Okay, okay, I’ve been slack. In my defense, the so called ‘6th year dream’ turned out to be a horrible joke invented by the iniquitous med school. But I digress. Here’s my reply to Robyn’s recent post on Nathan’s blog:

1. I’m with Robyn. I can’t go past a pair of Jeans. At the moment I’m loving my black skinnies.

2. Comfy Bonds undies.

3. My maxi dress. Able to be dressed up or down and can easily hide a post-Masala tummy bulge

4. My stockings, which provide me with much needed warmth in the freezing recesses of the TTH surgical wards (and can adequately cover up 2 weeks worth of hair growth).

5. My pretty, pretty shoes.

Okay, I’m gonna tag Joel and Tim.


What women want

What kind of a hedonistic, wayward society publicly ridicules a man for valuing the virginity of his daughters?

Ours, apparently.

This week Tony Abbott was crucified by the media for his views on virginity. Said the conservative pollie to his daughters, ‘it is the greatest gift you can give someone, the ultimate gift of giving… don’t give it to someone lightly.’

It was at this point that magazine columnists, politicians, news anchors and the small but influential group of left-wing, neo-feminist women in the media had a field day. Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard even chimed in with ‘[Abbott has] confirmed the worst fears of Australian women’ and ‘Australian women don’t want to be told what to do by Tony Abbott.’

What a bigoted misogynist! What kind of a women-bashing egomaniac values the integrity, health and purity of his daughters? Surely his duty as a responsible new-age father is to encourage them to indulge with reckless abandon, lest they miss out on teenage pregnancy, Chlamydia and a lifetime of broken relationships. Shouldn’t a middle-aged, white man with a decidedly conservative viewpoint keep his opinions to himself?

Apparently so.

At this point I am reminded of the prophet Jeremiah and his lifelong struggle with the people of Judah – a wayward, unrepentant people who would rather cling to the false hope of their own prophets than humble themselves before the Lord. Tragically, this led their own destruction.

We as a society cling to our false prophets – those who claim that promiscuity is healthy, desirable, even ‘normal’ – and shun those who espouse the values of old, convinced they do so because of deep-seated prejudices rather than loving concern for their sisters and daughters. And sadly, as our own prophets get louder and more fanatical, we propagate the very self-righteous intolerance we were so fervently trying to avoid. We, like Judah, prefer the devastation of our own pride and sin to the liberty and purity that is freely offered in Christ.

May we as Australians humble ourselves, lest we bring on our own destruction.

Okay, okay I’ll update. Geeze louise Joel…

Well, it’s 2010. The year after 2009. As one would rightly expect.

At this point I am reminded of a hilarious kernel of Simpsons wisdom:

Marge: Homer, can’t we throw out this old calendar?

Homer: Of course not Marge! Sure, it’s not 1985 now, but who knows what the future will bring!

Anyways, this year I make my debut as a chillaxed to the maxed 6th year, with no horrible cataclysmic event on the near horizon; Just lots of long days, angry patients and persistent consultants who insist on quizzing me on the anatomy and pharmacology I should’ve learnt in medical school, but didn’t because the JCU medical fraternity in it’s infinite wisdom chose to examine us on the Ottawa Charter every semester instead.

And I can’t even remember that anymore.

Oh, and by the way, I had a wonderful holiday, thanks for asking. I milked some cows, played some ping-pong – including an epic few matches between the Kelso kids and mum and dad (progeny 1; parents 0) – caught up with family and friends and gorged myself at the trough of freedom. Alas, another Simpsons reference. Seriously though, I love that show. Ahem. I digress.

Having found myself immersed once again in the frenetic pace of hospital life, I thought I’d share with you a list of general misconceptions that people have about doctors that particularly irk me. Because, as we all know, lists make for great blog entries…

1. A resident is not the same as a general practitioner. General practice is a specialty in its own right.

2. The small, walnut sized organ encircling your male urethra is a prostate. When I examine your prostate you lie prostrate. Well, sort of.

3. The nurses wear the blue pants, flowery shirts and sensible shoes. The doctors may be wearing Ralph Lauren shirts, tailed pants, designer shoes, smug expressions and the bright red ‘doctor’ lanyards. Or, if they’re not pretentious, they may not.

