To my present and future patients, I humbly offer you my prayers, my time and my service in the sincere hope that you get better under my care. This is true not only for consultants but most especially for us Senior Clerks, Post-Graduate Interns (PGI) and Resident Doctors who are front-liners in the battlefield called ER and ward.
In return, please do not judge me just because I took a nap after I finished writing in your charts so that the orders can be carried upon by your attending Nurse and lab requests can be processed by the Med Tech on duty. These all in the hope of achieving one goal – to make you better.
I took a nap because I have had a rough night attending the needs of all other patients not just you (whichever department I am currently in). Someone needs to be intubated. I got called for someone who had cardiac arrest. And I had another on code and I lost that patient despite furious efforts of resuscitation. It broke my heart – almost my spirit and I had to take a breather at the emergency exit stairs away from prying eyes. I did not want anybody to see my tears – doctors are supposed to be tough in the battleground. And so, I continued that’s when I got called to see you.
I am on call within 24 hours and that nap I took inside your room or at your bedside was the first I had during my entire 24 hours. My body can take a beating that hard but it can only handle so much. I am not a robot with reboot system or recharge system (whatever you call that). I am human just like you.
Please do not judge or worse condemn me if I use my phone to text or call in front of you. I was just updating your attending physician about your status. As much as it pains me to see you suffering like that, there are protocols I need to follow and the fastest way to do that is to maximize the use of technology – hence our phone operating 24 hours as well. The protocols need us to report your case to our immediate superior. If I am a Senior Clerk, I must report to the PGI or to the Resident on Duty (ROD). If I am a PGI or ROD, I must report to your attending physician. All of these are done in the hope of achieving one goal – to make you better (I have to emphasize this again).
If I leave your side for a while, it does not mean I have abandoned you. I just went to grab a small bite from the sandwich I prepared but was not able to eat because I got called here and there and my last meal was six to eight hours ago. I am just so hungry I needed a small time. I will go back to your side at once as soon as an order from your attending physician (AP) comes in or if the lab results are already in and I have to refer it again to your AP.
Please forgive me for all these shortcomings. Allow me to be human even for a very short while. And I promise you, that I will uphold every single word of the Hippocratic Oath I took or am still going to take.
Disclaimer: I am still a medical student. I just wrote what I think reality is when doctors are on duty.