Friday, October 26, 2007

I'm Moving to Australia!

According to Deborah Powell from the New Zealand Rabid Dogs Resident Doctors' Association, Australian doctors are paid well above that of New Zealand doctors.

Apart from the fact that New Zealand doctors have working conditions and education allowances that doctors in Australia regularly salivate over, have no need to worry about medical indemnity insurance, work with nursing staff who in general are far more co-operative than Australian nurses, and otherwise live in a beautifully scenic vista, they have clearly drawn the short straw.

I don't know where this job in Australia where an intern is paid $75 an hour is, but I'm moving there once I find out!

Hospital crisis looms
By STEPHEN FORBES - Western Leader | Tuesday, 23 October 2007

An ongoing shortage of junior doctors is a threat to the delivery of services at Waitakere Hospital.

That's the message from the New Zealand Resident Doctors Association.

Spokeswoman Deborah Powell says too many of country's medical students are leaving our shores as soon as they graduate.

"This year we've lost 20 to 30 graduate doctors straight to Australia," she says.

"They aren't even starting practice here.

"There's no point producing them if they don't start to practice here.

"We can't continue to deliver services if we don't have the doctors to do it."

Waitakere Hospital falls under the jurisdiction of the Waitemata District Health Board where the vacancy rate for junior doctors is 34 percent.

Mrs Powell says remuneration is a factor, with the health boards offering a 3.3 percent pay rise over the next year.

She says that is not enough to attract young doctors.

"We're getting to the point where there won't be a doctor available to see you when you need one."

Mrs Powell says international recruitment is not the answer because New Zealand's pay rates are too low to compete.

She says resident doctors start on $23 an hour here, compared to $75 an hour in Australia.

"What we have to do is retain our own doctors."

Rachel Haggerty, the health board general manager of adult health services, says the problem is nationwide.

She says Waitemata is working closely with the Auckland district and Counties Manukau health boards to address the issue and reduce the workloads now faced by junior doctors.

"The problems we are facing are no different than any other hospitals around the country," Ms Haggerty says.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My Brain Is Competing With Itself!

After seeing Adam Spencer talk about this on television a few days ago, and then M&TS write about it on her blog, I decided to check out this link.

Initially I saw it moving clockwise, but 30 seconds later it was moving anticlockwise. Now it changes direction every now and then.

What does that say about me?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Is This Where My Career is Heading?

I had the pleasure of checking this web page recently:

I thought I'd click on the link entitled "Find vacancies for this occupation".

This is what I found:

Personally, I don't think that I would do 6 years of undergraduate training, and over 10 years of postgraduate specialist training, so that I could apply for a job as Bar Staff.

Admittedly, $17-20/hr is better than what I got as an intern.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

gasboy is down

gasboy07 from My ETHEReal Adventures (link removed) has taken down his blog.

Unfortunately he has been persuaded to cease blogging:
Thank you everyone who has been visiting my blog in the past - as you have noticed I have had to remove it, based on advice from a few people. It is unfortunate, but such is life.

gasboy07 from PagingDr

Even worse, after gasboy07 deleted all of his posts and deregistered his blog, the web address has since been hijacked by some entrepreneur who has put up a web page mimicking gasboy07's blog, and redirecting readers to a whole bunch of advertisements and questionable links. I recommend that you do not visit to gasboy07's blog, and if you do, don't click on any of the links.

In a disturbing development, it seems that someone has mananged to get to the URL that my blog used to live at, pasted something from google cache, and redirected it to ads in such a way that the google spam bot won't pick it up. I'd like to say that I had nothing to do with that, and have hopefully taken sufficient action to have the site removed. Thank you to all of those who have pointed it out to me and sent me their concerns.

gasboy07 from PagingDr

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Haneef on 4 Corners

I have previously given my opinions on the treatment of Dr Mohammed Haneef.

Tonight's 4 Corners program on the ABC has given a good summary of the situation so far.

The Flash Video version is here. Also available is some background reading from 4 Corners as well as the program transcript

Monday, October 01, 2007

Tips for Medical Students: Scrubbing in Theatre

Milk & Two Sugars from Tea at Ten recently made a post about being uncomfortable when scrubbed in theatre. I gave her some suggestions in the comments, and she suggested that I post my tips to my own blog, so here goes.

Ten Things to Make Scrubbing Up Easier

  1. Make sure you have a piss before you start. Or get a pair of those NASA astronaut undies.

  2. Do calf pumps and change your stance regularly, or else you will get venous stasis and pass out more easily.

  3. Whenever you can, rest your hands and or forearms on the operating table. Preferably not the patient, as they can get pressure areas from you leaning on them for too long. Don't wave your hands around (especially over the wound) unless you want to get stuck with a needle. And remember to maintain sterility.

  4. Always let the surgeon know when you are uncomfortable. They will understand. Better a moment to change position than a medical student unconscious on the floor (or in the wound).

  5. Try to engage in banter (where appropriate). You are not the only person who is bored and can't see much - the primary surgeon is the only one who is actually doing something interesting. Mind you, as soon as you have something to do, like a wound to sew up - you will wake up immediately. Also don't feel that you have to talk medicine all the time. It may be hard to believe, but even surgeons have outside interests, and sometimes we are actually interested in you as a person, not just a student.

  6. Tie your mask a little loosely, and tape the top edge to your nose. That way it won't ride up and you can breathe air in from around the edges of the mask when necessary. Make sure you have eye protection - find some goggles if you don't like the full-face masks. Often hospitals will stock very cheap disposable ones, or buy one between several of you.

  7. Don't stick your head in the light. The surgeon loses their lightsource, and you get very, very hot. And then your head explodes, which makes a big mess.

  8. Don't inhale diathermy fumes on a full stomach and don't wave the laparoscope around (both in the patient or outside). The smell of vomit tends to hang around the scrub sink for a few hours, and there is nothing like a laparoscope shining in your eye to make you go blind for a few minutes.

  9. Check out what step sizes are available beforehand - it is more important that you are at a comfortable height than whether you have the best view. You don't want a sore neck, back or shoulders for the rest of your life.

  10. If you are not too keen on getting your hands inside the patient, then sometimes the best vantage point comes from not being scrubbed. Crossing the blood-brain barrier can sometimes give an excellent view. As long as you can see, there is no need to scrub - you can just join in at the end when there is a wound to suture.