Tripoli reading group-Year end meeting-2011

Picking up the threads, a small gathering of the TRG met and  read out some maps, articles, notes ranging from Philosophy to Medicine.

Remembering some conversations and inspirations.

The Tripoli Reading group is inspired by a veteran educator who taught some lessons on how to learn from the Subaltern.

“Is the medical refugee the same as the subaltern” I once asked him.

“No!” he answered.

“But a medical refugee can be in a worse condition than a subaltern”

That conversation started some discussions which go on…..

 Different Expatriate communities lived and organized

in Libya in many creative ways

“It will take the expatriate community at least three years to recover. First year, the workers will return, next year the families, the third year the schools will get proper staff” one long term expatriate worker mused.

Friends of Bouazizi: Do not ask about Yasin-a friend told me to stop being Naive

Friends of Bouazizi

“Where is Yasin” I asked naively, as I had not seen him for a few days. One of my Libyan friends warned me- “Do not ask about Yasin, otherwise you will be in trouble.” Some friends joined him over the months. Some disappeared and then re-appeared armed and ready to fight it out. Some were killed when the second uprising took place in August

At the conclusion of World War II, Libya’s people were among the poorest in the world. Apart from income derived from the military bases of the USA and UK, Libya’s primary source of income was from scrap metal converted from the considerable stockpile of war debris scattered over the country. Things started changing when oil was discovered in 1959.

Non-secular versus Secular:Putting oneself on pedestals.

Giving examples of words from letters, one student said A for apple, another said A for Allah. One of the persons of the reading group objected to the use of “non-secular” example of a word by saying that there were so many words in languages-why use Allah?

The discussion that followed was full of energy, passion, and sometimes even verged on becoming overly personal. We went into the “holier than thou” attitudes of certain groups and individuals.

“The moment you call someone Non-Secular, aren’t you implying that you are secular and hence putting yourself on a pedestal?”

We smiled together.Point taken. Lesson learned.

Communications during consultations : Need for open culture

Do you have a review mechanism in your institution to discuss events when you felt that your consultations with patients could have been better handled?

Doctors are generally defensive about discussing these things amongst colleagues.

A recent article in a journal states that doctors wanted an open culture whereby they could talk about difficult and emotionally challenging consultations without fear of being considered incompetent by their Consultants, who act in a clinical supervisory role(IJME.2011;2:159-169)

On putting this question in our “Reading Group” there was a mixed response.

“One of my mentors had cautioned me about discussing treatment options with a patient. But is part of a radiology consultation not doing that? But with whom should this discussion be made-with the patient or the referring treating doctor?”

In a multi-disciplinary atmosphere, these lines are often not well defined. One Neurosurgeon I know does not want even a written report to be given for his postoperative cases, leave aside discussing with the patient or relatives.

A need for open non-threatening culture may help all concerned.

My worst idea-Tolerating a disruptive celebrated Physician Scientist

Next week members of the group will reflect on what their worst idea was, after listening to a journal article in which a department chair reflected on how tolerating a disruptive physician-scientist altered his organizational dynamics and hampered patient care.(JACR July 2011)

With many celebrated heavy weights leaving the hospitals and joining private practice, this issue has direct implications for some full-timers. Hence the need for discussion on the clinical and management issues involved. Looking forward to this discussion next week.

Other related posts:


About prashant bhatt

A psychologist, interested in mindfulness practices. I practiced medicine as a radiologist for 23 years in India and Libya as a radiologist before shifting to Canada. A regular diarist, journaling since 1983 Reading journal :
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5 Responses to Tripoli reading group-Year end meeting-2011

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