Inside this issue of Junior Doctor… 4 Update
MPS and the HPCSA comment on the latest developments surrounding telemedicine; in other news, surgical errors and workforce shortages cause concern
6 Doing it the hard way
Medicine is challenging enough without the difficulties posed by problematic working conditions. Intern Dr Magnus Potgieter provides some tips based on his own experiences
8 How to work as…a specialist physician
If you are clever enough to become a doctor, you are clever enough to become a physician. Dr Willem Theron looks at what it takes to specialise
10 Into the wild: The life of a community service medical officer
Your CoSMO year throws up unique challenges. Read two first-hand accounts of life off the beaten track
12 At the sharp end
Needlestick injuries are potentially fatal – Dr Susan Purchase provides advice on staying safe and what your first actions should be if you sustain an injury
14 Dilemma: Eye of the storm
Dr Liz Meyer, MPS medicolegal consultant in South Africa, presents a dilemma from the MPS advice line. What should a junior doctor do when asked to obtain a patient’s consent for treatment outside their competency?
10 6 Welcome
Dr Graham Howarth – Editor-in-chief MPS Head of Medical Services (Africa)
If you read MPS publications closely you will almost inevitably come across a paragraph pointing out that MPS is a mutual, not-for-profit organisation. What is the significance of this paragraph and what are the alternatives?
Being a mutual, we are owned by our members. We have more than a quarter of a million members, each with a small stake in the organisation, and the organisation is run in their interest. The term not-for-profit is fairly self-explanatory but what if our income exceeds our expenses; is that not a profit? The answer to that question is no, it is not a profit but a surplus – and there is a difference. A surplus, unlike profits, does not move out of the organisation. Any surplus is retained by MPS to service the interests of its members.
What about the alternative? A profit-making organisation’s primary goal is to make profits; alternatively put, to make money out of the people who pay them. These profits are not then retained in the organisation for the good of those that subscribe to the organisation but paid out to owners, investors or shareholders.
EDITOR IN CHIEF Dr Graham Howarth EDITOR Gareth Gillespie CONTRIBUTORS Dr Hellen Georgakis, Dr Liz Meyer, Dr Michelle Pentecost, Dr Magnus Potgieter, Dr Susan Purchase, Dr Willem Theron DESIGN Jayne Perfect PRODUCTION MANAGER Philip Walker MARKETING Mo Khan, Alika Maharaj, Ian Middleton EDITORIAL BOARD Dr Stephanie Bown, Dr Tim Hegan Junior Doctor Medical Protection Society, Granary Wharf House, Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK, LS11 5PY Tel: +44 113 241 0530 Fax: +44 113 241 0500
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Opinions expressed herein are those of the authors. Pictures should not be relied upon as accurate representations of clinical situations. © The Medical Protection Society Limited 2011. All rights are reserved.
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By being a mutual, not-for-profit organisation, our primary responsibility is to our members and any excess funds are retained in the business to the advantage of the members. Profit-making organisations make money for other people; our primary responsibility is to our members and nobody makes a profit out of MPS – members’ interests are advanced if there is any surplus.
The decision that has to be made is whether to subscribe to an organisation where you are essentially one of the many owners, and whose primary responsibility is to you; or to an organisation whose primary interest is making money for other people.
We welcome contributions to
Junior Doctor. Please contact the editor, Gareth Gillespie via email gareth.gi
JUNIOR DOCTOR | VOLUME 2 | ISSUE 1 | 2011 | SOUTH AFRICA www.medicalprotection.org
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