The Health Sciences and Medicine Students’ Magazine 113
THE EDITORS Hey! We love that fact Pulse is gracing the bond public during this month’s Movember, making yours truly (Zoe and Megan, aka MOE) quite hot and topical. This is our second publication and we believe it’s growing quite nicely. We’ve trimmed it up, gelled it back and it looks, well, good!
As we creep towards our massively well deserved four week holiday (don’t think about the 3 months all other students get, it will only make you want to punch something) we wish you all the best for 113 exams and a holiday full of family fun, jolliness, and Santa’s presents.
I WAS HIDING UNDER YOUR PORCH BECAUSE I LOVE YOU 14 Short and sweet, as we are, this is the last Pulse Publication by Moe. It’s been an honour to be the initiators of Pulse and we hope that it will continue to grow into a beast of a read.
Ho Ho Ho! Moe ex oh ex oh
CONTENT President’s Report
Havana Nights 113 Say What?
Pink Triathalon The Mo Diaries/Movember
Jessica McDonald’s Elective Placement
Med vs. Health Touch
HMSA On The Street
PRESIDENT’S REPORT Jen Phan Hola! What a semester 113 has been… and at the tail end of an awesome semester, comes another issue of Pulse- the second one ever, in fact! It is so lovely to hear from Moe that articles just keep coming in- to the point where we have to save them up for the next issue. Thanks for all the support guys, we love it so keep them rolling in! It was fantastic to catch up with many of you in Week 3 at the HMSA Brunch over delicious free muffins and lamingtons. Photos from this event, and all our other events are up on our Facebook page ‘Bond University HMSA’. Like us and tag away!
Week 6 also continued the sporting trend with the HMSA submitting a team for the second year in a row to the Pink Triathlon. The Triathlon Pink series is a fantastic charity event that raises money for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Thank you to all the staff and students who participated!
One thing to update you all in regards to the HMSA Constitution. In Week 8, the Exec made a decision to add an additional position to the committee: MSSBU Representative. This is a non elected position whereby the current President of the MSSBU is appointed to the Committee by the HMSA President, with the goal of working closely with the HMSA to ensure a cohesive health science and medicine faculty through events, promotions or activities.
Week 6 saw the Med kids play the Health kids in our semesterly rival Touch match. Unfortunately, the Med side weren’t quite able to overcome the Health side, but don’t be disheartened- the score was very close this semester! Straight after, the North v South AFL saw a free BBQ and raffles provided courtesy of the HMSA. It was an entertaining night for all, especially during the footy boys date auction!
recipient of the WOW Outstanding Achievements Award for Woman of the Year for 2011.
Our last activity for the semester is the Tutor Review Session taking place between 4-7pm on the Monday of Week 13. This drop in session will provide all health science and medicine students an opportunity to receive tutoring for all subjects running this semester including: Anatomy, Biochemistry, Cardio, At the conclusion of Week 7, Havana Nights was Med Chem .etc… Be sure to stick that in your calthere to help soothe those still reeling from mid se- endar for some extra help/motivation for exams. Of mester exams. A pool party with a Hotel California course, there will be study food and drinks provided. theme, the HSM kids tok off their lab coats, donned their retro beach gear, and celebrated in style. For those who are considering running for election to the Health Sciences and Medicine Students AsAn item on my list of things to look forward to in sociation, keep in mind that the HMSA Handover Week 10 includes the HMSA Health Brunch. We will be taking place in Week 3 next semester. Any have brought in some very interesting people to questions in regards to this, feel free to shoot me dine with us over brunch at the University Club. an email at Jennifer.Phan@student.bond.edu.au. Our first speaker, Dr Theresa Hickey, is a current Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, as well as Finally, congratulations to all the final year medithe Head of Breast Cancer Research at the Dame Roma cal students who have just finished their exMitchell Cancer Research Lab in Adelaide. To boot, ams. Hope you all enjoy your month off beshe has also previously worked at Harvard University! fore being back here for the Graduation Ball! Our second speaker, Kaye Lollback, is the President of Zonta Southern Gold Coast/ Tweed and is a recent Until next time, Jen Phan xx
