Sunday, September 29, 2013

You are a snoot

It was a normal happy..happy... working day yesterday. Patients were barging in as per always, but we kept up the pace. It was smooth sailing at its best....until....
Along came a patient with his entourages, also not forgetting a referral letter from a private well-known hospital.

So this said person, an elderly person, was diagnosed with late stage cancer, has undergone multiple sessions of radiotherapy and chemotherapy in the private sector. Because of the stage of cancer, this person has developed paraplegia and needs proper nursing care and physiotherapy. Although in such an advanced stage, this person is still very outspoken and well-versed, good for this person.

The referral letter however, was a general one. It clearly stated: "because of financial constrain, the family has requested to be referred to a government hospital for further care". That, I definitely understood.

So, we did what we could, and what our procedures allowed us to do. Since it was a general referral, with no investigations attached, and that the person has come to the emergency department on a weekend, we did our best. We called the respective team to come and see this person.

However, neither this person, nor the entourage understood that there is no such thing as "direct admission" if the referral was general. There is no such thing as a private waiting area for the them to be in, as they do want to sit in the general waiting area. There is no such thing as an ICU/CCU type bed at the emergency setting.

This person came in on a wheelchair, his well, his vitals were stable. As opposed to the more critical patients in Red Zone, this person was seen ASAP in the Yellow zone, and when we gave this person a bed to rest on while waiting for the respective team to come and review, this person refused to go on the given bed. The bed apparently is not up to this person's standard.

One of the entourage came up to me and bombarded me with the same repetitive question regarding "direct admission" and expected that I give them priority care. With the best that I could, I smiled and repetitively explained that that is not possible and that we have informed the respective team. This particular entourage rolled his eyes at me, kept looking at my scrubs, trying to get my name, testing me, testing my patience. I kept my calm, smiled and answered the best I can.

Although I am open, and free spirited, I never forget my roots. I know to treat everyone I see with the same amount of respect. Know how to lower myself when speaking to others. And yet, the conservative, covered, traditional ones that barge in, brought in the unnecessary attitudes and snootiness, and expect to be treated like kings and queens.

In the end, everyone is the same. We are ALL the same human being.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

As I am reaching the finishing line: A confession letter

Why do I want to become a doctor.
Initially, becoming a doctor was a request made by my family. Since I am the only one among my siblings who is into science as opposed to arts, I took the request to heart. I graduated high school under pure science stream and I actually wanted to become a chef. But the year that I graduated, being a chef does not pose so many potentials, as compared to the market nowadays.
Therefore, I pursued medical school. It was a rough start at first because I am not the one that sits down and read books; I am more of hands on person, learning well from my experiences. Throughout medical school, I met many people, many lives that thought me to be more sympathetic, more concern, and more sensitive to their conditions. I developed the love to help people in so many ways possible; trying my level best to lend a helping hand to people in need.
As the years passed, I learned that this is, being a medical doctor, is my way to reach out to more people and to help them.
So, to answer the question: “Why do I want to become a doctor”, the answer is: it is my passion.

If I were a Medical Officer, what do I expect from House Officers.
As a House Officer who is still in the training/learning process, I would expect them to grow up and mature with their profession. Not to be blinded and egoistic with the status as a Doctor, but to be humbled and sensitive to needs of others. Knowledge wise, I expect them to know some medical basics, maybe not all because we tend to forget, thus we have to refresh our knowledge continuously.
Life is a learning process by itself. There is no ending in learning, so I expect them to learn from everything, the patients, their colleagues, the environment, so that they can better themselves in so many ways possible, as a Doctor, as well as a human being.
I also expect the HO to be more confident, but not cocky. There is however, a thin fine line between confidence and arrogant. I wouldn’t mind if the HO is really confident and has evidence of the fact that they are presenting, only then I could trust them handling some cases, before I attend to the patients.
I also expect to have a good working relationship with the HOs. I understand that I was once a HO too, therefore we must work together to solve problems, not work against each other.
The other most important thing is honesty. I don’t want to be the kind of MO that is so hard to converse with. Because when that happens, it is hard for the HO to be honest about some things; like for example, informing new cases, or anything that needed to be attended STAT.
As I mentioned, HOs are in training and sometimes they are not that confident in their management and they need a superior to help them out. The better the working relationship, the more honest and trustworthy the HOs can be. But of course I do expect the basic things to be done first before making the call to inform the MO in charge.