Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What I am supposed to do

So... I'm back! Thanks for the warm welcome, people. I started catching up with your blogs and reading about your adventures. As for me, I'm doing fine. I had a new haircut

and got used to driving my new car, "Tempeh" (pre-bumps and scratches picture)

But what about my new job?

Well, it's been 2 months since I started working at the village. Is treating patients as rewarding as I thought it would be? Well... no. Am I missing the good ol' Mytilene days? Um... yes. Have I regretted staying here and throwing a perfectly good job opportunity away? Hmm... no. Not just yet.

To be honest, being the village doctor hasn't turned out to be exactly what I had imagined. But before I can share stories from my everyday life, it is necessary to talk a little about where I work, what I am supposed to do and what I am actually doing.

We are sharing a practice with one more village doctor (actually a fellow student of mine from the university of Crete, who applied for the same position as me by sheer chance!!!) and a nurse. Each doctor has her own office, with a desk and an examination bed and there is also a small kitchen, a toilet and a waiting room for the patients.

Things we CAN do at our practice:
  • Measure blood pressure (and deal with an emergency hypertasic crisis) and blood glucose levels. Also, perform a urine stick test to diagnose or rule out an infection, for example.

  • Perform a clinincal exam and treat illnesses that are not life threatening, such as a common cold, a mild pneumonia or a case of gastrenteritis.

  • Give CPR in case of an emergency, stabilise and monitor the patient, until an ambulance arrives and takes him/her to the hospital.

  • Do stitches and perform minimally invasive procedures, such as change a bandage/dressing, a permanent urine catheter or treat wounds/burns.

  • Give vaccines when indicated.

  • Refill resident doctors' prescriptions.

  • Inform the village population on various topics (for example, what the swine flu is and what measures should be taken).

  • Verify death and write certificates in case of natural causes.

Our practice is open from 08:30 to 14:00. After that, one of the three available doctors is on call (the third one doesn't work at the practice in the mornings, but at the local mental facility) and the other two get to leave. Being on call means that your mobile phone number is available to everybody, and they can call you in case of emergency. So, if something urgent happens, you have to open the practice and examine that certain patient, or go to his/her home if he/she is unable to move or to the site of the accident if something like that happens.

Things we CAN'T do:

  • Give Xrays and blood exams. No such equipment is available.

  • In cases of chronic illnesses, prescribe medication for the first time. If a person suffers from asthma or high blood pressure, for example, we are not eligible to plan their treatment. They should consult a specialist, who decides the drugs the patient should get. After the treatment is set, we have the right to refill the patients' drugs when they run out. But again, if changes should be made to the initial medication, only specialists have the right to make them.

  • Deal with life-threatening illnesses, such as meningitis, severe pneumonia or pulmonary embolism.

  • Prescribe drugs or give vaccines to children - a pediatrician should be consulted.

  • Give death certificates if cause of death is unknown.

All of this does sound pretty neat. Basically, our role is that of general practicioners. Taking in mind that villages mostly consider of elderly people, who are unable to travel long distances and go to the hospital at Mytilene, we are there to help them.

Or so we thought when applying.

To know what really happened, stay tuned for my next post! I wouldn't want to bore you with more medical stuff for now, plus I got a call for a patient, just when I had put my pajamas on.


  1. Sounds like you've got an interesting and potentially busy life these days! On call 24/7!

    I like your hair too. And thanks for sharing the pictures. It always helps to have a visual image to go along with the stories.

  2. I LOVE the new hair! It's so cute! I wish I could rock a hairstyle like you do!

    Your job sounds pretty demanding. I'm glad you're finding time to get back to your blog and let us all know what's happening!

  3. The hair cut is cute, funky, sassy! That all spells great! Village doc...very cool! Come on by today. It's one of those posts I'm super proud of. I want my friend to see it. Holly at

  4. Very cute new 'do! Can't wait to hear your story!

  5. Love the hair!!! I can't wait to hear the rest of the story!!!

  6. Love your haircut! It's making me want to cut mine!

    Sounds like quite an interesting job you've got. A bit different than you expected, but an amazing experience!

  7. I can't wait to hear the next part - not fair to make me wait like this!

  8. Way to leave us hanging! LOL! I'm loving your new look, both hair and blog! Also, I am so happy you are back! You were sorely missed.

  9. Sounds rough. But good experience. Someday you'll look back on this from your slick modern clinic and feel grateful. Or something. Cute hair!

  10. ok a little ate, but I love your new haircut!!
    it looks greta on you!
    I look forward to reading more about your adventures! : )

  11. Gracey,

    I am stopping by from Tattoos & Teething Rings. Wanted to congratulate you on your award and say hi!

    I enjoy meeting new people through their blogs...I'm a stay-at-home mom with twin girls who are almost 4. My husband is a doctor and he can't comprehend my obsession with blogging. Oh well!

    p.s. I'm your newest follower!

  12. Love the new haircut!!!!! Your job sounds must be hard to be on call and have to go running off whenever you're called upon! Can't wait to read more about your adventures!

  13. Hey Gracey! I've got a little something something for you over on my blog!

  14. Hi Gracey -

    You stopped by my place and followed along a week or two (or more ago) and I have been a bad blogger. Just want to say "Hey!" Cute haircut. Cannot wait to see how everything works out. I'll be following along.

    Holly @ 504 Main

  15. well i am a squeamish one so a no-go on all of the doctoring stuff, but yes please on the whole living in greece - am i wrong? great read and glad i found you from tattoos and teething rings!

  16. Love the hair! I'm excited to read upcoming posts about your medical adventures--so I'm following!

  17. Enjoyed your blog post. I look forward to reading about your adventures and life as a village doctor. Very interesting.

  18. love the new haircut!
    I have an award for you over on my blog :)

  19. Gracey! Greece are in the World Cup! Congratulations!!! First time since 94!! Party time in Greece!

  20. Love your hair! But the job sounds a little limiting.

  21. Don't you hate getting a phone call when you just put your pyjamas on?!

  22. Hi there! I've missed you! Hope all is well - looking forward to hearing more!

  23. Glad you're back. Sounds like life is exciting. And the haircut is cute!