Or in other words for the HSM newbies the new MEDICINE STUDENT’S SOCIETY who represent the interests of the med kids! Hello HSM Faculty, My name is Hashim Abdeen and I’m the President for Medsoc 2011/201. HMSA has created a MedSoc Representative position on committee! The aim of this position is to synchronise both associations, in order to prevent the doubling up of events, and therefore providing bigger and better functions for all Health Science and Medicine students. This will also serve to streamline any correspondence within the Faculty and BUSA, allowing greater communication and increased efficiency through the HMSA executive meetings with those parties. It is well known that Medical students are notorious for sticking to their own med groups, hardly mingling with “the others”. This position will also serve to bring med students out of their shell by encouraging the med students to mingle with the rest of the faculty and the rest of the university. We are going to do this by collaborating with the Faculty Student Association, the HMSA. A combined Trivia night is already in place, and we are now striving to develop a joint medicine Mentor-Mentee Program system. I believe that this united partnership will be highly beneficial in advocating on behalf of all students, while also offering the best experiences possible. This new MedSoc Position is filled by the President of the MSSBU, yours truly. In the year to come I hope to continue to build this strong foundation between both associations, so that we can collaborate to achieve our common goal of representing Bond’s Health Sciences and Medicine students. I look forward to working together with both the current and future HMSA to bring the Health Sciences and Medicine students to the forefront of student life. Thank you, HASH (Hashim Abdeen) - President of the Medical Students’ Society of Bond University AIMEE HYUNH PRE-CLINICAL VICE-PRESIDENT
ZAHIN ILAHEE CLINICAL VICE-PRESIDENT
JONATHON MAH AMSA REPRESENTATIVE
JASRYN DHALIWAL TREASURER
KIMBERLEY BRADSHAW SPONSORSHIP DIRECTOR
JESSICA NG SECRETARY
RACHEL JACOB SOCIAL DIRECTOR
exorexia. Working out is a great way to keep in shape. It lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, improves cardiovascular endurance and is healthy release of stress from uni and work. Yet too much of a good thing, can be a bad thing. There’s a new disorder that’s rearing its head amongst other conditions ignited by self esteem body issues and its been slapped as “Exorexia” or “Anorexia Athletica”. Someone who becomes addicted to exercise may start off with normal, good intentions to be fit and healthy, but the number and intensity of exercise sessions gradually increases until they develop a dependency on exercising.
comes not so much a choice anymore as a need. The disorder has a high prevalence in elite athletes, affecting partically females whose sports emphasis the need to be lean and agile . Gymnastics, ballet and diving are professional sports that have created this mantra of having to be a certain size to succeed. Studies have shown that sports that require strength and power such as basketball and water polo have a lower incidence of the disorder.
There is a grey area surrounding how much exercise is too much. For a standard person, doing more than the government recommended amount (at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, on five days of the week) does not automatically mean someone is doIt’s when one’s entire self worth stems from the ing too much. It’s when lunch is being replaced miles they’ve run or the weights they’ve lifted with trips to the gym and when one is kept up each day and everyday, does the situation be- at night worried about a missed run that indicome extreme. Exercise becomes a mandatory cates its more then a healthy exercise patterns. chore and is usually attached to feelings of guilt about eating. Characteristically, they are There is a real risk of injury and permanent damworking harder than anyone else in the gym age to bones, muscles, joints, ligaments and and as things get out of control, exercise be- tendons due to the excessive demands placed
on the body, especially if it is not allowed to rest and heal.In addition to this, if adequate nutri- Here are some of the indicators which may ring alarm ents are not consumed, muscles literally begin bells for you or someone you know: to waste away, as the body resorts to break- • won’t skip a workout, even if tired, sick, or in ing down muscle mass as a source of energy. jured • doesn’t enjoy exercise sessions, but feels obli For women, excessive exercise affects the balgated to do them ance of hormones, leading go amenorrhea (ab- • seems anxious or guilty when missing even sence of the menstrual cycle), fertility problems one workout and osteoporosis (bone loss). It also makes • does miss one workout and exercises twice as people more susceptible to infections, fatigue long the next time and exhaustion as the body is pushed beyond • is constantly preoccupied with his or her its limits. In addition to these long-term effects, weight and exercise routine unnecessary stress is placed on the heart. • doesn’t like to sit still or relax because of worry that not enough calories are being burnt In the context of an eating disorder, compulsive • has lost a significant amount of weight exercise can be considered a form of purging, • exercises more after eating more whereby an attempt is made to get rid of calo• skips seeing friends and abandons responsi ries and prevent or reverse the effects of put bilities to make more time for exercise ting food into the body, in much the same way • seems to base self-worth on the number of bulimics vomit after eating. The amount and workouts completed and the effort put into type of exercise undertaken will be decided training after a careful calculation of how much food • is never satisfied with his or her own physical has been eaten and how many calories need to achievements be burned.
