Monthly Archives: March 2008

cleaning cleaning cleaning and specialty run down.

So since Christmas I have been away twice, for a total of about 6 weeks. Unfortunately I haven’t really unpacked properly from either trip. Hence I am living in a dump. Such a dump that I can’t work out where to start with making it right. I am currently

In other news, audaci has published her 2008 list of specialty thoughts for the future. It isn’t a meme so I am allowed to copy it without compromising my principles. And I’ve added some extras :p

Surgery – NO. It’s interesting enough to watch (and probably fun to do) but I just can’t get up in the dark. And I don’t have the personality for it.
Emergency – unlikely. Although the emergency physician who spoke at orientation this year said that emergency physicians have short attention spans. That sounds like me.
Cardio – nope. ECGs are not my friends. Although I’m getting better. And I just don’t think I want to do this one.
Respiratory – possibly. I like respiratory physicians. Not sure about the work though…
Neuro – I don’t think so. Although my GP said that neurologists are quirky and that she thought I’d fit in for that reason.
Haematology – maybe. I can now get a single picture when looking through a microscope. That has to count for something.
Orthopaedics – no. This involves surgery. And knees. I hate knees.
O&G – probably not.
GP – quite possibly.
Oncology – probably not.
Gastro – not so big on the poo stuff.
Derm – no. Steroids and antfungals fix most things. Burning stuff off fixes the rest.
Opthalmology – nope. Spend all morning doing cataract repairs then play golf all afternoon. Such a small ball over such a large field.
Paeds – no. Kids are generally cool. Parents can be a trial. A very competitive specialty. An option would be to do GP training then sub-specialise in kids.
Anaesthetics – nah
Radiology – I’m never convinced that I can actually see anything. I always wonder if it’s just a bad exposure. And ultrasound images will never make sense to me!
Pathology – probably not.
Immunology – probably not.
Endocrinology – maybe. But the increasing prevalence of diabetes could make it a fairly repetitive workload.
General physician (if these still exist) – possible
Infectious diseases – hmmm possibly. They get lots of mysteries! I like mysteries.
Renal – maybe.
Intensive care – probably not
Rheumatology – possibly. Although the knee issue surfaces again
Palliative care – probably not.
Clinical genetics – no. I don’t like genes.
Psychiatry – at the moment probably not although it’s a backburner one. Not ruled out.

The definitive Baptist experience

[disclaimer: I have attended a baptist church for about a year now. Prior to that I went to an Anglican church for 25 years or so. Hence any generalisations I make may be somewhat fanciful]

Most evangelical churches in Sydney with more than one service on a Sunday tend to have a family service in the morning, sometimes a traditional service early in the morning, and a contemporary service at night. At my previous church there were two evening services, one had become “young married couple”-central, the other was “trendy highschool/uni student”-central. I didn’t really fit into either of these categories and objected to “the church” being so segmented (it wasn’t the fault of the church, just how people gravitated). At my new church there is a good range of people at the evening service – old people, young people, single people, married people, people with kids, people without kids. I like it like that.

An interesting thing about Sydney churches is the similarity between Anglican, Baptist and Uniting (aka. Methodists, Presbyterians and various others) church services and theological bent. In the rest of Australia and the world there are significant differences between these traditions, but in Sydney (conservative theology and minimal tradition capital of the world) the practical differences are negligible. Hence there are large numbers of people who don’t subscribe to any particular denomination but will happily belong to any.

At my church I am currently not eligible for membership as I have not been baptised by immersion. They are happy enough to do this (the church is across the road from a large lake), however at this point I’m not sure of the need to be baptised again. Although the pastor does agree with me that I should not have to be baptised again. It’s a church constitution thing. And perhaps the constitution will change in the future. That said, there is nothing to stop me participating fully in the church – I can take communion, lead groups, be in the church directory, erm do other stuff… and they give me money to go to mission in summer. Apparently I am seen as a small m member. As are a large proportion of the congregation!

So a typical evening service at my church involves singing, prayers, sermon, announcements, sometimes communion and occasionally a variety segment. There are probably about 100 people present on a regular night (although I have never counted. Perhaps I will one week) in a building that comfortably fits that many without acres of empty space.

Building Layout

The building is of a funny shape. This picture does not really represent the shape. However that’s how the seats are.

I have included co-ordinates in case I wish to point out any features. At the moment I don’t wish to do that.


We mainly use contemporary music. Common songwriters include Chris Tomlin, Matt Redman, various Hillsong people… and some others. There is also commonly a sprinkling of hymns – either new hymns (eg. Stuart Townsend – How Deep the Father’s Love, In Christ Alone) or old hymns, typically with a new tune (eg. When I Survey, May the Mind of Christ…).

Then occasionally someone throws in a Baptist classic. These sound like they’re of 80s origin, some earlier. I can’t really describe them. Both hearty AND cheesy. They usually make me giggle a bit. And I can’t remember what any of them are called unfortunately.

