Some thoughts on what I do, and why….


anton-chekhov

You might ask why I have started with a photograph of Anton Chekhov; well apart from being a great playwright, author of among other plays The Cherry Orchard, Three Sisters and The Seagull, and a very fine short story writer, whose works I studied and loved in my last year at University, along with other favourites such as Samuel Beckett, he was also a practising doctor all his short and active life. But I promise to dedicate a whole post to him in the future in fact I was thinking of introducing a series of posts about writers who were doctors, and doctors who were writers. It is a very interesting vein to look into.

But there are other reasons that I start this post with a photograph of Chekhov. One of his famous quotes is-

“Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress. When I get bored with one, I spend the night with the other”; it is a brilliant metaphor. Chekhov also used his medical practice to great effect in his writing. Medicine is about the careful examination of human nature in all its varied forms, and Chekhov used his observation of men and women in medicine to then transpose it into literature, and surely it was a two-way thing, his humanistic vision affected his medical practice.

I like this metaphor because it sheds some light ( in my eyes at least ) on what I do, what I am trying to do because it is still an open book; my aim is to learn more about medicine to be able to help those practising it with their English but the more I do this then the more I become interested in medicine per se. It is a fascinating and enthralling profession, which I have the great advantage of being able to look at from the outside. An outsider can see different things, looks at things with a different perspective, and perhaps help differently.

 

And another reason that Chekhov is here is a personal one, and that is that I have had the very great honour of being invited to lecture at his university – I.M Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University.

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Anton Chekhov studied medicine there from 1879 to 1884, and I will be visiting the same University at the end of this month.

So now, let me elaborate on the title – ” Some thoughts on what I do and why….”. In general, it is part of human nature to want to know what the other does so the question “what do you do?” is one of the normal starters for “breaking the ice” when you first initiate a conversation with somebody. Sometimes for me it is a little difficult to try to explain what I am trying to do, so people straightaway interrupt me and say, ” Oh, so you are an English teacher.” That is easily resolved, you have been labelled, the box ticked off because that is what people are doing; labelling in some way, fitting you into their way of seeing things. People are curious without really being curious, or even really interested. It is a kind of reflex.

Einstein

 

Albert Einstein, a man to go to if you need a ready quotation once said:

” I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” An understatement, perhaps! But one which says a lot. He is, of course, talking about a real curiosity, and this is one of the greatest gifts that you can ever have, or ever acquire. Being curious means that you are interested in people, and in life.

For me, there is no other way.

In my own modest way I am curious about medicine, language and many other things, and thus the change of the subtitle in my blog.

I try to base my work on this curiosity. It leads me to wanting to learn, and this desire to learn means that I wish to teach.

And please remember…..

 

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Thanks.

“The pleasure of taking risks” by Dr Daniel Rodezno


The pleasure of taking risks

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How many times in your life have you regretted things that you have not done?

Lack of time (perfect excuse among physicians), monotony and our fear of giving up our comfort zone often deprive us of living great experiences that can change our lives positively.

Making such an important decision like moving to another country for a few months can seem a little intimidating and much food for thought.

In my case, it was due to a mixture of objectives: To know other cultures, improve my English, to network and grow professionally by observing how things work in other hospitals, which led me to decide to request an external rotation to the UK.

My name is Daniel Rodezno, and I am fourth-year resident of Urology in Hospital Son Espases and I’m currently making an external rotation of two months in the UCLH (University College London Hospitals) and I wanted to share some of my experiences and impressions with you.

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After months of intense paperwork, permits, and economic and academic decisions were very pushy, I moved to England in January 2015.

After realizing in my own skin that I had chosen the coldest months to visit the country, I moved to an area near the center of this magnificent city, London and the hospital where I am rotating into a small and comfortable room; which can mean that you can save a few Euros in transport considering this is one of the most expensive cities in the world.

The cold, gray morning mist added a mysterious touch to this noisy city where the blend of luxury and cultural diversity make London one of the most unique and interesting cities in the world.

Only a few kilometers away are the facilities of the Hospital; one of the newest and most modern in the UK and Europe, which serves as a reference center around the UK.

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My rotation is with the urethral reconstructive urology department led by the renowned Prof. Anthony Mundy and his team. A mature, elegant and serious, but kind man; who in each surgery shows a skill worthy of his fame accompanied by a professorship at each step of the process, aimed at other students like me who come from around the world to observe and learn.

Every small and great detail in the operations that are different from those we already know with explanations will enrich and change your perspective a little bit more; Not to mention having to deal with an exquisite English accent, which is a bit difficult to get used to at the beginning; but in time, you adapt and begin to enjoy it.

After a hard day’s work, along with other colleagues I am taking the time to get out and enjoy this beautiful city and its people, with its parks, monuments, gastronomic and cultural diversity that perfectly complement the experience.

I still have a few weeks here until I go back and return to the routine of the comfortable, familiar and safe…

It has definitely been one of the best experiences of my life, and I hope this short review will motivate others to make an external rotation as part of your training which happens in the blink of an eye; more important than this, encourages you to take a risk.

“When you want something you should know that you must take risks and that’s what makes life worth it.”

Paulo Coelho.