Tempus Fugit

Time Flies…

   Apr 09


Sunday saw me depart TPLT No.1 and head further into the west to TPLT No.2.

A quaint little town to say the least. 

Once you are free from the foothils of the Great Divide, things flatten out.

TPLT No.2 is situated on flat wide vast sweeping countryside.  Mostly grassand low lying scrub for miles around. 

There was the most awesome sunset last night as I was walking back from the Hospital to the doctor’s house.  Serene, not humid, and you could pretty much see for miles around as a soft warm breeze whispered through the grass that was silhouetted by the sun dipping over the horizon.  Sublime.

TPLT No.2 is filled with….well…weird people.  I was told this by the people at TPLT No.1 but I must admit I was putting this down to inter-TPLT rivalry.  But ’tis true.

Because of the extended stay in TPLT No. 1 I am only here five days and leave Friday morning.

TPLT No.2 has its benefits though:

  • A real three bedroom house (as opposed to pokey flat at the back of the GP practice).
  • Austar Sat TV in the doctor’s house
  • A car (not that I really actually have anywhere I could drive to – there isn’t much within the half hour on-call reaches of the town).
  • A paramedic…yes a real one who can do real paramedic stuff (TPLT No.1 had the gardners and admin officers on the roster for driving the ambulance…making it a little difficult if the one experienced driver was not rostered on).
  • Mostly agency staff (which usually means nobody knows anything because they are all on short term visits like me)…but this time around, at least 4 of them have critical care/emergency/intensive care backgrounds – which (perish the thought) should there be a serious emergency, would hopefully mean I have lots of backup
  • It is within less than an hours drive of the nearest other doctor – so I don’t feel quite so isolated.
  • I get paid OVERTIME.  Instead of being on call 24/7 and having to deal with whatever came through the doors at whatever time, if I get called out outside of normal working hours, I will get paid call out rates! YAY.

So I have three working days in TPLT No.2 with a visit to TCLT No.2 for a half day clinic also.

In other news,  I’m now over half way through my Tour of Duty!  Two weeks today I fly out to Singapore for some much needed retail therapy.

   Apr 09

TPLT No. 1 Part II


Was supposed to leave TPLT No. 1 last Wednesday.  Alas, however, the powers that be decided that as the permanent doctor had called in sick (to stay in Brisbane a few more days) I was to stay until the following Saturday….Easter Saturday.

Not so much of a problem in itself – the staff are great and it’s not overly taxing. 

Problem is, first of all, I had my mind all keyed up to move on so it took a little mental adjusting to stay, and secondly, there were an awful lot of patients booked into the GP clinic fully expecting to see their regular doctor.

For the most part that was okay – they didn’t mind.  I did get a few people reschedule.  I was however having minor conniptions over some of the patients whom I’d seen the previous week and felt that they were a little beyond my ability and had asked them to rebook the following week (fully expecting them to be seen by a ‘real’ GP)… effectively buffing and turfing (read the House of God by Samuel Shem).  That of course had now backfired which mean I actually had to put my thinking cap on and make several phone calls (and skype calls) to various medically trained people around the globe seeking advice on the best course of management for some of these more complicated cases.

I think I managed. 

Karma of course came and bit me on the arse though – in the form of a stream of sick kids.  Paediatrics is not my forte.  In fact, the last time I did any paeds was in medical school – and in another country.  That meant several more phone calls, MSN messages and skype calls around the globe for more advice.

Thank fuck for the internet.  It has made it so much easier to provide a minimum level of health care to people who live beyond the reaches of the southeast corner and coastal areas.

Easter Thursday I actually ended up with a bonafide inpatient.  Kind of weird actually having an inpatient that I am totally responsible for (as opposed to being papermonkey for a registrar).  I am surprised at actually how much stuff I remembered when I had to and how much things became suddenly clear that I had never really quite understood up until I was forced to be making decisions on my own….without a pathology service or even a teeny weeny iStat(TM) to assist with decision making.

