Nervous times

Today my younger brother is busy with his oral exam which is hopefully his final exam before becoming a Paediatric Surgeon. He wrote the written part of the exam in August and if one passes that, then you get “invited” to do the oral. It is a gruelling day with short cases, a long case and I’m not even sure what else, shame I am very glad I’m not him today. Previously, in order to become a Paediatric Surgeon in South Africa, one first became a general surgeon and then you did a 2 extra years just in Paediatric Surgery. My brother will be one of the first in South Africa who are purely Paediatric Surgeons as they have done 1 year of General surgery and 4 years of Paediatric Surgery. Chris is quite glad as  Richard is the one on my side of the family that gets all the phone calls regarding sick children and on his side, his oldest sister is a GP and gets all those phone calls (including the one’s from Chris regarding our kids sometimes)!!

He is doing his oral in Durban (the venue for the oral exams moves around the country). These exams are held twice a year and quite ironically Chris did his final oral exam for Plastics in Durban exactly 2 years ago. Chris passed so let’s hope Richard does as well. Passing is not a given, even when one reaches the oral stage. There are people that had to do their plastic surgery exams 5 times before they passed, and these are good, clever people that studied hard. I was also just pregnant with Ava when Chris was in Durban for the oral. I had actually started bleeding and was in such a state. He had phoned me between 2 sets of orals and had known immediately from my voice that something was wrong. I drove straight to the FS and they scanned me straight away. Our fertility clinic are all quite involved at Tygerberg Hospital and training registrars so knew exactly what Chris was going through. I saw Ava’s heart beating strongly and was so relieved but when I tried to phone and let Chris know, his phone was off already and it was hours before he knew that our baby was still safe and sound. What a day, one I’ll never forget. My brother’s wife is also pregnant with their second little girl but she’s much further along (6/7 months now) and hopefully won’t give any drama today.


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