Wednesday, January 19, 2005

On being a physician

I went back to the clinic yesterday after one month of absence. I never thought I was coming back despite my new found fondness of the place called quiapo. I was surprised to hear that there were patients looking for me and refused to be seen by another physician. Awww. All these months of questioning whether being a physician was worth it, and this answer just drove right through my heart.

I don’t think I will ever see them again though. My boss doesn’t think of me as a financial asset to her polyclinic because I give the cheapest drugs to my patients (mostly which are not available in her drugstore) and limit my labs to what is necessary. This is the reason why she has removed my free lunch (without informing me, which almost led to my death as I waited for eternity) and my usual 3 days a week schedule was cut down to only about once a week. I was even surprised she called me back this year. It was either due to insistent public demand (haha!) or due to the lack of options. Well I don’t blame her. She has bills to pay and kids to send to school. But who doesn’t? My patients aren’t exactly the rich ones either.

I once thought I would be charging my patients big time, for the frustrations, and sleepless nights of medical school. I also dream of a nice car, my own house, and financial stability. But come face to face with an elderly patient in slippers and dirty fingernails, with rough hands and hard skin, and a face lined with all the years of hardship spent selling fruits in the market, who wouldn’t want to reach out with compassion? They need me more than I need them. And with that, I give myself.


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