Monday, 23 July 2007

Brazil Baby!

Tom is back from the USA and we are visiting our friends in Brazil from when I did my elective here. I feel like I´m on a tropical holiday with warm weather, tropical fruits like mango and even rain!

There were a bunch of tv crews on our plane (the first morning flight to SP), as the big plane crash at Congonhas Airport happened the night before. It is big news here and has rocked the nation. The Congonhas airport is known for being dangerous with housing at either end of the short runway. Never the less that doesn´t change the very sad news for the whole nation.

Thursday and Friday we spent in Ribeirão Preto, about 300km from São Paulo, where I did my medical school elective. All our friends say hi to Shannon too! Livia made so much time for us. She took us all around town and we had a great time wandering around the municipal park/zoo and catching up.

The public telephones at the zoo are in the shape of parrots.

Flavio joined us for the swimming pool sized Caipirinhas at Agua Doce at night.

Then, being the super geek I am, I spent Friday at the hospital. Thanks to Flavio for letting me come see one of his bone transport operations, a new technique for "regrowing" bones in patients who have lost a large fragment due to trauma, cancer or infection. All the residents that were starting when Shannon and I was on our elective are about to finish their Orthopedics training. It was really cool to see them all again. Traveling is great but getting to go back and see old friends is truly special.

Back in São Paulo we are enjoying the delights of a multicultural city. Sergio and Kelly are showing us the high life and I´m sure I will have gained many extra kilos with all the great Brazilian, japanese, chinese and italian food we´ve had. It really reminded me of Sydney (except for the Brazilian) and I think I ate the best bread I´ve had in six months!

Man meets his mortadela.

And we even visited the São Paulo Football Club home ground.

Wednesday, 4 July 2007

How many of the blue pills?

Sorry in advance for the paranoid doctor rant.
I had a cold last week and got some cold and flu tabs at the chemist after advice from my workmates. Strangely all I got was a blister sheet of tablets without a box or anything. I had to ask the girl how often to take them but in my haze forgot to ask how many. I get home and there are no doses next to the medication names or anything. Hmmm. At least I know what these meds are but what about the rest of the population?
The pharmacist labeling all medications and ensuring you have some idea of when to take them is something we take for granted in Australia. I now know just how important this is. We see patients in the walkin clinic and send people home from hospital with little sheets of paper with when to take all their meds because they won´t have instuctions on the packets. Then they get different brand names from the chemist and don´t know when to take which! I´m a little concerned. My take home istructions are becoming more and more detailed. I think my workmates think I´m crazy.
This is I guess another example of a system that relies less on interdisciplinary colaboration.... I hope to inspire my colleagues to take better advantage of the knowledge of our collaborators from para-medical disciplines. Now how many years was I planing to spend here to change the world???