©2019 by Andrew O'Brien

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My First Post!

Updated: Nov 18, 2019

Despite the generic appearing title, this really is my first blog post. Writing a blog is something I have considered before but never given a massive amount of thought. However now as I embark upon this new and exciting chapter in my life, I felt it was the right time to start penning my thoughts and feelings. But before getting into the how’s and why’s, let me introduce myself. My name is Andrew and I am a photographer and medical student from Cape Town, South Africa. I was born in Cape Town, went to school in Cape Town and now attend university in Cape Town- so nothing particularly interesting there. In later posts, I will go into more detail but am keeping this one brief.

My passion for medicine started when I joined my school’s first aid society in grade 8. I soon discovered there is nothing more rewarding than genuinely helping someone in their time of need. Both my parents are in the medical field and so some have postulated that growing up in a ‘medical’ household served as my inspiration. However, I beg to differ as during my early formative years I was convinced I would become an engineer and had, and still have, elaborate ideas for inventions. I found my parents work a bit mundane yet reflecting on this I put that emotion down to ignorance as I didn’t fully understand the importance of what they were doing. When applying to university I put medicine down as my first choice- necessary for consideration- with engineering (specifically mechanical and mechatronic) as my second choice at one institution, and laser physics at a different institution. I was fortunate enough to be accepted at both institutions for my second choices but sadly not for medicine. In a later post, I will delve into this period of my life a bit deeper as there are some interesting stories. I resigned myself to studying engineering for a year and then applying for medicine again hoping for better luck the second time around. But then a few days into the orientation programme I was fortunate enough to be accepted into medicine and swiftly changed faculties. Since then I have not looked back and am excited for what the future holds for me and everyone in my class.

As mentioned, writing a blog was not something I had given much thought. It is true that I have previously considered vlogging when I was a bit younger but am very glad that I decided not to do that as I suspect it would have been incredibly cringe-worthy. Photography and filmmaking have always been huge passions of mine and I enjoy them very much. As my university workload has increased, I have been able to devote less and less time to what was my outlet. I, therefore, started to look for ways for the two spheres of my life to overlap- and I suspect I may have found it. While starting a vlog is a big decision and a topic I have debated over profusely, I think it might be a good idea. Obviously starting out I will not be promising any kind of rigid upload schedule as my studies do come first. There are other things to consider too, for example, patient confidentiality prevents me from filming patient interactions, policies prevent me, quite rightly so, from filming lectures as well as taking footage of human specimens and cadavers. Not only would that be unprofessional, but it would also be offensive and in bad taste- not something with which I want to be associated. I do also have to respect the privacy of my fellow students and the staff of the university. In an ideal scenario, I would like to construct an online environment of support and positivity as well as education. One of the brilliant things about being in a class of such intelligent, diverse and fascinating people is the availability of fresh perspectives and viewpoints. Thus, I don’t want this blog and the potential vlog to only be my experiences, but also that of those around me. My wish is for this endeavour to be fulfilling for me and for you, reading this first post. For those reasons please consider following this journey and following my social media pages to get regular updates. If you have any thoughts or advice, please do reach out to me as I would love to hear your thoughts.

As 800 words steadily approaches, I realize it is 10pm and I should go do a bit more chemistry studying before bed. I hope that you have enjoyed the blog so far and please do check in occasionally to see what is new as this blog develops. Thank you for reading and I hope you have a happy and healthy day further.



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