Maria Phalime


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“This is my story and the stories of other doctors who chose to walk away. Ours is a private anguish filled with the niggling suspicion that we should have been stronger, more committed, more able to handle the daily realities of practising medicine in South Africa.”

As a young medical student from Soweto, Maria Phalime had high expectations for life as a doctor. Then she started to practise and was confronted with inhuman hours, overflowing emergency rooms, poor resources and little support.

After nine years of study and four years practising, she hung up her stethoscope, turning her back on a long-cherished dream. As she goes in search of answers, she speaks to other doctors who gave up medicine and uncovers common issues ailing the health sector.

A moving personal account that exposes the pressures that come with being a doctor in South Africa.
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199 printed pages
Original publication


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