Alastair McAlpine is a fellow in paediatric infectious diseases at BC Children's Hospital in Vancouver
People sometimes ask me, "What’s the difference between medicine in Vancouver and medicine in Cape Town?" The answer is, quite simply, Everything.
But let’s rewind a bit. In July of this year, I flew the 20 or so hours it takes to get from South Africa to Vancouver. I arrived in the city by myself with 2 suitcases, knowing hardly a soul, and feeling completely overwhelmed. A few months earlier, I had been accepted into a 2 year paediatric (even the spelling is different) infectious diseases program at BC Children’s Hospital. Before coming I had filled out endless paperwork, done a million online courses ...continue reading →
Richard Doan is a Psychiatrist with Inner City Health Associates and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Toronto in Toronto, Ontario
During my physical assessment course as a medical student more than three decades ago in Connecticut, the surgeon generously serving as our preceptor introduced us to a patient with a post-operative infection. He mentioned treatment with an antibiotic, and I asked the mechanism of action. He gave me a bemused look: “I don’t know how it works, it just does!” A year later I used to eat my lunch in a small hospital sandwich shop, frequented by Attendings and known as the “Republican Club”. I learned there that male physicians of a certain age (and almost all were male) mainly talked about golf and money. Many years later, I find myself basically giving the same answer to my students about drug mechanisms, though thanks to the internet I can say that I am following current treatment guidelines. However, I don’t golf, and I never really talk about money. . . until now. ...continue reading →