He is so thin, I think. Emaciated, I write. But what does that mean? "Skeletal" "Gaunt" "Shrunken" "Shrivelled". "Emaciare" is the Latin: "Made thin" I think it means if you don't look close enough you might not see him. You might not see beyond his disease. HIV, TB, malnutrition, starvation, poverty, oppression, suffering. Hopelessness. An … Continue reading Made thin.
Why are doctors so quick to criticize one another? What is it about the medical culture that enables us, not only to easily recognize but actively seek out one another's mistakes? When did we forget that we are all human? Why does it take a colleague losing their life over a mistake before we show … Continue reading Doctors, let’s be kind to each other.
I've been having a lot of different conversations recently about being almost thirty. Most of them involve reminiscing about silly things we did in our twenties, analyzing how far we have come and wondering if we are getting this thing called life right. I've noticed that so many of my friends are asking themselves this … Continue reading Things we shouldn’t regret doing in our twenties:
A grown man sobs into his handkerchief. I am telling him that we need to send him to a different hospital for a scan of his lungs. We don't know why we can't get him off the oxygen. He looks at me, tries to smile but tears begin to run down his face. I ask … Continue reading This too shall pass
Chapter One: A whole new world Who would have thought, a year ago, that today we would be walking around in masks; we'd need permits to be out of our houses after 9pm, international travel would be banned and that the only alcohol we'd be allowed to buy would be in the form of hand … Continue reading Covid Diaries
It's been two years since my last post! Time truly does fly, and I feel like with each passing year it just gains speed. I read a comment on my last post this morning that said "I wish you would post more often" and then I checked the date of my that post and it … Continue reading It’s been a while…
My year of community service in Oudtshoorn is drawing to a close and it has been quite an experience. Working in the periphery is a whole different ball game with its own challenges and frustrations, but also plenty of growth opportunities. I can honestly say that I would have turned out a totally different doctor … Continue reading Medicine over the Mountain
Junior doctors. We spend our entire day caring for people, trying to save their lives. When spend 26 hours at a time on our feet, looking after people during their illness. When we go home after those 26 hours, our exhausted brains don’t stop thinking about the patients we saw during our shift. We continue … Continue reading Junior Doctors
Things I would say to my patients if I changed my perspective. I suppose blood running from your nose is terrifying, especially if it's never happened before. Is that why you come to casualty for a simple nosebleed? It must feel strange to have to take medication when you don’t feel sick. Is that why … Continue reading Perspective
As a doctor working in a district hospital, I spend my night shifts (and a fair amount of day shifts) working in casualty. Another name for casualty is Emergency Department - so you would assume that I spend a lot of time handling emergencies right? Wrong. Casualty is just another word for “Glorified 24-hour Clinic” … Continue reading What is your emergency?