like thing in her arm. Initially I did not believe her that it was a contraceptive – I thought it was a traditional medicine! But she was so convincing that I Googled “subdermal contraceptives” and it turned out she was right.

Subdermal contraceptive devices were SO rare in South Africa that we had not even learned about them in classes. We had no idea how to remove said implant, and kind of improvised.

022715jhm71Three years later, I can put in these contraceptives with my eyes closed (but I wouldn’t, sharps are involved). Continue reading “Medicine: Keep Up!”

Advertisements

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

The Patient Will See You Now: The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands by Eric Topol

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 ethical discussions! Incredible advancements! Medicine is NOT stagnant! Awesome peer-reviewed research!

*  *  * Continue reading “The Ultimate Book at the Start of a New Era in my Medical Career [Review]”

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.

worries-about-health-records-by-location_custom-3bbb3a48b149d38b528a203d5bbf4d564c9a8fad-s400-c85Surprisingly, 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 the executive summary, “16 percent of respondents have privacy concerns regarding health records held by their health insurer. 14 percent have concerns about records held by their hospital, 11 percent with records held by their physician, and 10 percent with records held by their employer.” Continue reading “Does New Data on Patient Confidentiality Change Anything?”

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)”

Armchair BEA: More Than Just Words

I’m joining Armchair BEA for the first time this year by participating in a few discussions. My dream is one day to attend the real deal… but till then, this will suffice. Today’s discussion is about books that are “more than just words”, and to this end I’m sharing three mini-reviews for books I recently received via NetGalley. (Links click through to longer GoodReads reviews.)

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang

I was a bit worried about reading this because I’m not a gamer and I feared that not understanding the culture would hinder my enjoyment. I need not have worried. In short, Anda is a bit of an awkward, seemingly unhappy teenager in a new town, who gets introduced to the world of Massive Multiplayer Online Games, where she joins an all-female guild and becomes known as a kick-ass player. But she also encounters “gold farmers”, a very real occurrence in MMOs. It becomes her mission to “kill” gold farmers, until she befriends one gold farmer from China and realises that most of them are playing long hours just to make a living. Continue reading “Armchair BEA: More Than Just Words”

Read Around the World with Google Maps

For a while now, it has been important to me that readers read widely. Bookworms will tell you that reading opens your mind, widens your world, allows you to travel when plane tickets are expensive and holidays in short supply. But I think, to some extent, there is a clause to this. I don’t think reading opens your mind quite as much if you only read one genre… or if you only read books set in one country (not judging, just hypothesising). That is why I went out of my way in 2013 to read books from countries I had never read. (Some of my favourites here.)

So I started looking at the books I have read. And I started thinking how awesome it would be if I could have a graphical representation of that. And then this happened:

 

Continue reading “Read Around the World with Google Maps”

Demystifying Women’s Health

If you want to rile me up, you should talk about women’s health. Even the word, Women’s Health, annoys me. Why should only issues relating to my genitalia and my baby-making organs and my female hormones be referred to as Women’s Health, but the rest of me is… what? Men’s Health? And for that matter, why should cervical cancer or endometriosis or ovarian failure be the concern of women only? Just because men don’t get the disease does not mean that it does not affect them.

womenhealth Continue reading “Demystifying Women’s Health”