The music team usually consists of a guitar or two, a bass guitar, drummer, piano, a few singers. These people are not projected onto a screen. However the words to the songs are.


Usually someone asks if anyone has anything they want prayed for, then they throw in a few that haven’t been mentioned. It’s most common for the person at the front to then pray, but occasionally the front person says that anyone who wants to can pray out loud.


Grape juice and bread, open to all believers. Walk down to the front where there are two people at the head of each aisle, one armed with bread and the other with grape juice (apparently the younger generation of Baptists aren’t so much into the teetotal thing, however we must respect our heritage). Pull off a bit off bread, dunk it in the juice.


We are very lucky to have some excellent sermonisers at my church. These can be anything from 10-45 minutes. But the 45 minute ones are not a chore – there is no padding out with waffle, and it doesn’t feel like 45 minutes.


Tea, coffee, cold drinks, whatever food the supper people have brought.

Everyone on their way by about 8.

4 items of business

1. I found my phone, you can all stop looking now. It was actually in the pocket of what I was wearing yesterday but for some reason I couldn’t hear it when I was standing 30 cm away. And no it wasn’t on silent. Weird.

2. I will at some point soonish describe what I meant by “baptist-style” in my church marathon post. I may even have some suggestions of places for downunderdocE to try in her local area (hopefully it doesn’t freak her out too much that I know where her local area is)

3. This morning I was late to uni because I hadn’t found my phone yet and hence was using my back-up alarm clock, which appears to have stopped working the moment I set the alarm. Also weird.

4. So at Subway at the moment there’s some health something or other deal, where if you buy a 6 inch ham, turkey or roast beef sub and a drink made by Coke (ie. Coke/Diet Coke/Coke Zero/Sprite/Fanta/various water brands) then you pay $4.95. Which is interesting because those three subs all cost over $4.95 if you get them by themselves. So Subway is paying me to drink Fanta. That pleases me.

A disaster cascade

Those of you of a medical bent may recall the coagulation cascade. This is where an event (eg. injury to a blood vessel wall) initiates a sequence of events, a cascade of chemical reactions if you will. I don’t think I can be bothered to explain properly, but I’m sure Wikipedia has a nice summary if anyone is interested.vv

Yesterday, I think I left my phone on the bus. Today I forgot to wake up because my phone is my alarm clock. I am now wondering what the next event in this cascade will be. Which enzyme will be activated due to me forgetting to get up?

Possibly the one where I get in trouble with the people who monitor attendance… but WHO KNOWS! It’s all very exciting being a part of biochemistry.

I’m just not cut out for it

So my first surgical term started yesterday.

Surgeons start work early. I am not a big fan of this. Particularly when daylight saving goes for TOO LONG!

I don’t mind staying late or working overnight. I just don’t like getting up at stupid o’clock in the morning.

Church marathon

So since Thursday I have been to five church services. Which sounds excessive (and probably is) however the problem was that they were all totally different and it was hard to work out which ones to go to.

Thursday night was a contemplative thing where the lights all went out
Friday morning was a Good Friday service Baptist-style
Sunday very early was sunrise service on the headland
Sunday less early was the regular Easter Sunday service Baptist-style (oh my one of the Easter classics had me in lots of giggles!)
Sunday evening was the Sunday evening service.

They all had different sermons and music styles and foci… and I’m glad I went to all of them. Particularly the sunrise service.

Tomorrow is work from 9-6. And sadly I have not achieved my aim of doing something about the garbage tip in my room over the long weekend. Ah well. Maybe for the Queens birthday weekend. Or Anzac day! Or the week off in May…

In other news, I have now finished a quarter of third year. Woot!


I’ve been having some strange dreams lately. Last night I dreamed that I posted a video on youtube and the next morning there were heaps of comments and they were all so vicious that the youtube admin had deleted half of them. It was quite odd. I can’t remember what the video was about.

However the next video I’ll post is of Pooka and her friend having a brawl at the park. Just have to think about uploading it and all…

News from Advanced First Class

Obedience classes are so tiring. They only go for an hour, and it’s not as though we’re running laps or anything. I think I find it more emotionally draining than anything else. I’m always getting in trouble for right/left errors, not talking to Pooka loudly enough, not saying enough encouraging things to Pooka etc.

The thing is, if she obeys when I say something in moderate tones, why should I start screeching like a banshee at her? And similarly, if she is doing what I say, why do I have to keep up a constant stream of small talk, that is she isn’t listening to anyway?

Ah well, it is making a difference to her. She is a lot more settled and well-behaved. And if that means that I get disciplined every week for a while, so be it. I’m probably the worst owner (in terms of doing the correct things), but she’s not the worst dog!

the sticker

The sticker actually means that a patient is at risk of having a fall. You may need to rotate your monitor 90 degrees clockwise (or your head 90 degrees anticlockwise) to see this.

I will always think of it as the electrical fart sticker however.