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Well, because my colleagues are all into it here, here and here I shall do the same. That and its just about the only interesting thing thats happened for a while, other than being pantsed in the FOSCE’s and adding a notch or 2 to my belt.

1/ Elective in Swaziland doing surgical sort of things! Lions and zebras and things!
2/ Elective somewhere. eek. hopefully africa doing something trauma surgerery.
3/ holiday! 6 glorious weeks trundling through morocco & southern europe i think.
4/ ED. essential skillz
5/ General surgery. Funsies!
6/ General medicine. because i should probably know something about medicine
7/ paediatrics. ’cause kids are cuuute. even if they are sick and snotty.
8/ Rural surgery in the tuna capital of australia. Tasty and fun!

so lots of things to look forward to.and at least i’ll know if surgery is for me. i probably should have put in something else. oh well

Full speed ahead!


Blood Pressure Control in the Kidney
Pressure Control in Kidney

Calcium and PTH
Calciuim & PTH

Pathophysiology of Chronic Kidney Disease
Pathophysiology of Chronic Kidney Disease

Hey, a bit of good news
I managed to score in the top 3 of my class for cardio (132ppl), which, if I may indulge, pretty good for an ex-dancer/visual artist who has done no science since high school biology. And this is against phd’s, physio’s, medical scientists etc. Like smart people. And I had lost a good deal of the semester directing the Med Revue and pitching for a large commission with the Museum.

So yeah, maybe I can do this.
I feel pretty good about it, makes me feel a bit more confident and capable in myself.

So when do you know?

In dance, there are benchmarks, you can see your self in the mirror, on video, you can tell. Or at least, other people can certainly tell. I know when I teach or audition people, I have a pretty good idea of their chances of being a dancer. I have friends who play a game when they examine (they are RAD examiners) on entry, and after the first exercise, they write down your score, put it away and see how close they were at the end of the exam.
You just Know.

But in this medicine thing, you just don’t know. Even if you consider medicine largely one of being a ‘health mechanic’, there are those mechanics who are Talented (to nick Isabelle Carmody’s habit of capitalising the word in the Obernewtyn chronicles. If you dont know what I mean, you should check it out). Who seem to be born to it, the same as a dancer is born to dance, or how any vocation seems to choose its members.
I mean you have exams which are non graded passes, and which don’t really seem to reflect the sort of doctor you may be, or if you are indeed, Talented.
We have had precious little clinical experience, no hands on sort of thing – so we have no idea on our aptitude there either.
(Though amusingly, we had a PBL tutor who told 3 of my friends that they were unsuited to medicine for entirely stupid reasons. eg, one of them, a nurse, said that she found the science difficult, to which he answered that perhaps she could consider ditching medicine and going back to nursing and getting a phd in nursing. Prick.)
Anyways, back to my ramble, how do we know that we are on the right path?
I envy those who have an unshakeable belief in medicine, it would make things simple. focussed.
I can’t help but have doubts.

I had a talk the other day to a proper graduated Dr, who is aiming for otho surgery. I mentioned that I was eyeing of plastics and reconstruction, or some other surgery. He suggested that I needed 4 or 5 good papers published, international conferences, volunteer work, preferably a Masters of Clinical Education, and 10 references to even get an interview.
However, I have no idea if plastics/reconstruction is really for me, its just a rough hunch and something this thing told me, but I have to pretty much gun for it now.
I suppose I can always gun for it, it won’t hurt to have all that for whatever specialty, but dammit its going to make the next few years hurt.

I may have overcomitted 2009 already – currently I’m going to be doing some research in microcirculation, research/development of anatomy teaching using interactive 3d, a commission with the South Australia Museum, a dance performance with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Oh and that medschool thing. I’m also on 2 committees, and probably need to rack up some more volunteer work.
it should make it an interesting year though.

Oh and this being the end of the year, i revisited that medical specialty thing as mentioned and, with my own thoughts, i thought i’d update my list. refer here for the beginning of year thoughts.

