Meningococcal B vaccinations

How many of you guys have prescribed the meningococcal B vaccination? It’s called Bexsero.

I had a mother come in asking for it. I didn’t know much about it but luckily I had some brochures handy and articles that I could present to her.

Here are some key points:

  • 200 – 250 cases of meningococcal occur each year. The majority of these cases are due to meningococcal B. Meningococcal C has declined since the 2003 immunisation schedule.
  • The immunisation covers 76% of strains of Meningococcal B in Australia
  • There is a cost involved (approximately $137)
  • You are required to take either 2 or 3 doses and a booster shot is also offered
  • A common side effect is post-vaccination fever

Let me know if there was anything else you’ve heard out there which also needs to be discussed with parents.

More information can be found at: http://www.immunise.health.gov.au/internet/immunise/publishing.nsf/Content/85A6879534C02B4DCA257B640002F38E/$File/ATAGI-advice-bexsero.pdf

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Getting Exposure

Does anyone know how it is that people start reading a blog? Does the author tend to comment on other websites and hope that those people reading that website will venture over to this part of town. I know when I comment on a post I want it to be worthwhile and not just a random promotion but I know I’m at a point where I want people to see what’s written here and give me their thoughts. I think that time will come when I write a piece that I know I need to tell the world. For now I’m happy writing for myself and those few who chose to follow this blog. I hope one day I can compile a list of stories and interesting consultations from over the years.

Interesting Case of the Day
Today I was presented with a 6 year old who had 2 cystic lumps over the upper eyelid and the lower eyelid. It was initially treated as a stye and managed with antibiotics. The practice point in this presentation is that a stye needs to have an associated hair follicle in the area that’s affected. This was close but not part of a hair follicle. This was in fact a chalazion or meibomian cyst and the treatment is different. You can confirm their presence by inverting the eyelid. Once I knew what it was I advised mum to apply warm compresses on it (for 5-10 minutes approximately 3 times a day). This is the definitive treatment and baby shampoo can be used to prevent recurrence when applied over the eyelid. In the instance where it is infected, oral antibiotics may be used. If there is no improvement then of course you’ll need to make a specialist referral to remove the cyst. Sometimes we just have to look a little closer.

Part 2 – Offers

I got in!!!

I know it has been a good week or so since offers were released but I have received an offer! This means the world to me but most importantly it means that I can start to prepare for the few years ahead. So much to think about! I’m so relieved. You have no idea!

I’m excited and just don’t know where to start. I recently purchase a book by John Murtagh called Cautionary Tales. It’s amazing! It has the most random stories in it. That’s what makes it so great. I’d love to create something like that at some point but for now I hope this blog will serve as a medium for my journey ahead.

I hope to use this space to add interesting cases, interesting patient interactions and well interesting anything!

Let’s have some fun and maybe in a few years I’ll be able to talk about my FRACGP exams and that whole chapter of my life!!

It’s party time.

Part 1 – Selection Results

So the results have been released and I have been given a raw score and a band number. The raw score is a standardised score which averages out the multiple choice quiz and the interview. The band number is a number given to the percentage of candidates you fall into. Band 1 being top 0-10%, band 2 being top 10-20% and so on. Those who have the highest score will essentially get their first preference and it will go down from there.

I initially wasn’t sure what to think when I got my results but at this stage I fall into the candidates that would be offered a place for next year. Over the coming week we have the opportunity to change preferences and then late next week we will receive offers from the regional training providers as to whether we are in or not.

After getting my score I guess I’m relieved but at the same time it’s not over until the offers are made. For this reason we shall wait and see what happens and I shall post the outcomes of this next step soon.

It looks like we may have a blog worth writing after all :).

Before Everything

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to be a doctor?

We all know there is significant competition getting into the medical program and a lot of competition during the course itself. What happens when we graduate? We apply for work. We choose our specialties and we wait. We wait for a time when our luck turns and we get the rotations we want as interns and as residents. We wait for our exams and once we pass them we wait for a consultant job. What happens when all that hard work and waiting makes you feel like you’re not quite living up to your potential and at times feels futile. What happens when you’ve worked so hard for something but realise it’s not allowing you to live your life and be flexible. What happens when you begin to wonder whether all these sacrifices are worth it and that despite achieving your outcome, you’re still not fulfilled.

What happens? You start writing a blog.

My story is simple. I love medicine and I want to make a difference. I love it so much that I have tried hard over the last few years to be accepted into the physicians college in paediatrics and to work at elite hospitals in my state. I have been able to achieve all these things over a period of 4 years. Now that I’m here, I find myself constantly looking back to the person I was and the person I am now.

I want to do so much with myself and this process makes me feel as though I’m missing out. I am constantly doing night duties, evening duties and unable to be flexible with my holidays. I find myself disappointing the people around me because I can’t be there for them and I also feel down because I can’t share those times with them too. I want to be more than a specialist and be a generalist where I have the resources to do everything and not limit myself from learning whatever there is to learn in medicine. I also want to feel like I am a reliable health service with the autonomy to give people what they need.

I have a fear about what people think of me. I know they respected me. I just know I have such great potential and at times I feel as though being great means you need to work on the little things and do them well. For me this is taking a step back and realising that despite being in one training program, I now need to apply for General Practice.

This is my story of going through this process and the emotions and challenges I face along the way. I never know if what I am doing is right but the most important thing is I’m doing it and not afraid to see how it unfolds.

I’m 28, recently married and happy to do what I need to for my life to be as fulfilling as possible. At the end of the day I want to be proud of what I have accomplished and know that I am still there for my family and beautiful wife. I hope you can come for the ride.

I just sat my entrance exam and interview and am awaiting a nation wide ranking score in just under a month. This will determine whether I get first dibs on the training provider of my choosing. Wish me luck. I don’t have a plan B.