Bookish and not so Bookish Mostly-LGBT Thoughts

I really hope that ChristineLaura and Cayce won’t mind, but I’m combining Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts and LGBT Month this week. I really have little to no time to write more with these dumb exams!

bookishthoughts2 Continue reading “Bookish and not so Bookish Mostly-LGBT Thoughts”


Transplant Surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa

I have made no secret of my bad relationship with surgery. So why would I attend a meeting of a student surgical society, having just escaped the claws of my SI surgical rotation (passed the OSCEs, by the way!)?

Three reasons: The hope that it will inspire me for exam preparation (fewer than five weeks to go…), free refreshments, and including the words “in developing countries” in the discussion topic. Honestly, you could get me to attend ANYTHING with those words. Continue reading “Transplant Surgery in Sub-Saharan Africa”

Thoughts on Urology

The first three weeks of Student Internship are over. Well, almost over. I’m one of the poor people who is on call on the last weekend of the rotation. But whatevs.

I was not looking forward to this rotation. The last time I had had to catheterise a man, he had looked at me skeptically while wondering out loud if I was old enough (the night before my dad had jokingly warned me to “close my eyes”). I guess I had the same kind of apprehension about Urology as I had before starting Gynaecology and Head/Neck/Breast surgery rotations, except this time maybe more so.

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A Botched Circumcision

Disclaimer: This post has no disturbing images, but may be uncomfortable to the sensitive reader.

It was my first day of Urology and I was sitting in on a colleague’s examination of a young man in obvious pain. I had missed the history-taking, and wondered why he was walking so tenderly and carefully to the examination bed. As he painfully undressed and started unwinding his bandages, I vaguely guessed whether he had had a late repair of hypospadias, or perhaps had sustained zipper-trauma. Suffice to say, I was not prepared for what I saw.

The young man had been genitally mutilated. There was little external penile skin, and the less than a millimeter of glans was visible. His external urinary meatus was not visible. Continue reading “A Botched Circumcision”

Bowel Sounds and Glug-Glug

On examination of a patient recovering from a Bricker’s Ileal Conduit Urinary Diversion, a colleague had to qualify the bowel sounds. Trying to help, the registrar enquired whether the bowel sounds were ting-ting-ting (soft and almost gone) or glug-glug (loud).

And in my exhaustion all I could think of was this classic South African commercial (translation ad lib below).

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Rookie Error: When Medical Students get sick

Fizzy recently wrote about a nurse who misdiagnosed herself with lung cancer instead of pulmonary TB. It seems to me that health professionals are notorious for underdiagnosing, misdiagnosing or overdiagnosing themselves.

Did you know that there is an actual Wikipedia entry for “Medical Student Disease”? In other words, thinking you have whatever disease it is you are currently studying. More than half of my class has experienced this (not a scientific study, sorry).

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Today I went to Parliament…

Today I went to the South African Parliament. The student governments from four Western Cape Universities were invited to participate in a discussion with the Committee for Higher Education (which in turn advises parliament and Blade Nzimande, Minister for Higher Education).

The Parliamentary building is really beautiful. It has an air about it that still makes me wonder about politics and law as a career direction. Then again I think I’ve proven that studying medicine need not restrict your interests.

Accessibility of Tertiary Education by poor, deserving, undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Continue reading “Today I went to Parliament…”