So my main ones are still
*surgery – plastics/reconstruction
interesting work, varied cases, suits my attention to detail, dexterity and aesthetics. can also work with kids.
stupendous amount of work… no life

like working with kids
fairly studendous amount of work

*GP – nice lifestyle. time to have family, make art.

which is fairly consistent. a surprise. I do quite like cardio, it is an interesting field…

anyways, i hope that soon i’ll know. Or maybe I won’t, but hopefully I can feel better about not knowing.

photo of the day:


So exams are upon me. I think I’m doing ok, aside from eating my body weight in ‘study cookies’ over the last few weeks.

I’m really over it. its been a long slog and I just want holidays now. Not that they’re going to be much of a holiday as I’m designing for a new show, but still it’ll be a good break.
I ought to go back to study, but just came across this article in the New England Journal of Medicine, and its quite a touching story about how close things are to going wrong.

It means nothing, but its one of the little things that, silly as it is keeps me going.
We had our first formal assessment today, a ‘standard’ patient, who is an actor pretending to be a patient and we have to take a history from them ; you know, whats wrong with them, how they feel about it, etc etc.
I managed to get most of the information I needed in 12 minutes and she liked me enough to give me an empathy score of 7/7 (huggy-feely score) and said that she felt really comfortable talking to me.

It is of course entirely arbitrary, and the last SP I saw was less than impressed with me. But still, little things like that reassure me that I made the right choice, and its all going along ok.

We had a Cultural Awareness day last week. It was strictly an Indigenous Culture Day but I’m just being pedantic.
It was partly great and partly woeful.

But I have ranted about it enough to everyone at uni and its rather specific so I’ll leave it off the blog. However we did get treated to a woefully stupid lecture on unresolved grief events.  It was an explanation of how intergenerational grief can be seen to be responsible for the current state of Indigenous Health.  I’m slightly dubious on this, I would think its the gross inequality of social and economic circumstances faced by indigenous communities, would play a tremendous role. But I’ll give her that if she wants it, certainly emotional reasons play a real part in health. However, she went on to say that cancer was in fact caused by grief (intergenerational or otherwise) and that while we might treat cancer with drugs and surgery now, in future, we’ll refer cancer sufferers to grief counsellors like her to be cured.

I mean WTF?! Oh, you have a nasty pancreatic cancer, why dont you go see a grief counsellor, have a hug and see how that goes?

She then went on to explain how international grief is causing global warming – with the solution being in 7 easy steps involving crying, hugging, dancing, singing, alone time etc. I’m sure those things are very nice to do, its effectiveness on global warming is slightly more dubious.


Funny cartoons



But people buy this stuff

My story of alty crap medicine  :

It was a few years ago and I wasn’t doing too great, nothing specific mind you, wasn’t sleeping well, general malaise and some of my friends suggested seeing esther, a lady renowned for her healing powers. I thought what the heck, see how it goes

Her treatment modality was truly something to behold. Her diagnosis is truly astonishing, she holds your hands, while muttering to herself – at this point she is talking to your cells directly and asking them what is wrong.
Phase two is also something to behold, you lie down and she holds your head while she reads off a photocopied piece of paper a chant which goes something like this
” I ask you cells to heal yourselves in the correct time, not too fast adn not to slow. Oh liver I ask  you to regain your balance…..”

By this point i couldnt’ quite decide whether to collapse in giggles or explode in incredulity. I think i settled for a mild spasm, which she probably took as efficious treatment.

I got a bunch of herbs too with the parting note that I could always just send some hair if i couldn’t make it into see her personally and she would treat me from afar.

It cost $125.

I did feel better after that, though I think it was because I haven’t had such a good giggle for a while, but after that I learnt that she claimed to cure cancer as well, where my angry set in.
Its one thing to treat non-specific minor complaints – in some ways its the suckers fault (i learnt my lesson) but to advocate her ‘treatment’ over something as serious as cancer really pissed me off