“What Makes Anaesthetists So Special?”

It is a well-known fact that anaesthetic doctors in South African public hospitals have guaranteed pre-call and post-call. The medical officers that I know from other surgical departments, all appreciate the reasons we insist on safe working hours. I have never heard them suggest it be taken away. But management staff and senior consultants (ofContinue reading ““What Makes Anaesthetists So Special?””

The “Good” Intern

The October issue of the South African Medical Journal (SAMJ) published an article, ‘Going the extra mile: Supervisors’ perspective on what makes a ‘good’ intern (De Villiers, Van Heerden, Van Schalkwyk). The paper assesses the opinions of supervisors on interns’ practice readiness, which differs from most research on the subject, which has predominantly researched the interns’Continue reading “The “Good” Intern”

Are We Secretly Our Own Worst Enemies?

Maybe if we dropped some of those balls – dropped them so they clattered across the floors, and people stepped on them and tripped over them and they became a real nuisance – maybe then something would change. 

DOC-U-MENTALLY: The Film [Review]

I had the pleasure of watching this film at a screening organised by JUDASA this past week, and I was glued to the screen (projector) from the opening shot. So was the rest of the audience. 

The Safe Working Hours Wristband Campaign is Missing the Point – Here’s Why

Junior doctors (all doctors?) are to wear colour-coded wristbands to indicate the amount hours they have worked during their shift. This is something I support because it raises awareness not only among our supervisors, but also our patients – who, as I’ve shared before, are appalled when they realise the extent of our hours.

Too Little, Too Late?

It seems like nobody cared about doctors working long hours until someone else was affected by it. Is it wrong for me to be bitter about this? That a layperson had to die before anybody cared about the doctors who were suffering? Ilne Markwat was not the first intern do die or suffer serious disability from exhaustion. If it was just her, and no other person injured, would anybody beyond her family and colleagues have cared?

My Evolving Opinions About Doctors’ Working Hours

I started working on this post on two days. Since then, I have received news of a colleague who died in an accident while driving post-call. She went to my alma mater and graduated last year, and though I did not know her personally, my heart breaks. A country with a shortage of doctors has lost a young doctor who was just starting in her career. She was well-loved, and we will all feel her absence.