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Physician‟s Life As A Patient Before starting to writing this reflective writing task, I would like to give an exact definition on what are physician about. A physician is a professional who practices medicine, which is concerned with promoting, maintaining or restoring human health through the study, diagnosis, and treatment of disease, injury, and other physical and mental impairments. They may focus their practice on certain disease categories, types of patients, or methods of treatment – known as specialist medical practitioners – or assume responsibility for the provision of continuing and comprehensive medical care to individuals, families, and communities – known as general practitioners.Medical practice properly requires both a detailed knowledge of the academic diciplines (such as anatomy and physiology) underlying diseases and their treatment – the science of medicine – and also a decent competence in its applied practice – the art or craft of medicine. It's easy to imagine that doctors don't get sick. Surely the hygienic shield of the sterile white coat guards them from ever having to put on the flapping gown and flimsy bracelet, climb meekly into the crisp bed and be at the mercy of the U.S. health-care system. And if somehow they did enter the hospital as a patient, physicians ought to have every advantage: an insider's knowledge, access to top specialists, built-in second opinions, no waiting, no insane bureaucratic battles and no loss of identity or dignity when you turn into the "bilateral mastectomy in Room 402." But it doesn't usually work that way. While doctors are often in a better position than most of us to spot the hazards in the hospital and the holes in their care, they can't necessarily fix them. They can't even avoid them when they become patients themselves. Therefore, my group and I have met Dr. Badrul to ask about his experience as a patient. We conducted the interview on 30 November 2012 at 10 a.m. We have asked him many question regarding his experience such as his reaction after he got sick, his feeling when the diagnosis being conducted, his interaction with attending physician and health care personnel in hospital, and lessons he get after became a patient. One thing that I like about Dr. Badrul that he is a very easy-going person. He look very young despite of his age. The first question that we asked him is to provide details surrounding his or his family member‟s illness and hospitalization. Hence, he told us that he once had been suspected with lump carcinoma on 1999. As he work at Hospital Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (HUKM), obviously he will conducted his diagnosis regarding the disease there. Type of treatment that he undergo is radioactive iodine ablation. After the getting a laboratory result, his doctor clarify his disease which is lump carcinoma.
Moving on next question, we ask him about his reaction upon diagnosis of his illness. During that moment, despite he cannot accepted the fact that he going to undergo a surgery, because previously he is the one who treat the patient and do the surgery but that day everything changed, but he said that there is no point in depressed. Because we as a physician, our reaction are not supposed to be as normal person, because we already what the disease are and how we can manage to handle it. Therefore, we suppose to be calmer and be more professional in handling our disease. He also asked one of our team members to search on Google how much time applied for depression. And the answer is none! It is the matter of mind-set only. So, in order to become a successful physician, we have to set a positive mind set. Worrying is similarly sitting on rocking chair. We make many movement, bi=ut with no progress. Then, we asked him regarding interaction with attending physician and also to other health care personnel. He did not interfere when the physician who treated him. According to him, guidelines are guidelines. They must be obeyed and are not meant to be broken. So, although we have already be even manager in a particular Hospital, when we are treated by another physician, we have to obey every single their order. If not, just go and treat ourselves if we think that other people opinion not as good as our opinion. He stated that physician is the hardest patient because they know everything, hence they tend to condemn everything that other people said. It somehow related to their ego. So, the solution is, act professionally. But sometime, minor modification is allowed. For example, if our attending physician ask us to eat medication on 5 o‟clock, but according to our knowledge, eating that particular drug is best at 6 o‟clock, then we can make small alteration in the schedule. We also must take note on our body posture and body movement as 90% of the communication is consist of nonverbal communication. Only 10% of our speech is a verbal communication. So, we might speak thing that not hurtful to other, but our action is. Doctor Badrul told us that he receive a VIP treatment in that hospital, maybe because he is also a doctor so all the medical staff did their best to take a very good care for him during the rehab process. After he fully recovered from his disease, he just realise that being a doctor does not mean you will not become a patient because everyone can get sick even a doctor because human are not vulnerable. Before this he just address his patient according to their disease instead of their own name but now he realize that what he did was wrong because as a doctor he need to be more connected with his patient. Regarding his overall experience as a patient, he said that he become so sensitive. Maybe because his sense had enhanced. He can even hear a drop of water over miles away. One other thing, at that time, he realized that his ego had been busted. We often hear that people don‟t think that the doctor will fall sick. They don‟t even realized that doctor is also human being. Then, another point that he give to us is, when we are at mercy of other party, we actually do hope for the best from them. Similarly for person who we are treat, we must do the same thing that we expect from others. His motto is “No patient should be in pain”. So, he practiced over and over on his medical skill so that his technique will cause very small pain or no pain at all on patient. Then we asked him about the lessons he learnt from being a patient. He told us that as a doctor, we should always treat a patient like our own family. It is actually painful to see the patient's family crying. When he experienced delivering baby for the first time years ago, he
