About Me

Larbert, Scotland, United Kingdom

Monday, September 8, 2008

Life in DepCat hell

One thing I have learned on my first Surgical block is that DepCat matters... Given that they invented Carstairs Indices6 & 7 for Scotland, and Indices 7 for the area I am in at the moment in particular.

This informs the patients we see...
  • Pancreatitis (West of Scotland favourite)
  • Cancer - bucket loads of it, of almost all known organs - oropharyngeal, gastric, colorectal, pancreatic, prostatic, bony met's....
  • Obesity
  • Traumatic orthopaedics

Being a surgical block, we haven't seen much respiratory stuff, since most are to far gone for any curative or palliative surgery. Many of the operations are not curative, and the people accept this as normal.

Many of the population in the area served by the DGH moved from the East end of Glasgow in the 1970's-80's and brought their health with them. You may remember the East End from the recent by-election and news headlines (see here, here, here, ad infinitum).

It seems that down in the lower indices, where deprivation is at a level which is hardly ever seen and which some in the UK would like to pretend does not exist, then you can expect to die young and they accept this. They view their lot as a poor one, and aim to make the best of it, but the vices of the poor are generally alcohol, food and tobacco - who can forget a local MP's comments in 2004.

Lest you think that it is all depression and gloom....the sick man of Europe as its uses as a Medical student, and since we cannot change the health we are presented with in the here and now, it gives many great opportunities for understand behaviours, trendsm, and also to see lots of pathology and cases in a relatively short block.

On a related note, I am writing up my first portfolio case and discovering
a) I forgot to ask about half the information I ened
b) I forgot to look in the notes for the other half
c) I have no idea why the patient is on some drugs
d) I have no idea what the 7 GMC themes are
e) I am now worried due to the above....any support anyone - the email link should work :)

1 comment:

DundeeMedStudent said...

if you didn't get the whole history, go back and see them again (if they are still in, or read the notes if they've gone home)

give me an email with a quick outline of the patient and their drugs I'll have a wee think for ya.