3. Resident = guy who does paperwork and hides in the cupboard; Registrar = training to be a specialist doctor, works 30 hours/day; Consultant = Guy who knows everything there is to know about your right big toe (or appropriate body part) and likes golf.

4. Doctors are people too, not superhuman, all-knowing cybogs like on House*. We** get tired, hungry, annoyed, sick, and confused probably more so than the next person on account of working 20 hour days. Mistakes, oversights, omissions are an unfortunate part of the human condition (and part of living in a fallen world). Please be tolerant. We’re trying to help.

5. Most doctors don’t get paid a squillion dollars. We’re more likely to work squillions of hours. We study without pay for 6 years, and enter the workforce with tens of thousands of dollars in debt over our heads.

Hmmm… that’s only 5. I’m sure there’s others. Feel free to comment with examples from your own experience.

*Let’s face it, House was the know-it-all med student you loved to hate. **I know, I know, I’m not a Dr yet. I’m not even a doctorb. But I’m getting there.


Keags and I found this video on YouTube. Pure gold.

(1 week left! w00t!)


3 weeks to go…

I officially have 3 weeks until my final exams! And I’m so excited!

What’s this? Has Phoebe finally gone foetal? Has the stress of mental health been so much that Phoebe has decided to join the borderlines in their endless (albeit flawed) quest to seek love and affection by being generally annoying?

Lol I shouldn’t poke fun at the borderlines. But sometimes the endless to and fro of their transference to my counter-transference results in general annoyance on both sides.

Anyways, I am excited not because of the slow and inevitable coming of exam doomsday, but the fact that after doomsday I’ll be on holidays for 6 whole weeks!

So after spending a lovely lunch break today strolling through Queen’s Gardens today, I thought I’d compose a list of everything I want to do on my holidays (because everyone knows lists make for great blog entries).

Phoebe’s List for Holiday Fun:
1. Spend hours frolicking around the botanical gardens, reading, admiring little birdies and being generally carefree.
2. Go to the beach and frolic some more.
2a. Do the above with friends at sunset.
3. Clean my desk and catalogue all the new animal species that will have spawned there in the 6 months since its last clean.
4. Clean my house, do the washing and spoil my long-suffering husband with massages and nice dinners.
4a. Finally clean up the pile of washing that has been sitting beside my bed for 4 weeks – the so-called ‘Silverfish Sanctuary’. Or, get the Silverfish Sanctuary heritage listed.
5. Have a conversation with someone that doesn’t end up with:
Friend: How are you going?
Me: (Sigh) Pretty busy. Exams in X weeks.
Friend: Oh that’s no good, what else is new?
Me. N-e-w? Um, the use of heliox for children with acute bronchiolitis? Oh, you mean in real life. Exams in X weeks.
6. Spend some time getting better acquainted with God’s word.
7. Drive past a car without working out what medical acronym is on the number plate.
8 Get 10 hours of solid sleep without studying in my dreams.
9. Resist the urge to correct people on medical terms during sermons.

I’m sure there’s more, I’ll add them as I think of them…

Apparently it was a slow news week.

‘Hey Hey it’s Saturday’ this week aired a skit during its Red Faces segment containing a bunch of guys with black paint on their faces dancing like the Jackson Five. The five men – all medical doctors – performed the same skit 20 years ago on the show to raucous applause and so this time around they thought, for nostalgia’s sake, they’d do the same thing. Little did they know, that in our current climate of political correctness, ‘Obamarama’ and a general reluctance to step on anyone’s culturally sensitive toes, it went down like a boomerang on fire.

For those unfamiliar with the skit (and ensuring furore) – those who have been sitting under a rock with their fingers in their ears for the past few days – it can be seen here.

Now, I understand that the skit offended some peoples sensitivities – and, if I was an Indigenous person or African American who had struggled with racial prejudice and subjugation all my life I probably would take offense too. I wholeheartedly oppose the terrible racial discrimination and hatred that continues to exist in this country and have personally witnessed appalling demonstrations of ignorance and hate from various racial groups.

