QUESTIONS FOR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS
- •Did you always want to go into the medical field and are you happy with your career choice?I did not! I actually wanted to be a lawyer and even had a scholarship lined up to study law. Then in my matric (senior) year of high school I read a book (28 Stories of AIDS in Africa, Stephanie Nolen) that inspired me to go into medicine. I did a last minute application and even though I still wasn't sure of my choice, accepted the admission. I hated med school and feared I would regret the career choice but I'm now entering my third year of practicing and I LOVE it.
- •How many years of schooling did you go through post high school?Six. We do an undergraduate program of six years in South Africa.
- •How much did your educational loans add up to?About ZAR300k. It's not a lot when converted to USD but relative to S'African standards of living it's fairly crappy. Still paying it off. It would have been about double if I wasn't lucky enough to secure a partial scholarship.
- •What's the best part of your job?Currently I'm working in a paediatric hospital and I adore kids so probably that. I love the hope that comes with helping kids. Also, constantly learning new skills and gaining new knowledge keeps me motivated.
- •What's the worst part of your job?Two things: dealing with non-accidental injuries (abuse) is always shit. And then being on-call kind of sucks because although the overtime pay helps, working for 26 hours straight and then losing the next day to sleep kind of fucks with your life.
- •What's your most unhealthy lifestyle choice?Sleeping a lot... that's partially because of the busy schedule, and partially because of my depression. Anhedonia and avolition have always been my strongest symptoms and sometimes I just don't have the energy to fight it.
- •What's your overall career goal?I've never been the type to know exactly where I want to go in medicine. I've decided that I want to go into child health, but whether that will be as a general paediatrician, a paediatric surgeon, a sub-specialist, or in public health remains to be seen. Specialising is a means to an end for me, the aim being to be a change-maker in society (does that seem naive?). Anyway, I'm starting with a PG-Diploma in Child Health this year, and we'll take it from there.
- •Do people you know often ask you medical questions and do you hate it or not mind it?Yes. I don't hate it but I don't love it, because my answer is always, "This is what I think, but YOU SHOULD GO SEE YOUR OWN DOCTOR." (This needs its own list.)
- •Can we be friends?Aren't we already?! 😱