Wednesday, April 25, 2007
we have been doing orthopaedics for a little over 2 weeks now, and it is exhausting! people keep saying that it's an easy posting, but i'm so tired out at the end of each day that it's like a little flock of tsetse flies has settled down and built a little tsetse fly village in my room. our illustrious prof gave us a quotable quote about orthopaedics :

"orthopaedics is very easy. you just need a little bit of strength, and half the intelligence of a bull."

i am currently setting very demanding goals for myself, because i aim for nothing but excellence : i aim to have at least one quarter of the intelligence of a bull by the end of the next week.

after doing 2 weeks worth of ortho, i have realised that the ancient art of the orthopaedic exam bears a striking resemblance to the ancient art of thai massage. evidence below :

There are more people in Bangkok who can diagnose a torn meniscus than we realise.

| mando | 5:44 AM


Monday, April 02, 2007
you know that you're becoming a little too nerdy when your stuffed dollies start resembling gram negative bacilli bacteria magnified to a million times their actual size.

meet my cuddly new friend from, Shigella dysenteriae! he doesn't mind if you call him Shiggy for short. when preceded by the word "yo", it makes him feel very much like a rap star. Shiggy wants nothing more than hugs, kisses, and to give you an excruciatingly painful bloody diarrhoea that may or may not flip your entire gastrointestinal tract inside out. you'll flip for him! Shiggy has many interests besides causing infections. he likes to travel the world, and he has a particular fondness for third world countries because of his humanitarian spirit. won't you befriend Shiggy today?

| mando | 8:06 AM


Sunday, April 01, 2007
it has once again been a disgustingly long time since my last post.

we've been at the polyclinic for a week now, and aside from the perpetual need to discover the patient's ideas, concerns and expectations about his fungus-riddled toenail or his madly-running nose, it has been pretty fun! in the 3 weeks of family medicine posting, caro has become a world-expert on dizziness and has given us a comprehensive powerful 3 minute tutorial on approaches to vertiginous giddiness, as well as the variant of dizziness known commonly as "hing-hing". in 1 week, wayne has also earned the undying admiration of the S11 drinks stall auntie, to whom he is known as "cute" or "yan dao". wayne has once again been selling his backside in order to have the S11 auntie come over and take our drink orders instead of us lining up behind five million people to get a cup of ice lemon tea. his contribution to the wellfare of our cg is very noble and does not go unappreciated.

here are some quotable quotes from a funny doctor we spent a great afternoon with :
(when a little boy popped in and said "mummy? mummy?" and then popped out again)
"Oo. I didn't know my room was a lost and found."
(when a patient came in holding the wrong queue number and was redirected to another consultation room)
"Patients always get lost in this place. All of them are confused by the bright lights."

and here is a quotable quote from wayne while observing a consultation with a hokkien-speaking patient :
"Eh. Hokkien in Hokkien is Hokkien is it?"

but anyway, the polyclinic is quite a nice place, despite all the germs floating happily about and settling down and getting married and raising little germ families on our lab coats. it's interesting to see how a polyclinic doctor bravely and systematically demolishes the 2 metre high stack of case files in the span of one morning. we started timing the consultation whenever someone mentioned the words "i got running nose." the consultation usually goes something like this, and can be completed in 2 minutes unless unexpected things crop up. It's almost like playing Daytona :

"doctor i got running nose"

Aaaand we're off! she asks about fever. she asks about what colour the mucus is whether there is cough whether there are any night sweats breathlessness chest pain headache muscle aches neck pain drug allergies. The clock ticks and the timer stands at 1 minute and 30 seconds.

"okay, we'll just give you some medication for that. come back in a few days if you still feel unwell. is there anything else troubling you?"

"yah. i also need to take this cream for eczema."

Oh no! an unforeseen delay! can she keep the consultation under 2 minutes and still address all the ideas concerns and expectations of the patient in keeping with pendleton's consultation tasks while respecting all the benefits of the patient's sick role? she asks briefly about the eczema. she prescribes the cream. the timer now stands at 1 minute and 50 seconds. she can do this! she can do this!

"all right, that should help. is there anything else that i can help with?"

"yah. i also have dizziness."

We then proceed to throw our timer out of the window and get our buttocks into a comfortable position in preparation for a 20 minute consultation about dizziness.

i will write more another day, but right now the many causes of "hing-hing" dizziness beckon to me. unfortunately my bed also beckons to me with equal vigour.

| mando | 8:32 AM


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