It’s been almost a year since my last blog. Much has happened and in some ways its been a little overwhelming to absorb all the transitions that have unfolded. Although, I suppose that in itself is not special. We all live our own important lives with transitions and adventures in our own way. So in some sense that is no excuse for not finding the time and mental space to keep writing. This blog helps me make sense of the world, the brilliance, and idiocy that surrounds me. Ultimately writing helps me to figure out which one is which. Perhaps I’m shy to write more again as I’m pretty sure I’ll just wind up finding idiocy in my own self perceived brilliance.
In summary over the last twelve months: Read more
As a physician I have learned that we lose so much in the hustle of the modern day clinic. In order to deliver optimal wellness we must be aware and empathetic to the immutable values, vulnerabilities, and often overseen intricacies that make up the persona of our patients.
I think ever since the little scooter in New Orleans I’ve had a fascination with taking some cross-country pan american road trip on a motorcycle.
Unfortunately, like many intrepid fascinations in life this one was diluted by the sheer logistics of the task. That was until I took my first South American night bus. Stopping once in 12 hours for some cheap fried snacks in between being sleeplessly whipped around mountain roads by a driver that must clearly be on potent stimulants was enough for me. So when we were hanging out in a hostel in Medellin the idea was once again brought up to purchase motorcycles and say to hell with all trains, taxis, and dreaded night buses for the duration of travels. Read more
What follows is a detailed list of what I’ve brought in my two bags. The attempt is to cover all seasons and still have room for my computer and camera gear. I tried to put the heavy things in the rolling bag and more of the lightweight clothes in the bag that will mostly go on my back. Two bags, both carry on size! I’ve given links to products where I can. When I was doing research on packing I found a couple great travel blogs, but really wished they would have given a packing list, but doing something like this also makes it easier if you ever have to make an insurance claim for lost personal property.
For my very last week of med school!! Whoohoo I thought I would check out the Behavioral Health unit in the hospital. Palau has one of the highest rates of schizophrenia in the world toping out at somewhere around 2-2.5 people/100, and has been the focus of several international behavioral health studies trying to figure out why. The behavioral health unit is kind of an isolated wing alone on the north side of the building. Ward 5 as it’s known as consists of a central office, a small nursing station, a females only room with 3 beds, along with a male room with 3 beds. There are also three other “isolation rooms”, that are the exact same as a concrete prison cell, bars and all. In the isolation rooms they sleep on a wood platform with no mattress. I can’t understand how this would be productive to someone’s state of mind. However, that was the worst part of Ward 5. Read more
Last Friday we finally ventured out to a bar. It’s a shame really that we have been here for nearly 3 weeks and haven’t really gone out, but in all fairness every day we have been waking up early to either go diving, or go to work. The bar of choice was this joint named Kramer’s, which apparently is the place where all the tourists/ex-pats go (people that used to live somewhere else and moved to Palau). Our waitress was one of my patients and she introduced us to a couple of people. Read more
At the start of this week there was very little direction with concern to what I was actually supposed to be doing. Not terribly wanting to commit to one service for the week and risk being bored to death by a small uneventful patient load or being trapped in an OR, I headed over to the clinic where I could more or less pick and choose what I wanted to do. Read more