Young doctors need a dose of human touch
I AM writing in response to recent letters about young doctors being transferred to other states and of stressful working conditions in hospitals.
I think I am what I am today because of what I have gone through in the past. As I look back, my heart is filled with gratitude for all the patients I have been allowed and privileged to manage and treat in the different places I worked. I am deeply indebted to them for making me a better doctor.
I believe that doctors are placed in a position to serve. Our first and foremost duty is to serve mankind, heal them of their sickness if possible and alleviate their suffering and discomfort if a cure is not possible.
No doubt, you have to be properly equipped with knowledge and clinical skills before you can do so, but I realised that the greatest classroom for a doctor is just any ordinary health facility.
If one is willing to have an open mind, a humble attitude and a heart to learn, he will find that wherever he works, there will be plenty of learning and training opportunities. Yes, I learn how to be a better doctor from the patients I see.
Remember that medicine is both a science and an art. In order to be a good doctor, a person needs to have love, concern, mercy, sympathy and compassion for people under his care. One needs to have a good understanding of other religions, beliefs, traditions, culture and ways of life.
One needs to have an understanding and sympathetic heart, a pair of listening ears, patience and humility. All these can perhaps be summed up as the “human touch”.
You can acquire these only if you have love for your fellow human beings. If one serves willingly and lovingly, one will find opportunities for “training” no matter where one is.
There is no hurry to go into specialisation. Let’s serve wherever we are needed and placed. Let’s not work grudgingly or harbour bitterness for not getting what or where we think we deserve.
I am sure you will be richly rewarded, if not now, perhaps in the afterlife.
When the time comes, go into specialisation and I am sure you will be a better person, and upon completion of your training, a better doctor and specialist.
I dread the day when we have specialists with very good knowledge and skills but without the human touch.