JESSICA MCDONALD SMZ - OST DONAUSPITAL Jessica McDonald, a fourth year Medicine student here at Bond, has recently fulfilled her elective placement at SMZ- OSt Donauspital in Austria working in the paediatric department and assisting with various wards such neonatal intensive care, cancer ward, general paediatric medicine and the paediatric surgery ward. Jessica has not only excelled in her placement but has also won a feedback competition with The Electives Network winning a $200 cash prize. Her feedback report gave students a clear idea of what they can expect if they choose to undertake an elective at the Sozialmedizinishes Zenstrum Ost – Donauspital in Austria in the future.
On the 29th of November I arrived to a very cold and snowy Vienna, Austria to begin my four week paediatric elective rotation at SMZ-Ost Donauspital. ‘Donauspital’ is the second-largest inner city hospital in Vienna and services the East side of the city. I commenced my first day working in the general paediatric outpatient and emergency department (Kinderambulanz). This department is open twenty-four hours and manages both referrals from general practitioners and after hours care. Each day there is a general clinic as well as specialty outpatients such as cardiology, neurology, respiratory, endocrine and renal. At these clinics I worked with other Medical students and doctors seeing patients and referring them for further investigations and management. I had the opportunity to learn paediatric cannulation and venepuncture as well as assisting with cardiac echocardiograms.
possibly deliveries or admissions for the next 24hour period. Following this ward round would commence with the main duties of adjusting and calculating parenteral feed requirements and intubation and respiratory status. It was also the responsibility of the NICU Doctors to perform the discharge physical examination of all newborns on the general maternity ward. It was interesting to observe the differences in the newborn checks and health program in comparison to what I have learnt as the Queensland Health system. The doctors were quite proud to be able to explain to me the changes they had implemented to sleeping safety were due to Australian research into Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. During my time on the NICU I was fortunate enough to be involved with the investigation and diagnosis of a child born with dysmorphic features. This was a worthwhile procedure to be involved with. I also attended the emergency caesarean birth of 24 week old twins who required full resuscitation, surfactant and intubation at the time of delivery. Unfortunately they were very unwell and remained in a critical condition at the end of my elective period.
Medical students had teaching sessions organised with the radiology department during this time and interesting clinical paediatric cases from patients we had seen in outpatients or the wards were discussed. Wednesday morning also consisted of lectures and teaching on various different paediatric topics from both allied health staff and Doctors. The final two weeks of my time at Donauspital was spent between the general paediatric ward and paeMy second week involved working in the Neonatol- diatric ICU. These wards were large and consisted of ogy Intensive Care Unit. This was a phenomenal ex- four paediatric wards with approximately 35 patients perience and I learned so much and was involved in in each. I was involved in the general day-to-day runa wide range of procedures during this week. The ning of the ward including hand-over, ward round, Neo-ICU at Donauspital is a 14 bed, high depend- consultations and discharge planning. I had the opency unit. Each day would begin with a handover portunity to interact with patients and their families meeting to discuss current patients in the unit and and to practice my history and examination skills.
ELECTIVE PLACEMENT Being the middle of winter in Austria, it was interesting for me to see a number of cases of carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation from faulty home heating systems â€“ not something we really see in hot Queensland. I also saw a case of meningococcal meningitis and Kawasaki Disease. All medical students were expected to present a case report at the end of each week.
opportunity to go snow skiing/boarding nearby. As I spent a year living in Austria in 2006 (prior to commencing my medical studies) I enjoyed the opportunity to catch-up with friends and family during my time off from hospital work. There are many other medical students working in the hospital which provided a good opportunity for socialising.
Work at the hospital commenced each day with morning hand-over at 8am and finished early afternoon around 2pm when most Doctors would attend to their own out of hospital private clinics. Students were expected to adhere to the staff uniform which will be provided to students with a bond paid to the hospital clothing department (and refunded on return of uniform). Dress consisted of a long, white hospital embodied coat and white pants or dress.
