It’s a pretty bad time to be a statue in South Africa. If you’re not from here, a quick run-through: at the University of Cape Town, students have successfully petitioned (to put it mildly) the University Council to remove a statue of Cecil John Rhodes on their campus. Not long after that, a statue of Paul Kruger was vandalised, as well as a memorial for the animals that served and died in the Second South African War.
Click image for reference.
I haven’t really said much about the saga because I can understand, to some extent, the people on all sides of the argument. I did not attend UCT and I feel no particular loyalty to Rhodes. I don’t feel particular affinity for Kruger, either. And animals are awesome, but the real reason I feel strongly about statues being vandalised is because I believe in history. Continue reading
My medical school always made a big fuss about training us to be “Change Agents” – so much so that I guess it sometimes became a joke to us. The idea was that we would be active role players in whichever environments we found ourselves instead of sitting back and complaining, but it often seemed like an unrealistic expectation, given some of the challenges we face in public healthcare.
As I was reflecting on the past three months, I caught myself thinking: have I been a Change Agent? (And then I automatically almost scoffed at myself. I like the idea of being an agent of change but the term is so over-used that I have come to hate it.) Continue reading
Last week, I wrote about how the idea of “passion” can overwhelm us into unrealistic future prospects. I actually got some good feedback from readers, which leads me to believe that I am certainly not the only one with this experience.
But if you’re a high school student – or otherwise at the threshold of choosing a career – you might wonder, WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE ME? If you have been told your whole life that you need simply to do what you love (and you’ll “never work a day in your life”, yada yada yada), you might not know HOW else to choose a path forward.
My suggestion? Ye ole’ trusty mindmap.
Many of ours (mine included) may have looked something like this:
When in reality, it probably should have looked something like this: Continue reading
It’s hard for me to admit this, but a week has actually passed where I did not enjoy work.
This week I switched over to the other hospital in our complex. I’m technically doing internship at two hospitals, so now that I have completed two months in O&G at the one, it’s time to do two months in O&G at the other. And… it’s not the same. The one is an inner-city hospital, the other is a more rural hospital.
But the differences don’t end there. Continue reading
I had the pleasure of visiting my old high school recently to talk to some of the Matrics about life, their final year of school and their future plans in general. I spoke at length about what I call the Passion Deception. It sounds like a bit of a downer but to be honest, it’s real talk and the more I think about it, the more it makes sense.
I feel like many talented youngsters have a pressing desire to do a job that makes them “tick”, and they are taught (myself included) from a young age that the profession you choose should be one you feel passionate about. I can understand why we tell people that too: talented youngsters can often do anything they want to, so “passion” becomes a good indicator of what to leave and what to dive into. Continue reading
I run because once upon a time I was told that there were two kinds of people: people with brains and people with brawn and that I was the former and that it precluded me from physical activity of worth. I run because although it was meant to be a good thing – brains – it made me feel restricted, faulty, half-human.
I run because I reject the dichotomy. I run because when I am working long shifts and saving lives and keeping the economy afloat (I like to flatter myself) it is not just my brain, but also my body doing it.
Last year’s Vascular Surgery rotation gave rise to a lot of horror stories and concurrent lessons in medicine for me. I will never forget that week. It was my last week of taking PEP, so I was feeling gross already. The last Friday of the rotation was Valentine’s Day and by then, we were a miserable bunch of students (our superiors were miserable all week long).