Burnt Life-style of a Doctor; Our True Disposition
The image that springs to one’s mind with the word “Doctor” is usually of a middle age man or a woman in a white coat with a stethoscope around the neck, hair tucked in a tight pony-tail (woman) or having bald patches of hair on his head (man). A person whose actions display extreme alertness and is tolerantly listening to the never-ending tales of innumerable patients, even though the doctor is mentally drenched and very futilely aching to blurt out a diagnosis at the first chance, which he may have reached even before the patient began his sob story.
The customary perception of a doctor is of one described above but these dogmas fail to tell one-self the tangible truth;
At the age of 17 or 18 years, when one enters a medical school after being thoroughly exhausted by the emotional joy ride any medical college aptitude tests provides, the feelings of embarking on an adventurous lifestyle or simply having “fun” have already been squeezed out of him/her, for one must not forget that these students, who successfully gain admission in to the most high par Universities are those, who not only stood in the top three ranks throughout their Elementary Education, but also the ones who chose to stay up till Fajr (morning/dawn prayer) to study for a simple test scheduled for two days later or miss their favorite aunt’s Valima (Reception) to memorize the formulas of Chemistry.
They are all class A students who take it up as their responsibility to not seek happiness in the norms of social amusements, but only feel ecstatic by achieving the highest grade in any examination or by solving a medical mystery.
The moral is that its not the noble profession of Medicine which makes one fail to recall that they have a social or family life but it’s the disposition of us doctors which makes us engrossed in our professions even before we gain access to the fascinating world of playing superman to the numerous patients who require us to help them live a healthy life.
One is Not denying here that our profession does withhold tiring demands and we are unfairly underpaid and much overused in our employments, but in fact acknowledging the actuality that we have genuinely been designed to fulfill this grueling job of being a doctor.
It gives pure pleasure to any doctor to obtain a smile from a young child on whom he has operated on for a 12 hours long surgery, while missing his favorite football team play or having a decent meal. The countless litanies a relative of a patient offers after they meet their loved one the doctor has recently helped gain health to makes that doctor feel proud of who he is.
Basically, no matter how imprudent it seems, us doctors would have been at absolute lose if this profession had not been so demanding. For we crave for such difficult tasks and this burn out lifestyle is what gives us deep-seated joy and lets us embrace our true identities.
About the author: Shaarmeen Chughtai is a medical student from Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi, Pakistan. She also happens to be the Department Director of Marketing of a non-profit organization, Patients Helping Hands, Karachi, Pakistan.
About this article: This article is competing for the JPMS International Medical Writing Contest 2012 for the theme: Burnt Life-style of a Doctor
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