Christmas time in Austria is beautiful with the city decorated and filled with Christmas markets selling crafted gifts and Austrian specialities such as Gluhwein. The weather is bitterly cold and there was often snowfall in and around the city with the
A knowledge of German is not essential for spending time in Vienna or for interacting with the Doctors as many speak good English, however I believe it would be of benefit for students to be mostly fluent in German if they intend to undertake this elective rotation as all consultations, hand-overs, ward-rounds and patient interactions will be undertaken in German and it would be difficult follow without understanding of the language.
During my time at Donauspital I was accommodated at the staff housing quarters for a very economical price of 5 Euro/day making travel to and from the hospital only a short covered walk. Accommodation included own bathroom, cooking and shared washing facilities. Students are able to cook for themselves or dine in the staff dining room in the main hospital building, also at a very reasonable price. The hospital itself was accessed by its own underground-subway station and made travel and sightseeing around Vienna city very easy.
WANT AN EXPERIENCE LIKE JESSICA’S? GET INVOLVED WITH THE ELECTIVES NETWORK
A medical elective gives you the opportunity to experience medicine anywhere in the world, from a busy city hospital to a remote tropical outpost or a charitable research centre. Wherever it is you want to go, The Electives Network has the tools to help you get there.
TEN has an interactive planner designed to make planning your elective a breeze; tailor your search options, shortlist hospitals and find great tips to help you get everything organised in time.
TEN publishes feedback and case studies from students who have been to those hospitals listed in our database, so you get the latest information about electives direct from the students who have been there before you.
TEN will send you a monthly newsletter which contains helpful planning advice, in depth elective reports, hospital profiles and helpful hints to make sure that your elective goes smoothly.
TENs interactive notice board provides up-to-the-minute information about things that might affect your plans, like hospitals changing their acceptance criteria and competitions that could help you earn a little extra for your elective fund.
TEN isn’t just a tool, it’s an interactive community. We have an active presence on Facebook and Twitter where students who are headed the same way to get to know each other before they head off, which is great if you are a little worried about flying solo.
TEN aren’t just a planning resource; TEN also hosts a funding database that lets you know where you can apply to get some extra funds for your elective.
TEN has staff in both the UK and Australia who are both knowledgeable and dedicated to helping you plan your elective. TENs staff are all experienced travellers and volunteers and will always try to respond to your questions in 24 hours – so you know you’ll get great service.
TEN contains information on medical insurance and has close links with a variety of indemnity providers, as well as providing information on where you can get your indemnity insurance.
TENs travel store will help you to develop a list of all the things you need to take with you on your elective, and, if you can’t get hold of it, you can buy it from us; so from books to stethoscopes, we have you covered.
TEN database covers both organised and independent electives, so if you aren’t sure which way to go when planning your elective, we offer the most choice with no strings attached. We are just here to help you plan a great elective. Sign up for your TEN account today at www.electives.net
Become a part of MAPs future! Join some of Queenslandâ€™s most prominent Health Professionals! MAP has been at the forefront of providing superannuation and financial services to members of the medical professions since 1957. If you are already an associate member, become a financial member today and be in the running for a MAP Text Book Bursary!! For more information contact Isabel Jantos firstname.lastname@example.org
Wishful Ways To Lose Weight
SWEAT YOURSELF SKINNY This vinyl sauna suit boasts a two piece heavy-duty suit made of vinly that is designed to retain body heat. Sold on the idea that vinyl is an “effective sweat aid which uses natural body heat generated from any type of low or intensive high-energy physical exercise”, this suit helps with the “dehydration process”. This perspiration process stimulates the entire body, helping to rid the body of excess water weight gain,
LICK YOUR LIPS SKINNY PROMISE is a lip product that, you guessed it, helps you get skinny. PROMISE is applied to the lips of people that are snacking and picking at food or tempted to eat large meals. When the urge to snack or have a large meal strikes, PROMISE is applied liberally to your lips and can you can, quite literally, lick your lips out of hunger. Please, all this talk of licking lips has made me hungry. Muffin, anyone?
