Monthly Archives: November 2017

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Sarah Chauvin is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at the University of Toronto

 

Collateral. Collateral. Collateral. Three weeks in a psychiatric Emergency Department, and I have more than a mere appreciation for collateral: I’ve come to understand it as a key diagnostic investigation.

Toward the end of my weekend call shift, my young patient with severe alcohol use disorder and borderline personality disorder — who had been discharged the week prior with an addictions referral — was back in the ED for alcohol intoxication. Though I had been cautioned that the patient would likely return, I was disappointed to see her name back on the patient-tracking list. ...continue reading

Jonathan Oore is a medical student in the Class of 2019 at Dalhousie University

 

Symmetry is integral to life on earth. So too is asymmetry. The human body’s organization contains basic pairs of coexisting structures: ears, lungs, lips, spinal nerves, testes, kidneys, eyes, nostrils, chromosomes, muscles, legs, cerebral hemispheres and eyebrows. Sometimes they are only theoretically symmetric. They can be practically sick… or not really. They’re reflections. But not entirely. ...continue reading

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Avina De Simone is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at McGill University

 

I wish I would have known what it feels like to walk in your shoes.

I wish I would have known what it feels like live in your country.

I wish I would have known what it feels like to want to end my life.

I wish I would have known how to help you.

I had many doubts throughout my clerkship journey. I always wondered if I was truly helping others, or if my efforts would ever improve my patients’ quality of life. ...continue reading

Prasham Dave is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at the University of Ottawa

 

 

 

Sunken eyes my burden and a blazing smile my shield,
My patient burned under baleful fluorescence—purified en blanc.
My breaths were shallow. His shallower still.
I was haggard and he was in shambles,
I was shuffling and he was frozen,
I was ash and he was a husk. ...continue reading

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Sondos Zayed is a medical student in the Class of 2018 at McGill University

 

Time and time again residents tend to give us, medical students, the same piece of invaluable advice: stay humble.

On one occasion, a resident said: “When you’re on the wards, seeing one case after the next and making diagnoses, you’ll feel like a god. That’s dangerous. So stay humble.”

I failed to understand how it was even possible, as a first-year medical student who knows so little of the vast ocean that constitutes the art and science of medicine, for me to become arrogant. I simply couldn’t make any sense of it. How could I, in so little time, accumulate enough knowledge to be not only confident — but to exceed this and reach a stage of arrogance? It took time and much ...continue reading

Nicole Le Saux is Associate Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of Ottawa *

 

As physicians we should be concerned about the inappropriate use of antibiotics. Have you ever had a patient with an extended spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL), E. coli or Klebsiella urinary tract infection, a Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) or a drug-resistant N. gonorrhoeae?

Whereas resistant bacteria and CDI were rare a decade ago, these clinical situations are now commonplace in hospitals, long term care facilities and emergency departments. According to the Canadian Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System Report 2016 the rate of CDI in hospitalized patients is 3.4 cases per 1000 patient admissions (approximately one in every 300 patients admitted). As of 2014, 18.2% of isolates of Neisseria gonorrhoeae were resistant to penicillin with worrisome decreased susceptibility to cefixime, ceftriaxone and azithromycin. ...continue reading

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Barbara Zelek is Associate Professor and Co-Chair for the Section of Family Medicine at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine

 

Marathon, a rural community on the North shore of Lake Superior, made CMAJ headlines in 1997 because it boasted a stable workforce of seven physicians for the first time in over a decade. 2017 marks the 20th anniversary of that CMAJ article and of the arrival of Dr. Sarah Newbery and Dr. Eliseo Orrantia in Marathon.

The article described “a medical renaissance” taking place in Marathon and an end to “the revolving door that has affected rural medicine across the country”. That door has stopped revolving in Marathon since 1997 thanks, in many ways, to the leadership of Eli and Sarah.

Let me put this important milestone in context. ...continue reading