The Vulnerability of Being a Patient

Medical school teaches us many important things. The anatomy of the brain. The physiology of the cardiovascular system. Which antibiotics to give the patient with sinusitis. We were also taught things that weren’t so easy to put into diagrams and mind maps. How to break bad news to a patient. How to encourage a patient […]

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Let’s Talk About Mental Health

In medicine, we accept that both diabetes and schizophrenia are diseases which require a multi-faceted approach to treatment. Whether you have hypertension, a stab chest or bipolar mood disorder, you attend a healthcare facility for treatment. We accept that diseases of the mind are equally as important as diseases of the body, and we treat […]

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August Reflections

  So here we are, nearing the end of August 2014. Remind me again how we got here? It’s clichΓ©, I know, but it doesn’t feel like January was that long ago. Yet here I am, nearly two thirds of the way through my first year of internship, and everything before this has felt like […]

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Patience with Patients

In South Africa we have something called the Patient’s Rights Charter. It is a set of rights and responsibilities for all patients, regardless of age, race or social standing, to ensure that all South Africans have access to basic health care. One of the rights that a patient is entitled to is the right to […]

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Stop, Collaborate and Listen

Recent studies have shown that the average doctor interrupts his or her patients eighteen seconds into taking a history. Eighteen. Seconds. Consider what a tiny amount of time that really is for a patient to tell his story to the doctor he has waited four hours to see. The dialogue usually goes something like this: […]

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Be Kind to Yourself

So despite the fact that this blog is entitled The South African Intern, I have actually completed my internship and am currently undergoing my compulsory year of community service. The process of community service works like this: in the August prior to your community service year you send an application form to the Department of […]

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Reflecting on Internship

So in December 2015 something kind of a big deal happened. My two years of internship came to an end… Can I get a hell yes! Given the fact that it was the most grueling and intense two years of my life, I felt like it deserved a blog post all of its own. Medicine […]

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What I’ve Learnt in my First Year as a Doctor

  So, the last time I wrote a post was over two months ago. I haven’t been feeling very inspired of late, although I’m trying to get back into writing. And I thought it would be appropriate, seeing as we are still in the first month of the year, to reflect on my first year […]

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Sometimes I Feel my Boobs, Because I Can (and Should)

First of all, November has crept up on me so surreptitiously I keep forgetting it’s there. Despite the fact that we are now on the third day of the eleventh month, my pen keeps itching to write ’10’ whenever I’m scribbling the date on something. We are now frighteningly close to Christmas (although Checkers and […]

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The Perks of Internship

So because everyone is always talking about what’s wrong with internship, I thought I’d write a post on what’sΒ rightΒ with it. 1. It’s a guaranteed job So often you hear of young graduates finishing their degrees, only to find themselves unable to get a job. Medical students on the other hand are guaranteed a job for […]

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