Thursday, September 05, 2013

A fortnight later: some observations and other stuff, all my own work.

I have nearly completed six weeks of working alone in my post, and at least 3 more weeks remain before Dr. Yasser will make his appearance. Work hasn't been so hard, but staying like this without a single day off duty takes its toll on one's inner peace. Usually, the resident doctors who work in the E. R. manage the pediatric patients as usual, but occasionally, they do need me, and I go without a fuss. Last week, there were eight members of the same Yemeni family who were involved in a car crash (it seems that their car tyre burnt or something and their car took a few flips in the air and then fell some meters away from the highway; they got out of the overturned car just before it caught fire.)

The family included three children, ages between a few years to a girl who was thirteen. I was called to assist the surgical team which were the main people responsible for the treatment. It was a near-riot when I reached the E.R., and I could just about manage the kids. I also assisted the surgeon in filling up investigation forms, supervising the taking of radiological films and the ultrasound examination of the abdomen to rule out internal injuries, and so on. Once these basic tasks were completed, I took leave and went back home.

Since the last over 15 days, a few acquaintances of mine (who are also planning to appear for MRCPCH Clinical) and I have been practising communication skills over a group chat on Skype. The doctors are from India, Egypt and Sudan and include Drs. Sanjay Shah (Indian from Jaipur) and Imtiaz Beg (Indian working in Al Bahah, K.S.A.), Drs. Ola Salim (Egyptian from Cairo) and Nazeek (Sudanese working in K.S.A.) and Dr. Ahmed Sallam (Egyptian working in Medinah, K.S.A.). We meet at about 9-10 p.m. Saudi time and discuss a pre-decided topic for about 40-60 minutes. These discussions are what is going to improve everyone's communication skills going forward.

I do cook from time to time, especially when I feel like doing it. I still have a lot of ready-made food, though, and I continue to sometimes fetch ready-made food from the local restaurant. Until a few weeks ago, I used to take some of my cooked food and give it to some of the nurse-friends at the hospital, but I haven't done so recently. As a result, more food is still present in the refrigerator!

I am now doing three courses online on www.coursera.org, the amazing website where one can take free online courses on hundreds of different subjects. Learning is a passion with me, and why not take advantage of such a golden opportunity where courses are made available totally free and are from reputed international universities? Presently, I am doing a course each on "Animal Behaviour", "Vaccines" and "Global Health". These courses do take up a lot of my time, but the lectures, and more importantly, the discussion forums, are so interesting, that I happily give myself up to these things. At the end of the courses, I will, if I have obtained at least 70% marks in the different quizzes and assignments that we are required to attempt, get certificates of accomplishment. These may not really advance my career, but they are definitely something I will cherish in the years to come. And they might, just might, stimulate my own children to keep learning something when they grow older.

That's it for now.

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