Dr P Mackerdhuj
I received his undergraduate degree (MBCHB) in 1995 from the University of Natal and did my internship at King Edward VIII Hospital in Durban. This was the busiest hospital in Kwazulu- Natal, and for a young doctor fresh out of medical school the learning curve is very steep.
Some graduates know what sub-speciality they want to pursue whilst they are studying. I opted to shortlist my preferred fields. I did 6 months of Internal Medicine, thinking that the Physician in me would prevail. But this was not so, as I realised that I wanted to make an impact almost immediately to improve my patients well-being. The chronicity of many conditions I dealt with often did not allow me to do this.
I spent time as a General Practitioner in a busy practice in Durban. I again soon realised that this was not my calling.
Orthopaedics was certainly the best discipline for me as it is a hands-on field, the intervention in most cases has an almost immediate effect on patients wellbeing (usually for the better!) and there is a great amount of satisfaction in achieving this.
I went to England for 2 years and spent time in various fields. Psychiatry was interesting and quite fulfilling especially because of the excellent support structures in place for patients in their communities.
I also spent time in General surgery and plastic surgery, which I thoroughly enjoyed.
But Orthopaedics was certainly the most enjoyable experience there. I spent time in busy hospitals, in firms dealing with Joint replacement (and revision) surgery, shoulder and elbow surgery, hand units, and managed to do a significant amount of trauma surgery.
I got back in 2004, got accepted to do my registrar time at the University of Cape Town. I completed my postgraduate degree ( FCS Orth (SA)) in 2009. My interest in upper limb surgery was fostered whilst I was a registrar, as being a centre of excellence as UCT Orthopaedics is, we have accomplished upper limb firms(shoulder and elbow, and the hand unit).
I did a fellowship in Shoulder and Elbow surgery at Groote Schuur hospital for a year before joining the Cape Town Orthopaedic Clinic at Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. I also have rooms at Blaauwberg Netcare Hospital. I am on the trauma roster during the week at both hospitals.