felt so touched .To him, it was not yucky to see the blood coming out from the delivering process, but he had a soft spots when he saw a mother was crying to see her baby for the first time. After his mom's recent disease, he learnt that human is so small, and there is a power which is bigger than human's, which belongs to God..He learnt that "live and death" matter is in God's hand, not human's. Last but not least, we asked him about the ways his experience affects the care he gave to his patients. He is so caring towards his patients. To him, patient comes first then money. He just want to help and treat the patient until he or she fully recovers. That's why many of his neighbour and friends always seek help from him. He told us that to become a great doctor, we should always prioritized our patients than other things. After, watching a video of Dr. Richard Teo: thought of life, wealth, success and happiness, I gain a lot of moral value from his story. Who is Dr Richard Teo? Well, he's a medical doctor from Singapore that's recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. In his life, he had achieved everything. Fame,fortune and wisdom. In his final moments, he speaks from his heart about life, happiness, and regrets. As medical students, we have much more to learn from Dr. Teo‟s life story. We will soon be doctors, professionals in a field unlike any other. A doctor doesn‟t really dispense services the same way a mechanic fixes cars or an engineer builds a skyscraper. True enough, money changes hands in medicine, and sometimes the money can be substantial. However, there‟s no denying that medicine represents an art and a field more complex and profound than just a lucrative job. Perhaps Dr. Teo, at the pinnacle of his career, saw himself as a glorified beautician, servicing the human need to appear attractive and defy the onset of decay and degradation. But no doubt at the beginning of his medical education, and most probably upon being struck by the worst of bad news, he thought of his calling as being something else entirely. To be a doctor is to submit to a higher plane of conduct, competence, and professionalism. Medicine deals with the most fundamental of human needs, the only commodity side from time and life itself with which we trade for other, lesser things like money and influence. Medicine deals with health. It deals with the human body, complex and sometimes confusing, springing new surprises that may not always be pleasant. Almost seven billion human bodies populate the earth, and every single one of them at some point will require a doctor. Not every one of them gets access to one. To this day, no one has yet died from a lack of accountants or finance managers. To be a doctor, then, is to submit totally and unreservedly to doing everything humanly possible and then some to alleviate pain, and bring relief and health to as many people as possible, most of the time at great personal cost. Small wonder then, that so much is expected of us as medical students, even before we begin our career. We are held to a code of ethics and professionalism to which we commit our conduct and behaviour for thirty, forty, fifty years. People think much of us, and expect much more in return; the rising popularity of malpractice suits and litigation bear testimony to the gravitas of medicine in today‟s society, and the expectations that come with it. Dr. Teo testified that his reason was to gain prestige and financial security. To an extent, he succeeded. And by his testimony, none of it was worth it. Only too late did he discover his true calling: to help others in want. The genuine joy and purpose he gained in rendering compassion to those who needed it desperately was only tempered by the regret that he had spent the bulk of his years chasing after an entirely different agenda. „True joy comes from helping others in hardship,‟ he had said. „When you start to build up wealth and when the opportunity comes, do remember that all these things do not belong to us.‟ In pursuit of material wealth and fast cars, it is sobering to remember that the last car you will ride is a hearse.
If we truly decide to leave lasting legacies and dedicate ourselves to the service of others, there is no better place to start than in medical school. We may not have opportunities to perform complex medical procedures, or to have patients open themselves up to us in the same way as doctors; that will come in many years‟ time. But the values to which we commit ourselves, the drive and direction we muster to attain our goal to be good doctors. We have plenty of opportunities to put these values to the test. We earn trust and develop reliability by doing things as simple as turning up to classes on time and handing in assignments punctually. We hone our ability to work well with others by cooperating with the members of our small group and doing our best to ensure that the entire group succeeds, even if we need to clean up others‟ messes to do so. We learn humility and respect, vital qualities in our future careers, by doing things as simple as giving our lecturers a smile and a greeting. Most importantly, above any and all things, we must learn compassion; not only to know it, but to so embrace it as to make it inseparable from who we are and what we do. What do we have in our hands? Dreams, ambitions, hopes. Goals to accomplish, wishes we are yet to fulfil. But when death seizes us by the collar and our plans suddenly become irrelevant, what remains of us? How have we lived our lives so far, how much have we adhered to the altruism and selflessness so required of us in this profession? passion and the heart of a servant. As a conclusion, they are not simply words, they are the core of what we do.
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