The Privileged Patient and the Grateful Patient

I have made a casual observation that charity inpatients are kinder and easier to empathize with than “pay” patients. Charity patients look at their doctors with such respect that they are afraid of disobeying their instructions. What you tell them, as their physician, is taken in full confidence. If the doctor says so, then it is so.

Of course this isn’t always the case. I have encountered charity patients that have gotten to my nerves but I have put forward this observation in order to present my view regarding that feeling of “privilege” among patients. Continue reading

4 Years After Idealism

More than four years ago, I experienced something that awoke me to some bitter truths. I decided to help a homeless man and in that simple humanitarian act I was made aware of the different circumstances that complicate ones pure desire to help. When you’re young you are full of idealism. As you grow older you understand that the world is cruel and sometimes humanitarianism is not as you always hoped it would be.

Whenever I’m reminded of that experience, I always have mixed emotions of sadness, happiness, and resignation. I’m not sure if I did the right thing completely. I decided to have the story published because I wanted to let my feelings of guilt go away. It was so heavy for me to bear already and so I felt that by letting people know about it, maybe the burden of guilt would be shared.

Four years after that fateful night when I saw Nocur, here I am again haunted by all too familiar feelings. Now that I am a medical student and the ability to help is within reach, I am in a doubt. I look back on him and hope some answers would be shown to me. Continue reading

Doctor in Training

Today I realized that I’ve just finished my 6th month as a junior intern/clinical clerk in medical school. This means I’m already halfway through. So far I’ve already had 2 months of Surgery (where I had my “baptism” into clerkship), 2 months of Internal Medicine, 1 month of Psychiatry, 2 weeks of Ophthalmology and 2 weeks of Otorhinolaryngology (ENT) rotation. I also had a week each of elective at Critical Care Unit and Anesthesiology. As of the moment, I’m on my 2nd week here at Pediatrics.

I don’t know how to begin to describe how I felt about my experiences as a clinical clerk, so let me start by saying that most of my expectations were wrong. The clerkship experience was admittedly different from what I thought it would be, mostly because I only thought of the fun and learning part. I was mostly unprepared of the physical work. Continue reading