Here’s an ingenious way of getting your needed fix of caffeine - wear it. Palmers “Slim Fit 20” caffeine tights helps “trim inches from thighs and reduces the appearance of cellulite.” The tights work by using natural body heat to releases caffeine microcapsules from the pants into the leg, thus promoting the metabolism to kick in and start burning the fat. Well if these work they should definitely look into a prospect of red bull pants… what up!
CAFFIENE YOURSELF SKINNY
The United Kingdom has a long and colourful history, boasting laws that allow a male to legally urinate in public, as long as it is on the rear of the wheel of his motor vechicle... need we say more?! Of course the UK would be the front runner for weird and wacky creations, whether it be in, as mentioned above, the law, or in the evolving market of weight loss products. Wait till you get a mouth full of these.
UNITED KINDGOM TAN YOURSELF SKINNY
SAY WHAT ? SPRAY YOURSELF SKINNY
Ray Of Hope Sunscreen It’s a two-in-one. A tan and tone. A sun and slim. This new water-resistant broad spectrum sunscreen actually helps you fight the look of fat while lying on the beach! With exclusive sun-activated spheres that release the visual slimming effect of caffeine molecules in a non-greasy spray formula of hydrating antioxidants and aloe, you’ll be looking bangin on the beach in no time.
The SLIMist weight loss spray program has two distinct components - an intra oral spray and three scent inhalers, called Scentsifiers to help you get skinny. The SLIMist spray formulation is a combination of three of the most thoroughly researched weight loss ingredients over the past 30 years. These three ingredients are hydroxycitric acid (HCA), chromium and levocarnitine (L-Carnitine). Sounds impressive… and completely bullocks.
MED VS HEALTH
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Havana Nights 113
A I N R
THE MO DIARIES DAY 1
DAY 2 ation u t i s y A Stick
DAY 4 erce Pi Paul
DAY 5 Guy FAWKES
DAY 6 adi The Sha
DAY 7 nd St a Hitler
DAY 8 N EI EINST
DAY 9 LI SALVALDOR DA
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MOVEMBER from the eyes of a MO SISTA
DAY 12 RI GILL A M O S JA DAY 1 Mr. 3 Mou st
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e “Where ’s all my M Hey SIS TA, go S O SISTA’s, let m ISTA, so ul SISTA e hear ya’ll flo w SISTA , MO SI ’s STA...” As I pon dered t he succ of men ess of H who pa MS rt me as t ruly ins icipated in the A’s Pink Ladie pir s Fun Ru in the h n for Br Triathlon, the air-rais ing- and cons e co a e i n st Canc q start. gly not er Rese mmitment orious M uently promp a te rc ovemb er (pun d me to consid h struck intende er parta I believ d) that e that s was soo king upport health n to and aw (Depre areness ssion a mindse n o d f the two ts; they P pave th rostate Cance biggest sibility r) are v e way f issues o of their i o t a r c ng he f men’s grams. Salvador e by en l to altering b Keen toDayal9th-w hilst rai haDali ehaviou courag sing fun make a help th ing rs change ds for r is cause esearch men to take re and , I thou ?” ght to m s a yself, “h nd survivorsh ponUnfortu i o p w pr na can I pa rticipat oquestio tely testoster e to one inj n- so I t ec ur ryday ( with sty ned to faux m tions and ana bolic st o’s. By s les rang my aim eroid port ing w awaren as to raise awa from “The Hu ing a differen s were out of the tm es lk re I have s I have raised ness for these Hogan” to “Th oustache eve . As of t not onl a e Salva ya his very spects of me Movem n’s heal dor Dali”), point in ber wit lerted my ent th- and ire hm time, raised o indeed ver $20 y daily snaps Facebook con tact list of mou 0 for Bo MO”. st o nd Med Soc’s M ache-absurdit f the presence ovemb ies bu of Howev Day 10 The Hulk Hoganer Team “Bond t have also er, this 007: Lic suc my ama ence to zing fri cess would no ends so t have b suppor I’d like een ach ted me to say a ievable throug Soc and h h wit o u ut; my f ge than last but riends f k you to hout the help Charity not lea rom Go o st BUSA se ld Coas everyone who f . to parti es no gender, t, Sydne has cipate i race no y, Bond nM r age so your ow MedI moust n perso ovember nex ache al t year. G nal spin l you lad ive this to the c ies out c oncept Dig dee the of facia ause a try, hav p and s l hair. e fun an re pread t d put he love , Jessica Ng. (Find m
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MovemBeR During November each year, Movember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in Australia and around the world. The aim of which is to raise vital funds and awareness for men’s health, specifically prostate cancer and depression in men. This year Bond Medical School (MSSBU) is participating as part of a nationwide competition between all medical schools, run by the Australian Medical Students Association (AMSA). Armed with enthusiasm and the support of our Mo-Sistas; Team ‘Bond 007 – Licence to Mo’ has taken Australian Medical Schools by storm!
