last thursday was our first taste of rain and cool weather. this made navigating the outdoor wards a bit tricker, although a whole lot less sweaty for all parties involved. (hooray!) prior to catching up with the registrars for rounds, we accompanied dr. draper to the radiology department to make a case for a patient having a CT chest.
|visiting the radiology department|
armed with this information, we followed dr. draper into the head of radiology's office. he pleaded his case on behalf of the patient. "his diagnosis has already been delayed six weeks," draper reasoned. the radiologist faltered: "can't you send off some kind of tumor markers or something?" the discussion continued; after almost begging hand-and-knee, the radiologist relented and gave the patient a CT chest spot THREE weeks in the future.
although we occasionally have our issues getting imaging done at columbia, this was certainly shocking. a timely article in the health section of this week's mail & guardian (south african newspaper) addresses the frustration of regular south africans who need outpatient imaging tests, and unless they have oodles of cash lying around, have to wait two months to obtain them (and still pay a fee!). i'm still learning about the south african healthcare system, but it seems to be similar to many others throughout the world where there's a huge chasm between public and private; those that don't and do have money.
|the interminable wait for imaging|
|the walkway to the outdoor wards|
|a medical ward: windows open, breezes crossing through, nurses hard at work|
|oxygen at a patient's bedside. open wards don't lend well themselves to wall oxygen points.|
after the rain and cool temperatures of thursday, we woke up to absolutely gorgeous skies on our drive to work friday morning. although i am not a morning person (not even a little bit), it's been a lovely experience driving to work at sunrise. on the left side of the road. with cows and pedestrians and things. but seriously!
|clouds, mountains, and cars coming up at you on the wrong side!|
after teaching, we gathered with the residents for what they call "tea", but was really indian-themed catered lunch in the morning report room (dominican friday, columbia?). this was one of the best opportunities we've had so far to just kick back and chat with the registrars and interns about life in general. we chatted about the differences in our medical education systems, then transitioned to where we should go on safari. and oh, that roti. mmmmm.
until next time,