Thursday, May 19, 2011


I'm grinning from ear to ear... I passed my Fellowship exam! So after four years of registrar calls, haphazard studying, fractured social intelligence and frequent medication adjustments in the entire household I am finally a (it sounds so weird) specialist anaesthesiologist. Well, at least from the end of next month when my reg time is officially finished and I can register as a consultant.

The examination was one of the longest days of my life. The day before, the accumulated stress took control of my body as if I'd been invaded by an alien life form: eczema attacked my body in burning filigreed ridges; my viscera felt as if they were being knotted into strange non-Euclidian shapes by a voodoo mathematician. The exam itself was not as horrendous an experience as I thought it would be - but I felt, suitably, that I had had my knowledge analyzed to forensic precision in all four dimensions, but without any malice.

I would not be sitting here blogging happily on the other end of the examination rift valley if it weren't for my wife, who has been continuously juggling the household, my mood swings and her own career while I was attending the shotgun wedding of my brain to Stoelting's Anesthesia and Co-Existing Disease. On top of that she's done a Diploma in HIV Management at the same time as my FCA - her results came out today and (of course) she sailed through it.

It's things like this that make my jaw drop at the power of Female Multi-Tasking. The wife is definitely a Quad-Core i5 to my first generation Pentium. And on that note, I have to smugly boast about my post-exam present to myself: a brand new iMac, the top-of-the-range 27" model that just came out. I'm in computing nirvana and this is my first post from it's gorgeous svelte platform. The new iMac is definitely the computer equivalent of Scarlett Johannson. (I've even named it Scarlett. Yes, I name my gadgets. My iPod is called Chuck, my HP laptop Sabrina and my portable hard drive Marvin in honour of its expansive information content and what I suspect is a dysthymic electronic disposition - it somehow always is reluctant to engage when first connected.)

In all, I've been truly humbled and touched by all the support from so many friends, family members that it honestly feels as if you all wrote the exam with me. What now? For the moment, work continues for the next few weeks - until the end of June when my contract runs out. I would love to stay in the state service but there are unfortunately no specialist posts available, and since my four years as a registrar are done I must make way for a new trainee. So I'm going to be unemployed for a bit - for the first time in my life really, and although that sounds scary I daresay it's high time. I've been running in a hamster wheel since school, everything decided for me - first Matric, then med school, internship, community service, anaesthesia training... (ok, I took a 2 year working holiday in the UK but it still involved anaesthesia locums to pay the way.)

I'm planning to take 2 months off and then I'll have to start worming my way into private practice. Unless, of course, a consultant post opens up somewhere reasonable. And I'll probably write up my Master's dissertation, given that the basic fieldwork was done as part of a larger study I was a data collector for before I got my registrar training post. The wife and I need a holiday so we're planning to do... a Mediterranean cruise! More about that later, for now I just wanted to check in and broadcast to the world that I can write FCA(SA) after my name.

Thank you for your indulging me :)


Shem Compion said...

Congrats Adelbert. Seems like it was a long trip. Your writing is a godsend to me in these late hours.

Natalie said...

Go Cuz, you are amazing and have the perseverance of an impala being chased by a lion! You very much deserve to be unemployed for 2 months said in the best way possible, as it's the only way I know you will take a holiday and let your hair down (if you had any!). As for the cruise please can I go in your suitcase. I may however vomit all over your clothes in your suitcase as I don't handle the motion of the ocean (and don't read into that!).

Congratulations - you have done us all proud.

Chivaugn said...

Eish, mhlekazi wam, you are too clever!