MedSoc would like to thank everyone that has participated in this event, either through donations or from growing their ‘Mos’- this is a fantastic achievement! With 2 weeks of competition remaining, there is still plenty of time to become involved- any students wishing to donate to the team can do so by going to: http://au.movember.com/mospace/1583606/ Back your fellow meddies by continuing the great work and supporting friends an d staff on the team! This year Bond Medical School will prove one thing to all other medical schools - we do indeed have the ‘hottest handlebars’.
A Brief Guide To a Splendid Moustache
It’s that time of year again where ‘Mo-Bros’ unite across the country to grow luscious, thick and magnificently crafted lip rugs – that’s right everyone’s favourite moustache growing charity has kicked off!
On the 1st of November, a solid 58 medical students and staff arrived with a clean-shaven face, ready to groom, trim and wax the stubble that would remain untouchable for the rest of the month. With the help of the larger community of family and friends, MSSBU has received amazing support for such a great cause. After just 2 weeks of competitions, Team ‘Bond 007 – Licence to Mo’ has raised a huge $2,784 and is currently holding 1st place in the AMSA Movember drive! This is an incredible effort from all participants with some great personal achievements. We currently have in the individual AMSA Top 20 rankings:
Nelson Chen (1st Year) – 4th place Rajan Rehan (2nd Year) – 10th place Sameer Dave (1st Year) – 13th place
Jessica Ng (2nd Year) – 1st place
Bond 007 - License to Mo Now for a very special member of our team... ‘Bond 007 – Licence to Mo’ presents: Kuldip Bedi Those who have studied anatomy know the one and only Professor Bedi and for those who haven’t – meet our favourite anatomy professor! Joining the MSSBU Movember team, Kuldip has sported his ‘Mo’ to work every day providing students and co-workers with something to stare at!
The participation of staff members in this event has been a great asset to the team. Other members of staff participating include Jeremy Rogers and Gagan Johar. To show our gratitude, please get behind our staff and donate by going to their Mo-spaces: Kuldip Bedi - http://au.movember.com/mospace/2105786/ Jeremy Rogers - http://au.movember.com/mospace/2307994/ Gagan Johar - http://au.movember.com/mospace/2237810/ Rachel Jacob
Today, I am going to open a corpse. I’m eighteen and in my first year of university. Apprehension jars my every movement as I approach the white sheet stretched tight over a humanoid form. I stare, try to imagine, try to prepare myself. But like a cold shower, no preparation is enough. This could be my grandfather, my grandmother, my uncle. An aunt. But it’s not.
THE TEACHER Yin Lin
“Be respectful,” my lecturer raises his hands, palms upwards. A hybrid of an invitation and a call for peace. He smiles, “this person has lived, laughed, loved, and been loved in return. And died.” His last word is spoken almost with awe. I glance up at the clock hanging on the white white wall: ten minutes past. After this, piano lessons. Piano lessons? My cheeks burn: focus! But my fingers dance a scale up my thighs. The clock stares me down, expressionless. Whenever you’re ready. As if you can ever be ready. Heart beating hard against ribs, I fold the white sheet firmly down. The sour smell of formalin springs up and fills my nostrils. My throat constricts, my lungs protest, but I make myself stare at him. He looks peaceful. There are wrinkles on his forehead, wisps of hair combed against his scalp. His nose is slightly flared, as if he’s going to breathe with me in the next rising of my chest. This isn’t my grandfather. But it is someone else’s. I have to force myself to breathe, and listen to time passing in clicks like a metronome. It’s funny though: only when death is so near that you become crazily aware of time leaking past you. With all the technology and medicine in this age and time, death is still something we can’t measure, explain or understand. Blood pulses through my veins, pumped from my heart. He has experienced this too. Has lived as well. As instructed, my colleague folds the sheet a little lower. My fingers tighten around the scalpel. Shining, cold, and sharp. But it is my colleague who makes the first incision.
