Ever dreamt of being a doctor some day?
Played pretend with a toy stethoscope and made your dolly act as patient for you to treat and cure?
What was the feeling like? Was it one of kindness and love towards her (even a dolly)?
What if your sibling played pretend as fellow doctor with you? Would you be his friend and happily treat the dolly together with him?
Have things changed? Do doctors still hold a high moral regard for themselves, esteem the patient’s welfare as utmost priority and each other as workers in a common calling?
Well, I’m certain many still do, although much of the scene has changed. Maybe it’s because the medical community has grown to an astounding number, such that it is impossible to know every one in the same profession anymore. Also, there is an increasing number of foreign trained doctors in the local community and they bring in different values from their home turf.
Not all changes are bad, but imperfections are bound to sneak in somewhere.
As a member of this profession, I see a stark difference in the practice of medicine between the more mature and the newer generation. When I visit older doctors for consultation, they usually smile in acknowledgement when they realise you are a fellow colleague in the profession– there is warmth and a certain degree of respect involved (much as I am too humbled to accept, since they have far more gray hairs than I). And they always do not charge.
However, when I visit my younger colleagues, they behave much aloof and give me the attitude of okay-so-you-are-a-doctor-too-so-what. And they may charge more. 😀
Even when I worked in the public sector, I find there is an increasing distance between fellow professionals, a growing selfishness and a don’t-cross-my-path attitude. It is worse in the private sector– they backbite, they slander, they rat on each other to get themselves ahead. They put brothers of their profession down and prop themselves up in the limelight. There is envy, jealousy and strife. All to increase their market share and by all means to secure their bottomline.
What happened to the Hippocratic oath we took as fresh graduates of medical school?
What happened to the ideals of being one of high regard in society and of certain social standing? Should we not be role models of benevolence and humility? How do we do that and, at the same time, demean or pass derogatory remarks at brothers and sisters on the same boat as us? That’s just utterly hypocritical.
Disclaimer: Okay, to qualify myself, I know of plenty of good hearted fellow doctors still. The black sheep are in the growing minority, but it is a disheartening realisation, nonetheless.
Yet, disillusioned as I am of the evils of a changing medical practice, I will strive to stand off from the fray. Let others do the teeth gnashing and nail clawing amongst themselves. 😛 I firmly believe in being conscientious, faithful and kind to every patient I see; welcoming, friendly and accepting of every fellow colleague I meet. I hope to remain untainted by the inevitable and uphold myself for good practice all the rest of my professional life. That way, my conscience will be clear before God and on my deathbed, knowing that in every thing I did, it was not out of selfish ambition, but for nothing less than loving and serving my patients’ needs.