So with Saturday arriving, so ends my time in TPLT No. 1.

   Mar 31

A Visit From Foxtrot-Delta-Romeo

It’s kind of funky being able to pick up the phone and ask the state government to pay for an 8 million dollar hunk of shiny machinery with flashing lights to come hurtling across the sky to visit.

Bike vs Ant Hill guy was flown out by RFDS tonight and I went to do the hand over. 

The council bloke buzzed the runway a few times to scare the wildlife off (8 million dollar hunks of machinery don’t like running into Skippy – it tends to cause thousands of dollars of damage….not to mention a bloody mess is made of Skippy).

It looks kind of cool seeing the light appear ‘like an angel on the horizon’ in the distance and land making lots of noise and flashing of lights.

Tonight Foxtrot Delta Romeo was visiting us.  The RFDS planes have the call sign Victor Hotel (for Australia) and Foxtrot Delta – followed by another letter.

It’s a relief when the door hisses open, the ambulance ambles (love that alliteration) onto the runway and you can finally hand the patient over. They’re no longer your responsibility…and you can go home and put your feet up and hope to hell the phone doesn’t ring with another conniption to deal with (fear the phone).

Thank goodness for modern technology.

   Mar 31

Bones etc

TPLT 1 Day 2 

So much for quaint little village.  (I’m not superstitious but I am not going to mention that other Q word because it’s been bad enough already).

Monday….(cue Pier Gynt Morning Suite)….beautiful sunny day, birds singing, clear blue skies, I sit down to enjoy my porridge and scrambled eggs (kindly prepared by the kitchen)…enjoying my plunged Merlo coffee (I bought the stovetop espresso maker but forgot the basket that holds the coffee) when the phone rings.

Fear the phone. (cue William Tell Overture)

Cow vs Girl…. on a cattle property…..1.5 hour drive from TPLT 1.

Funky, bumpy ride in the 4wd ambulance out to the station along very bad dirt roads.  Lucky me sitting in the front seat was on gate duty…..opening and closing the innumerable gates that we had to traverse to get to where we were going.

Girl in pain. 

Very slow ride back to TPLT 1 hospital…bumps and pain don’t go well.

Patient was tranferred eventually to NBH (Nearby Big Hospital) by private vehicle.

That took all day.  All GP patients had to be cancelled.

TPLT 1 Day 3

Busy Busy Busy day in GP clinic (cue theme from Benny Hill) – fully booked out because of yesterday’s cancellations and also not having had a GP for weeks.

Thank goodness for prior knowledge.  Would never have made it through the day and the multitude of patients without the stuff I’d learnt whilst a pharmacist.

Only saving grace is the Moo-Lah. 

TPLT 1 Day 4

Alledgedly a half day of GP stuff for me.  Allegedly.  Still totally booked out for that session.  Then a few more patients to see in the hospital OPD.

Much sleepage had in the afternoon.

TPLT 1 Day 5 (With a visit to TCLT*)

TCLT has a clinic on Fridays.  Was driven half way.  Picked up by Bush Nurse in ambulance.  Very enjoyable clinic.  Very brief tour of the town.  A few bizzarre tourist attractions.

Very nice lunch put on by Bush Nurse and Receptionist.

Driven back to TPLT. Fell asleep very early.

TPLT Day 6

Woke by phone (fear the phone).  Didn’t remember actually falling asleep.  Must have needed sleep.  Luckily phone only required a phone order.

Wouldn’t you believe it.  This weekend would be the weekend for the TPLT 1 Camp Draft.

Camp Draft = Cattle vs People = Work for me.

Fractured tib/fib required flying out.

Busy GP clinic in the AM.

Bloke on Motorbike vs Ant Hill

Ant Hill 1, Bloke on Bike 0.

Cringeworthy displaced humeral head (humerously[sic] not funny).

