Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bye Bye Blogger, Hello Wordpress

It's exactly what it sounds like.

I've decided to move my blog over to Wordpress. Why? Click the link below to find out!

All my old posts have moved over with me so nothing's lost in the process. I surely do hope you'll keep up with me there.

I'll miss the Blogger experiences. I've been with it for over 3 years!

See you there!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reminiscing New Life

"I changed a diaper today and fed a newborn. I love paediatrics." ~ Facebook status. Not mine.

I'm not a big fan of paediatrics. In fact, once upon a time, I wanted to do paediatrics. 40 hours of volunteering on the paediatric ward prior to applying to medical school and I knew it was not something I wanted to do...anymore. After spending a 4 week rotation on's not...awful.

Regardless, that Facebook status made me recall my time on Obstetrics & Gynaecology delivering babies. On our paediatrics rotation, we spend some time on the neonate ward...examining babies and getting little activities signed off our little procedure cards, like changing a diaper and feeding. The thought of examining babies brought back memories of examining babies just as they had popped out of their mommas.

And then, it hit me.

I brought lives into the world. Me!
Birth isn't pretty. This one actually looks pretty good though.
I know I'm about 2 months late on this realisation, but I've reached it nonetheless. I was just suddenly overwhelmed by the emotion of having aided a new life in its entry into the modern world of light, colour, temperature, sounds and food. This did register with me before, but I never really sat down to think about it. At the time, I was merely concerned with getting all my signatures for all my deliveries. I didn't stop to smell the roses, so to speak.

Now that I've found the time to reminisce on those experiences, I'm in as much awe in myself as everyone else. 

*Pats self on back*

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Picking a Specialty

"What do you want to specialise in?" 

A question posed by many...from the stranger on the street to the supervising consultant. As a medical student, everyone wants to know where our interests lie.

At this point in our lives as a medical student, the answer to that question is going to be either clear and stated or, as is the case of the majority, "I'm still not sure but I'm considering -X-, -Y- and -Z-." Many individuals in my class are well aware of my interest in pursuing 'alternative medicine'. But in an environment where alternative practices are considered phony, I choose not to tell most people what I really intend to do with my preferred practice and, so, my medical student answer to the big specialty question falls with the majority's.

I just completed my elective at home in Anaesthesia & Intensive Care, chosen because of all the clerkships I've completed, it was the only one that could capture my attention the past year. It also had the advantage of exposing me to many things that I would encounter during my final year without imposing a great demand of my time during my elective period. Turns out that my choice in doing it was a good one! So good in fact, that if I were to continue in conventional medicine, it would be in this specialty. Interesting, too, because it's got a lot of focus on the use of drugs but I prefer the ICU setting where the drugs are really just emergency short-term drugs. If there's anything I can appreciate in allopathic medicine, it is the appropriate use of drugs and their short-term effects that help save lives in emergency situations. The long-term use of many drugs, I don't really like.

So, my new reply has been formulated by the impression of my time in Anaesthesia & Intensive Care:
"I'm really interested in Anaesthesia & Intensive Care."

I wouldn't really be doing it but it's no lie that my interest is in it. 

What I want to study: Naturopathic Medicine.
What I intend to do: Integrative Medicine...a practice binding 'conventional' with 'alternative'.

If I got a buck for every time I've been asked the specialty question, I'd probably be able to purchase a Music Factory, Spring Edition 2012 ticket...with a couple dollars to spare...for AnimeKon? =)

Choose what grasps your heart and mind most. That way, you can enjoy it. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Destructive Fun. Drink Responsibly.

Whoever said that fun had to be a destructive past-time?

What's worse than watching on as the people you love destroy their bodies slowly but surely being unable to stop them from what they deem to be fun? Well, I'm sure there are some things that are worse. I guarantee you though, when you try to warn them but they refuse to listen, all you can feel is heartbroken.

The result of a long night of 'fun': feeling groggy and tired with headaches, nausea and vomiting. That's the definition of 'feel-good' isn't it? Wrong. That's the definition of your body's rejection to your night time activity. And if you're not listening to me, you sure aren't going to be listening to your body either.

Now, I never once suggested stopping altogether. A little self-control would make me happy.

Alcohol abuse is a major problem within our society and yet it isn't viewed in such a way because it's considered the social 'norm'. People aren't often fazed by the effects of chronic alcohol consumption or even binge drinking because they have no idea just how badly it affects their body. Sure, it may appear as if some people escape the repercussions but you don't really know the inner workings of another's body, do you?

The excuse of "I hardly drink so there's no harm in getting drunk" is no excuse at all. Because when people think alcohol abuse, they only ever seem to think 'cirrhosis' but did you know that cirrhosis is irreversible and is the last thing that happens before your liver eventually gives out? Did you know that you may not even get to the point of cirrhosis if you manage to die of alcohol poisoning first?

Alcohol poisoning is a medical emergency. If you miss the symptoms, the result could be death. And binge drinking is the main cause of it.
A good pamphlet on Alcohol Poisoning. Click photo to enlarge.

I'm not hiding my concern about this newfound lifestyle some of my dearest friends have developed. I may come off as the party-pooper, the boring one, the one who's trying to stop all their fun. I know many others share a similar concern with a friend or loved it alcohol, drugs, tobacco or any other substance.

Never hesitate to voice your concerns.

And if you find yourself to be guilty of a lack of control with your liquor, be considerate of your friends. They're concerned for your life.

Don't let your youth be an excuse for you to die young. Drink Responsibly.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Doctors Make Mistakes

Here's an amazing speech made by Brian Goldman, a doctor, on the fact that doctors make mistakes and how it should not be a shameful thing to admit.

We're all human. We're not robots, we'll all make mistakes at some point. Heck, even technology itself can make errors.

Doctors are always placed on this high pedestal, being regarded as the ones who know all there is to know about healing people. They don't. They'll never know all there is to know because there's just. too. much. There's a reason why there are specialties and subspecialties in medicine. No single person could know everything. Yet society throws expectations at doctors: you've gotta be perfect at what you do.

Knowing it all still won't make an imperfect being, perfect. Why toss out an unmeetable expectation towards people? By doing so, these individuals are then unable to deal with their mistakes in a healthy manner, accept them and move forward. It becomes near impossible to admit mistakes.

Unfortunately, the world has become such that a doctor's mistake, be it large or small, is rewarded with a lawsuit. Oh boy.

I understand the considerable value of human life. Doctors do all they can to help. They do what they can with the power they have. But doctors are not gods. Or demi-gods. 

Doctors are humans. Just like you, and your brother/sister, and your best friend, and the waitress at your favourite food place, and the homeless man in the city. Doctors are imperfect beings striving for perfection. In the same way you work your hardest to do what you do as perfectly as possible, doctors are no different. So then, why treat them as if they're something they're not?

If I could just wiggle my nose and heal someone, I would. Alas! I am but a mere human working with just my hands, my mind and man-made inventions.
Forgive me if I am unable to be the perfect being you expect.