Tick, tock. When I play the piano and sometimes it’s just wrong and I can’t get Mozart right:I’d just sit The simplicity of the clicks of the clock prompts me there, listening to the beat of a metronome. Tick. to relax, to think of that soley, and then, when my mind fills with the ticks and tocks, then, I try again. I wipe my sweaty palms against my trousers and my hands inch forwards, Hey, girl, learn from me.That’s what I’m here for. breath by shallow breath. I’m scared. The clock salutes its agreement with a hand. But this man must have been scared too, when he made the choice to donate his body to the medical school. Black hands against a white face. His family and friends would have been scared, too. Was his family happy that his wishes were respect- This is what it is to be a doctor. To hurt in full ed? Or was there dispute around it, words bombing knowledge of the person you are hurting, to let at one another, the family not ready to let him go. But that rip at your soul and not harden yourself to it. we can’t harness the sun, and we can’t stop death. I wipe my sweaty palms against my plastic apron. Only to realise the sweat is harboured inside the plastic gloves. The clock ticks. Ticks again. On the other side of the room, a group squeals, someone giggles. My fingers close around the cold smooth handle of the scalpel; I feel its dead weight in my hand. Our lecturer slides over, calm. “Cassie, where is your I have felt the velvet of deer lungs before, and respect?” the bursting ripe tomato feel of a rabbit’s heart. In the weeks to come, I will slide a finger down The student is mortified, and I feel her angst. We a tibia, see how bones are glued by tendons want to learn, excel, memorise drugs and dis- and muscles. I will feel the weight of a human ease, symptons and statistics. But to do the best heart in my palms, know how inner organs of we can is to remember that we treat people, man lock into one another in an intricate puzzle. not disease. To respect this body I need to think of him as a person. The evidence is all around We’ve leant off textbooks and digital images, but us, if we focus beyond the peeling flap of skin. to actually touch something, someone real is our first step out from the world of books. It is only The stitches on m’ knee lil’ girl? I was show- when we see – and feel, and hear – what normal is in a body that we will understand what is going ing off m’ motorbike with m’ mates and it wrong in our patients. That is a gift of a body donor. got outta control. I’ll know this person’s most intimate se- One body donor will teach many dozens of doccrets, know him inside out, know him bet- tors, dentists, physiotherapists. These dozens of ter than his lover. Better than his doctor. people will go out and help hundreds. Not only their pain, but the pain of their family: their children, their mothers, their friends. Indirectly, one That scar down m’ chin – ah, that’s when body donor has changed the lives of thousands.
I was barely knee-high. Tried to finish a race first, tripped and landed wrongly. No matter the petty indiscretions in the
course of their lives, the fights, the crimes, The burn marks on m’ wrist – that’s cooking the betrayals, they’ve given their last gift to for the first time to impress a lover! And you man kind. One can be selfless in their death.
see m’ writer’s bump? There’s a law degree.
I glance at the clock again. Mozart will understand: the man before me will tell him Hey your piano student, the one who’s learnt everything that there is to But to know him as person, and then cut him. Such know about you and more – she’s my student, too. a condradiction of actions: to love, and to hurt. Piano can wait. My life can wait. And for now… The more I know about him, the more I don’t I’m eighteen, and in my first year of universidare touch him. But cut him I must. Running ty. Today, I am going to learn from my teacher. a gloved finger over his skin, his scars, him…
HMSA ON THE STREET GETTING TO KNOW THE FAMILY Name: Angela Nallimelli Studying: Medicine Favourite Cartoon: Dragon Ball Z. I had a crush on Vegeta!
Name: Daman Pasricha Studying: Medicine Favourite Male Artist: Enrique Inglese because he is a beautiful, beautiful man
Name: Georgie Katahanas (GK) Studying: Medicine Favourite Male Artist: Pitbull because he raps in latin and has a booty!
Name: Tom Pitney Studying: Medicine Ultimate Date: Fancy Lobster Dinner
Name: Will Yaxely Studying: Medicine Ultimate Date: Gym sesh with my one true love.
Name: Az Toodayan Studying: Medicine Ultimate Date: Muffins at the Bra with Will Yaxley, followed by going to the beach... with Will Yaxley
Published on Nov 16, 2011