Second aeromedical retrieval for the day…and it’s only early afternoon.  Things come in threes…and there’s still another day and a half of Camp Drafting.

I think I need a Becks and a good lie down (double entendre intended).

Was muchly impressed to find that my washing was not only washed, but ironed and foldeded.  Could get used to this.

*TCLT = Tin Cup Little Town (i.e. much smaller than TPLT).

   Mar 26

TPLT Tour of Duty Day 1

Have arrived in TPLT* No.1.

Flight was in a Dash-8.  Flight attendent was nervous as all buggery as it looked like he was being assessed (stern looking flight attendent seated accross from me ticking and flicking forms and watching him like a hawk).  I felt sorry for him because I think his nerves made him sound very unpolished.

One hour wait in the sweltering heat at the airport because the hospital car was being serviced.  Trip to TPLT No.1. from NBCT* was via the photocopier shop to ascertain the status of the hospital photocopier repair and via the pet shop – to purchase a new fish for the hospital fish tank.

Two hour drive from NBCT to TPLT No.1.  Most entertaining conversation with the gardener/ambulance driver and an EN that were in NBCT to pick me up and do errands.

Arrived in TPLT No.1.

It’s sooo cute.  The hospital reminds me of A Country Practice.

Weatherboard.  Manicured lawns.  Very 1950s.

Reliever’s accomodation is spartan but comfortable.

Turns out there’s been no doctor in town for four weeks…hence the private practice clinic is full up.  GROAN.  I’ve never actually had to deal with private practice before.  Could be somewhat rather hellish.  Will not be impressed if it’s pap-smear central

The hospital runs its own ambulance.  There’s no paramedic.  The area covered is 22,000 square km covered by this hospital meaning a callout may mean a two hour trip out to a station somewhere.  Doctor to accompany in serious situations.

Could be a very interesting time.

*TPLT = Tin Pot Little Town

*NBCT = Nearby Big Country Town

   Mar 12


Ever been in the situation where you have so many different possible twists and turns you could take that you are just so paralysed with indecision that you end up doing nothing because it’s too hard to decide?

I’ll be fucked if I know what to do.

What’s more my indecision is driving me around the twist. Crazy in the coconut.

Life was never meant to be easy… alledgedly… but geeze I wish I knew.

There was a time where it was all clear cut. I knew where I was, where I was going and how I was going to get there.

Now I’m swimming in the darkness.

In circles.

   Mar 12

Time Flies

How easy it is to do nothing for an entire weekend….and before you know it, the weekend is over and the week begins.

And yet it doesn’t feel like I was doing nothing.  There was things done, it wasn’t like I was doing nothing….but there didn’t seem enough time to achieve anything.

Most unsettling and annoying.

And now a twelve day stint to deal with….and then a two day break…and then four weeks of who knows what and then after that and some leave…who knows.

   Mar 10

Washed out and wilted.

Level five water restrictions.

Another reason to consider that perhaps it’s time to move on from Brisbane for a while.

I remember the good old days when you could shower for as long as you liked (aside from the occasional maternal unit having conniptions about the hot water bill).  When you could wash the car, hose the concrete, use your sprinklers in the middle of the day (even if the theory that it would burn your grass was true).

*cue split enz*

…And I’m beginning to wonder if it’s time for a change

   Mar 10

If you don’t stop doing what you’re doing,

… you won’t stop going where you’re going.

   Mar 06


The big problem with blogging these days is finding the time to say stuff.

So often it gets put off and I forget what I wanted to say.

Things to mention when I have more time:

  • Cats – average /Sideshow Alley – amazing, a travesty that the Australian tour was cancelled /The Narcissist – Haven’t laughed so hard in ages.
  • Brisbane – cultural backwater.
  • Training – motivation, lack thereof, timing
  • Travelling – timing,
  • The terror of Turning Thirty.
  • The terror of Country Relieving – two and half weeks.

More soon.

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