‘ A new phase of life. A new beginning and newfound respect.
A noble, rewarding and fulfilling profession.
Treating the sick and giving hope to the ill. And people would give their right arm to be who you are.
You belong to the 3% of our population.
The best of the best. The crème of the crop.
After all, you are a Doctor.’
Isn’t that what we always hear? Well, at least that was what I’ve heard.
One would think it is all peachy. But let me assure you that it is not.
I have been waking up before cockerels crow every day, and barely manage to get enough sleep at night. I sleep less when Mat Rempits come in through the hospital door with broken arms and legs. Still think it’s noble?
I don’t know about you but it is not funny waking up at 3-30 am to treat some reckless teenager high on drugs, with broken bones, nevertheless expecting you to work wonders.
‘Oh nothing la doctor. My friends and I were just hanging out. I drove my bike too fast and skidded on the wet road.’
‘Why were you hanging out at 3 in the morning?’
‘Ala doctor, I cannot sleep.’
‘You better start talking or this suturing is going to be an experience you will never forget.’
‘Okay okay. I was chased by a policeman and I skidded.’
Deprive someone of a goodnight’s sleep and wake him up to treat these teenagers. I guarantee you the horns and the fangs will magically appear on his head and face.
One night I had an uncle with a diabetic foot, with maggots crawling out of his wound. And he came in at 4 am.
‘you’ve had this for a while, Why come at 4 am uncle? Why didn’t you wait till morning? It’s only 3 hours away.’
‘Truth is I quarrelled with my missus and she wont let me in the house.’
Can you imagine how frustrating it is?
I suppose you feel good when you see them walk again, or when they thank you for caring. Or when they refuse being examined by other doctors and requests only for you.
For the Mat Rempits, you wonder whether they will race again. And whether others will get hurt this time around.
Then you realise that you don’t have the privilege to determine who is right and wrong. Your job is to treat all, the sane and crazy as well as the reckless and the careful.
What a job eh?
To be frank I don’t mind lending a helping hand. But unlike most jobs, we work ‘odd’ hours. At times the hours becomes ‘even’ when it reaches 24 or at times 36 on a stretch.
No human should be treated this way. Even my hamsters get enough sleep. Expecting us to make the right decisions, and to treat patients well while depriving us of sleep and rest is ridiculous if not stupid. And all that for a measly RM100 a night.
Even superheroes need their sleep. You think superman can fly without his sleep?
Doctors are not superheroes. We are a group of confused people trying to make the world a better place. A gathering of people who only want to help their fellow humans.
So why torture us? Aren’t we the good guys?
If only we stop sending people to space, or reviving a multibillion dollar project in Port Klang, we can actually afford to hire all the doctors we want. Or make it more worthwhile for us – monetarily of course.
We’re after all only human.
Every year we plead. And every year we were ignored and told to shut up by the powers that be.
And when we’re tired of using proper channels to air our grievances, and write to the newspapers, we were told to take it and swallow it like a man.
Ironically they are the ones supposedly in charge of our welfare.
I agree that silence is golden. But silence can also burn like an underground fire, and when it surfaces, it is very difficult to extinguish and contain.
To my friends out there, hang tight. This is but just a phase of time. Like everything we’ve been through, this too will pass.
We’ wont forever be houseman, and our bosses wont forever be bosses. And the time will come when everyone will realise that we’re all just another human.