However, I don’t think anyone could have predicted the international media storm that has resulted from the 30 second skit – including the performers, themselves from a diverse range of racial backgrounds, including Sri Lankan, Indian, Italian and Anglo-Saxton.

What really got up my goat was the arrogance of the American media in making the erroneous deduction from the skit that Australians are ‘backward’ and ‘discriminatory’. One American blogger went so far as to say, ‘Australians: Post race miracle humans or racist idiots?’ Others simply decried the ‘casual racism’ of ‘a lot of Australians’.

Hmmm… even I can see – in my casually racist idiocy – the sheer hypocrisy of these sentiments. Perhaps this is a case of the pot calling the kettle… um, coloured?

My sister and I love to point out the ‘token’ characters in American shows that are apparently put in there to satisfy everyone’s sensitivities. With comical regularity (particularly in teen sitcoms like the woefully stereotyped Glee), one can always point out the ‘token’ black best friend, the gay, the Asian nerd, and of course the ‘intolerant’ fundamentalist Christian, sometimes with a Southern accent. Yet, it seems, even ‘progressive,’ ‘tolerant’ America can’t deviate from their white protagonist, featuring in almost every movie, teen drama and television show there is. Considering the multitude of racial stereotypes that flood American popular culture – one wonders whether this says more about American racial sentimentalities than a 30 second skit on a variety show?

Personally, I am thankful Australia isn’t yet in the deathly throes of uncompromising political correctness like our American cousins. But, as this skit reveals, the nail is posed to strike the coffin of free speech in this country, and it is only a matter of time until the final hammer falls.

At that moment we will forever say goodbye to the Australian and British type of humour we know and love, instead welcoming the unfortunate, ‘McDonald’s’ brand of American humour – bland, pre-packaged and designed to sell to the masses, but lacking any sort of real wit or bite and making you wish you’d eaten that Russell Coight sandwich while you still had the chance.

A few weeks ago, I apologized for the appalling lack of blogging and promised all 2.4 readers I would have a few juicy posts coming up in the next few weeks…

I lied.

Well, not so much lied as failed to act on my promise, and will probably continue to do so, at least until late November.
For you see, I’m now in my 1st week of my 5th term of 5th year – meaning I have around 9 weeks to re-learn and remember every tidbit of information I have come across this year – from the core material in the lectures, to the spot quizzes from overly zealous vascular surgeons pressing me for information about the most recent double-blinded, randomized control trial published in the Australian Journal of Unnecessary Pedantics studying the pharmacological treatment of Inflated Head Syndrome [Surgical registrar Type I].

[Incidentally, the study found no statistical difference in outcome between pharmacological treatment and a brick to the head, P < 0.01]

Anyways, with the impossible amount of study I am yet to do, I have found myself losing patience with everyone around me. It seems, there aren’t enough hours in the day and I have been getting increasingly annoyed with people who insist on wasting my precious time. So, when my (lovely, helpful) registrar suggested my colleague and I do *extra* psychiatric on-call evenings, all kinds of hideous profanities started going off in my head (and some in the ensuring conversation I had with my colleague). 5th year, it seems, has transformed me from an incurable optimist into a raving nihilist, so much so that my conversations with my husband have flipped from:
Keags: We should do X, Y and Z.
Phoeb: frolicking into the sunset Sounds like fun, I’m so excited! Yay!

Keags: We should do X, Y and Z.
Phoeb: Deadpan You haven’t considered the variables, A, B and C. Logistically, that’s never going to work. Seriously, we may even end up dead. We probably will. Do you want us to die?

Well, there’s always my chocolate and coffee shoppee… which, is as doomed as my medical career thanks to the GFC, as my fellow medico Joel so kindly pointed out.

But, I’ll end on a good note. Thankfully there is one thing (or rather, person) I trust will get me through the next 9 weeks. You might have heard of him. He’s your friendly, neighbourhood Lord and saviour, Jesus Christ, who works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Rom 8:28).

Psalm 19
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.

3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard. [a]

4 Their voice [b] goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,

5 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.

6 It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is hidden from its heat.

7 The law of the LORD is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.

8 The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.

9 The fear of the LORD is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the LORD are sure
and altogether righteous.

10 They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the comb.

11 By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

12 Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.

13 Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight,
O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.