Happy Anniversary to me!!! 10 years…wow, how time flies! So many bittersweet memories…ups and downs…and A DECADE has whizzed past! 😮
When I graduated 10 years ago, I didn’t have the slightest notion that I’d be where I am today. Am nowhere near my original aim (to be a specialist at this juncture of my career). But then..Hey! Why insult myself by comparing myself with others :p
I’m my own Hero…in the form of the Future Me! So destinations and timelines change, but the GOAL remains.
11.06.2007 – I still remember my hospital director asked me with some concern if I’ll be okay starting on my own when my other 4 Unimates were given postings in pairs. Little did she know what a survivor I had been in the preceding 5 years! I won’t forget the funny advice from my first ever head of department (HOD) either, on day 1 of officially reporting in for work. After enquiring my marital status, “Don’t get married during Housemanship”! Indeed, “Yes, boss! ” :p
I fit in well in every posting & gained and maintained friendships in my colleagues (and even medical students) better than during my undergrad years. To my surprise, the rotating nature of housemanship every 3-4 months suited me best & I actually enjoyed housemanship (contrary to the general complaints about HOship being toughest years of work life). Always thought I was one made for routine and familiarity – Surprise Surprise…
I was equipped with a high dose of nasty people antibody by then though – that definitely helped heaps in getting through internship (and rotten apples of employers many years later)! Little did I know what bends lay in the road ahead for me…career wise.
I’ve read somewhere, ‘Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’. Knowing I inspired some juniors to take up Paediatrics, though I didn’t end up pursuing what I decided on in the 3rd year of my career had felt weird.
But I’ll never trade my formative working years for anything else – Internship, District posting & Paediatric MOship! They molded me into who I am today. General Practice has been my domain these past 5 years, when I decided to change the direction of my sail…to flyaway.
Over these 10 years, there has been many a day and night I’ve wondered & pondered about numerous things about all in a day’s work…even reached the extent of feeling fed up/ burnt out:
- Being the punchbag in inter/ intradepartmental ‘wars’.
The critically ill patient you’ve stayed up almost the whole night long who didn’t make it the next day.
The deaths that breaks your heart, holding back tears when breaking the sorrowful news to the family & then crying in the on call room or toilet.
Even when you are unwell and working, but have to hand out MC to people who are visibly healthier than yourself.
The non compliant patient who comes down with a preventable complication & you feel so frustrated but realize you limitations in ‘taking the horse to water but can’t force to drink’.
The ones who make you feel that you care for their health more than themselves. Being verbally & even physically abused by patients because you refuse to bow to their demands.
Those are just tip of the iceberg.
And then, there are the moments of helplessness when you can’t be there/can’t do anything for family members who are ill themselves, when you wonder “What’s the point? ”
While you are doing your utmost best in caring for someone else’s loved one, you hope & Pray that your loved ones will be in the care of someone who will leave no stones unturned too ^
The high stress of dealing with human life doesn’t make any of it easy. To those who think it is a glamorous job, I pity their ignorance. How many people would dream of a job where you deal with all the bodily secretions of another human being?
All these while being unattached to the patient. Detached attachment was a lesson I’ve learnt well in all these years.
And then there are the social occasions and the day to day life where I prefer not to be asked about my profession. Hate lying you see…in case they happen to be your patient some day The numerous times I try not to roll my eyes at the lame ‘MC joke’! Sigh….
And to not appear ‘lansi’ (proud) nor dumb when you are faced with the “Since you are a Doctor, I have this..list of complaints” and similar lines from relatives, friends & acquaintances.
Seriously, we think and speak enough about work and diseases and hear enough complaints about ailments and absorb negativity in our day to day work life that we would very much appreciate social conversations which doesn’t revolve around the same. I’m sure I can speak for most doctors who believe in work life balance! There are some who will link everything to medical related things – I like to stay far faraway from them out of work setting :p
Appreciate the majority of my beloved family & friends who do not grab the opportunity for a free consultation during the ‘let my hair down’ or holiday moments! :* However, I don’t mind being contacted/asked for an opinion from close ones, especially in times of need.
The greatest irony in this is that the nearest and dearest are the ones to ignore our advise & concerns…probably seeing us as their ‘little one’ still. Sighh
BUT…despite all these, it is an Honour! To be given the TRUST. Not because you have gained it. But just because from the dawn of times, Doctors have been privy to not only patients’ physical issues, but emotional and mental issues as well.
Someone who is a complete stranger gives you access to their personal, and often even intimate details (although in some cases it takes abit of an effort to build the initial rapport).
And not forgetting, the occasional ‘darling’ patients, whose mere words or actions reminds you that “It is all worth it”. A simple heartfelt Thank You goes a long way in making our day, trust me. 😀 Knowing we have made a difference, somewhere along the way…touched some lives.
That’s why this is not just another job, but a Passion…a Vocation! That, is the beauty of my Profession.
When all is said and done, never, ever could I imagine quitting doctoring patients. Doctor = ‘Do cere’ = To Care.
A special shout out of THANK YOU to all the teachers, mentors, colleagues, nurses & healthcare staffs I’ve had the pleasure to work with in this past decade! And my regular patients who trust me 😀
Cheers (to myself) to many many more years as a Doctor! May I do no harm & do some good, while maintaining a work life balance _/_
P.S : How am I celebrating this milestone today? Working, of course! :p Yup…a Sunday! It is a long weekend here (Queen’s Birthday) & I’m definitely making this a milestone to remember…pre, mid & post (work) 😉