Sunday, March 30, 2008

But I'm an indecisive Libran!

I stole this idea from Polly, Miss-G-, and yay...

It's a list of possible medical specialties, and my current level of interest in them as a career. In Australia, you really don't need to make a decision about your career path until resident year (i.e. second year out of uni), but it'd be nice to have some idea before then.

I should preface the list by pointing out that I'm in my early-to-mid 30s, want to have kids (no current prospects though), and don't want to still be training deep into my 40s.

Here goes...
  • Surgery: No - long and boring and repetitive.

  • Emergency: An outside chance, but probably ruled out from a lifestyle perspective.

  • Cardiology, Respiratory, Neurology, Gastroenterology, Endocrinology, Oncology, Immunology, other -ologies: I don't have the motivation for the long physician's training program, plus none of these really grab me.

  • Haematology: Blood is a wonderful thing, but not as a career for me.

  • Orthopaedics: You mean carpentry? Um, no.

  • Obstetrics & Gynaecology: I have some interest in this, but enough to sustain a career? I think not.

  • GP: Currently second on the list. Good lifestyle.

  • Dermatology: Not really interested in skin.

  • Ophthalmology: Very interested in eyes, but this is down the list due to the pain involved in getting onto the program in the first place.

  • Paediatrics: I agree with yay - could do GP training then sub-specialise in kids.

  • Anaesthetics: Currently top of the list - can't really explain why I'm interested in it, but I enjoyed my rotation, and am planning to do an elective in it. Very very good from a lifestyle point of view. Actually it might be something to do with my anal retentiveness - I do like how organised everything is. Like these wonderful stickers:

  • Radiology: My cousin is a radiologist, and I respect his career choice. But I find radiology to be a tad dull.

  • Pathology: God no.

  • Intensive care: I don't think so.

  • Palliative care: Requires physician's training, so no.

  • Psychiatry: With my psychology degree, I have some interest in this, but not enough to push me into doing it as a career. Like paeds, I could do GP training, then sub-specialise in psych if I really wanted to.
I wonder how much this will change in a year's time...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Triple J Hottest 100 Volume 15

Following on from a post late last year...

This year's Hottest 100 CD is actually pretty good - better than I expected. I've had it on high rotation for a couple of weeks.

Here are my thoughts...

Hottest 100 15 (2007)
  • Favourite: "Straight Lines" - Silverchair AND "Lines On Palms" - Josh Pyke
  • Hidden treasure: "I'll Kill Her" - Soko
  • Shit: "Just A Song About Ping Pong" - Operator Please

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Now that I've spent some time in emergency departments, I've realised that many people have a warped sense of what an emergency is.

One of the first questions a patient is asked is how long they've had their symptoms for. As soon as you hear "months" (or, God forbid, "years"), you know it's no emergency. Even "weeks" isn't an emergency!

I just don't get these people. Who would be willing to sit in a waiting room at a hospital for several hours, when you could go to a GP or a drop-in medical centre and have it all over in an hour or so?

I'm not concerned about these people taking away valuable medical services from other, sicker people. That's what the triage system is for - when you first arrive at emergency, a nurse gets a brief history and assigns you a triage category, which determines how quickly you're seen, and who's seen before you.

Here's a tip: if you come in with chest pain that you've had for months or years, and you're assigned the lowest triage category and have to wait for hours, it's a fair indication that you have a muscle strain, which is NOT an emergency! (Yes, I saw this patient. He had no emergent symptoms. His chest pain hadn't even worsened that day, or even that week. He was special.)

At the eye hospital, I saw people in emergency who needed a new prescription for their glasses, and that's all. Ever heard of an optometrist? You don't have to wait for 6 hours to see an optometrist! One patient had such mild age-related refractory error (presbyopia) that he didn't even need glasses (though he was wearing some he'd gotten over the counter at the chemist) - however, he was convinced that he was going blind.

There is one caveat though - with kids, trust the parents if they think it's an emergency. They know their kids best, and tend to be good judges of when something is just not right.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I've got great taste (in blogs)

OK, OK yay, I'll update my bloody blog!

I was thrilled to see the results of this year's Bloggies. Several of my favourite blogs have won the big awards:

So yeah, I've got great taste, if I do say so myself. Next they need to add a category for Best Medical Blog.

The bad thing about seeing all the winners and nominees is that there are many many new blogs I need to check already takes me ages to read through my blog roll every day!