This blog is about new entrants to the Colombo Medical Faculty of the University of Ceylon (as it was then known) in June 1962. Please address all communications to: firstname.lastname@example.org.You may bookmark this page for easier access later.
Header image: Courtesy Prof. Rohan Jayasekara, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, University of Colombo (2011 - 2014).
I am really pleased to see early and
hopeful evidence of others taking up my request to share what they learnt from
our great teachers. Zita’scontribution is most welcome. Let us hope that more
will follow. As promised, here are a few more recollections.
From the best clinical teacher I ever had, Dr Wickrema Wijenaike. I
was privileged to be his SHO and he laid down a few ground rules when I started
which after 40 years are still relevant to sound medical practice.
(a)If you request an investigation, you must justify them by telling me
why you asked for them and how the results would help in the diagnosis and management
of the patient.
(b)You can prescribe a drug only if you can give me why it is indicated
and show me that you are aware of the
side effects of the drug and how to manage them. To memorise the dose is not
important, you can always refer the Formulary.
2.From Dr. George Ratnavale, Consultant Neurophysician (preferred term for Neurologistthose days in Sri Lanka), probably one of the best dressed and polished clinicians in our time, tall and elegant with a graceful walk. In one of his Ward Classes, he asked us to take a history from a young patient with a severe headache which was relieved by the application of a wet cloth soaked in Eau-de-cologne on his forehead. The young man had a Pituitary Tumour and was dismissed by earlier clinicians on the basis that a headache which responds to such a “placebo” could not have a serious underlying cause. The lesson was not to be distracted by what seems a dismissive feature in a patient but to be thorough in your evaluation and take account of the whole clinical picture.