Saturday, June 24, 2017

I'd let everyone know the trials that doctors go through, the hours we actually work and what we get paid. The fact that every doctor has had to stick their (triple-gloved) finger into someone's ass to see if (among other things) there's blood in their shit; I'd make sure that people know the kind of things we have to deal with, from hair-raisingly gross to nausea-inducing frightening. I'd make sure everyone knows how competitive our work environment is, how little support we get sometimes, and the times of naked fear when we're knee deep in and have no idea what to do next, what the hell do we do next? Everyone should know how badly we get scolded by patients, nurses and seniors. And then we go home and our parents think we've had a glamorous night when in fact we pricked our finger with a needle that just drew HIV blood, we had to see a TB patient and they coughed blood on the uniform we're wearing now, our senior scolded us because we couldn't speak hokkien, a patient threatened to sue us because we took an hour to see her, and someone died on call. We're tired. 

I swear I'm not doing this for sympathy, or a pay raise, or more respect. I'm not doing this because I want people to understand me. But people come in with unrealistic expectations: subconsciously thinking we're gods and that with an injection, two pills and a quick feel of the pulse we can solve all their problems, from joint pains and indigestion to crippling headaches and heart failure. When they realise we're not gods and can't solve all their problems, that we're not unendingly patient and able to miraculously understand what they think without them saying it; when patients realise how human we (and the system) are, they get upset, feel betrayed, and angry. Angry. I think if they understood the reality of this, they would moderate their expectations. 

Yes, medicine is wonderful and miraculous and leaps ahead from where we were when we started. But we're not playing at being god, we're just trying to make life a little better. 


Camila Cabello - crying in the club

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