Any aspiring young student who has taken an interest in becoming a doctor will be greeted with two responses – extreme admiration or extreme admonishment. I received both simultaneously when I expressed my wish to become a doctor. Admonishment because medicine is an arduous path – one which requires many years of study and a lot of money. Admonishment because being a doctor would mean sacrificing ‘me time’ for others. Admonishment because being a doctor is just plain difficult.
However, what made me continue to stick to this dream of mine? For me, the conviction lies strongly in what I watched in the 1998 movie, ‘Patch Adams’. In the climax of the show, Adams was to attend a hearing where it will be decided whether he can graduate from medical school. His final speech left a deep impact on me. He said, ‘You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, I guarantee you, you'll win, no matter what the outcome.’
I aspire to be a doctor with a difference. I can say that it is my right to get the healthcare that I deserve but at the same time, what is my responsibility to ensure that such healthcare exists? The world, our country is in need of doctors with an excellent spirit. Doctors who treat their patients, not their diseases. Excellence does not equate to perfection. There are no perfect doctors, only excellent ones. But what does it mean to be excellent? To be an excellent doctor, it does not necessarily mean healing everyone who walks into my practice. Being an excellent doctor is one who is able to lift up the human spirit even in the midst of sickness.
As for me, that is the kind of doctor I want to be. The kind of doctor who upholds the Hippocrates Oath, primum non nocere – First do no harm. Harm not necessarily meaning physical harm but also the emotional wellbeing of patients. The kind of doctor who will seek to improve the quality of life, not just delaying death. The kind of doctor who will always bring hope to everyone who walk through the door.
P.S I found this somewhere in my computer as I was deleting all the junk I have there. I'll probably edit this when I have more time later. =) But my next post would be around this subject.