It’s funny how sometimes, long after the fact, you start questioning your levels of care and competence.
During my first rotation of internship (last year), which was Obstetrics and Gynaecology, I was one of the few interns willing to do pregnancy terminations. (For the purposes of this blog, the matter is not up for debate – I have been pro-choice for nearly half my life, and have thoroughly evaluated my own beliefs.)
I have a million-bajillion lists about books every medical student or health-professional should read; so I decided to pretend I know something and suggest books for, well, almost everyone. On Semester at Sea, we had “Lifelong Learners”. These were slightly older voyagers who had already worked and gained life experience, and who sailed with us and audited classes.
I like the concept of lifelong learning. I love the idea that you are not stuck with learning only about whatever you studied in college/university; I love the idea that you can gain knowledge about almost anything if you are inspired to do so (thank you, Google). I believe I am a life-long learner; and I believe that books are at least partially responsible for that.
Writing an “issue book” for young adults can be dangerous. Writing an issue book that incorporates diversity and a non-Western setting can be disastrous. It can be shallow. It can be whitewashed. It can be a pity-party. It can be subtly racist. Issue books are hard to write because we all have unwitting biases, and they can reveal themselves in our writing, despite our very best intentions.
Besides being teenage girls in Mumbai, Noor and Grace seemingly have nothing in common. Noor (which by the way is one of my favorite names!) is the eldest child of a prostitute. She was raised in the red-light district of Kamathipura. Education is her refuge, but she lives in constant fear of following the fate of her mother. Continue reading “Fifteen Lanes by S.J. Laidlaw [Book Review]”→
How does one react to seeing a book cover that claims breast feeding is “big business and bad policy”?
If you’re me, you request a review copy of that book, fully intending to expose how wrong it is.
As a medical student, one of the important things I was taught again and again is this: BREAST IS BEST. We were given a nearly 100-page document to study about infant feeding during second year. We were expected to know the constituents of human milk and be able to compare it to cow’s milk and formula. We had to memorise tables of the various formulas on offer and their indications. In fourth year, an entire oral OSCE station was dedicated to breastfeeding.
The burns’ ward in our hospital is kind of special. It is the only ward that hosts men, women and children together. It is the only ward where everyone has exactly the same problem. It is one of our cleanest wards, and has a high staff-to-patient ratio.
But it’s not a pleasant place. The smells and the pain levels are hard for me to witness, so being a patient there must be so much worse.
I cannot help but notice, whenever I go in there, that the male patients are all sitting around one of the tables, telling stories and having a good time. In the adjoining room, the women all sit by their own beds, doing their own things.
It’s just so… jarring.
As an introvert, I totally understand the need for alone-time. But I NEVER see the women in this ward hanging out.
Support is so important in recovery.
I just wonder why they keep away from one another.
When I was asked by Figure 1 which one piece of medical equipment I valued above all others, I said “my hearing”. We were taught from the very beginning that a good history was our first step to an accurate diagnosis, and I have always valued a physician who LISTENS: to their patients, their students, their allies, and their contemporaries.
Remember the game we always played? – “If you had to lose one sense, which would it be?”
I thought of my dad, who is blind: when he applied to do an honours degree in Psychology, his application was denied based on the fact that he would not be able to see his client’s faces (ridiculous, really. That was nearly 30 years ago). It had me thinking: what about a blind physician? We have many blind physiotherapists, but surely doctors must SEE… a quick Google search proved me wrong.
From the fertile hills of a tiny village near Jerusalem to the elegant townhouses of Georgetown, Three Daughters is a historical saga that chronicles the lives, loves, and secrets of three generations of Palestinian Christian women.
Three Daughters chronicles the lives of Miriam, Nadia and Nijmeh – three generations of daughters, wives and mothers. Although distinct personalities with their own secrets, their lives are finely connected not only by blood but by culture and the fine threads of society.
Each woman, in her own time and in her own way, experiences a world in transition through war and social change…and each must stretch the bounds of her loyalty, her courage, and her heart.
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”→
I’ve been on OBGYN for three weeks now. I had four weeks of OB in third year and four weeks of GYN in fifth year, and through it all the speculum examination has always been a bit of a nightmare for me. Visualising the cervix with as little as possible pain to your patient takes practice, like any other skill, but it is also very uncomfortable for most women I’ve seen. Lithotomy is possibly the least dignified position we have ever come up with. Not to mention that an uncomfortable woman in lithotomy will inadvertently tighten her perineal muscles.
A while back, when my post about South African Public Hospitals was popular, someone recommended I write about women in healthcare. I chose not to because at the time I just didn’t feel really strongly about it. I suppose I kind of wanted to believe that there was no sexism in South African medicine, the same way I tried convincing people (when I was twelve, mind you) that there was no more racism in South Africa.
I mean, guys. There are more females than males in most classes at my medical school. Why would there be issues?? Anyway, the #YesAllWomen hashtag from a while ago had me thinking some, and then I tweeted this, and then I realised, “OMG, I have something to say.”
Because when my colleagues and I are hit on by patients, our supervisors say it's the cost of being a female in Medicine. #YesAllWomen
This is real, by the way. My friends and I have grown so tired of being asked how old we are, where we live, and whether we have boyfriends by patients. I have never seen a male colleague being so blatantly hit on by a (non-psychotic) patient. (Not saying it doesn’t happen, but…) And the only time a doctor has taken our concerns seriously was when the perpetrators were psychiatric patients. Because, you know, that means they’re being sexually inappropriate. But when the offending patient is not a psych patient, we are told that it’s “normal”.