Thursday, March 13, 2008

Beware: Doctors are Jerks



All doctors will screw up once in a while but some screw around all the while. Some pursued the art of learning while in medical school while some learnt the art of pursuing the opposite sex. Then there are those who pray for their patients and those who prey on their patients. Every doctor needs to shit sometimes but some love to bullshit every time. Some put you to sleep to be under the knife, while some make you sleep forever six feet under the ground.A careless doctor is pardonable but a callous doctor is despicable......


The House, Mouse and Louse Among Us.

I hate doctors.

Doctors are jerks. Doctors are bastards.

Not all of them of course. Most of them are not, I think. A few maybe. Or many. I’m not sure.

There are jerks and bastards in every profession. Law, politics, healthcare, engineering, computering, taxi driving, newspaper editing and law enforcement – each one will have its fair share of black sheep.

The difference is most of these professions do not normally have the adjective ‘noble’ attached to it.

No one enters the lawyer’s office expecting empathy and a patient listening ear, or do they? There are more lawyer jokes than there are on Sammy Vellu. It speaks volumes about the general impression of the law profession. Similarly, most voters, in other countries at least, do not buy every word coming from the politicians’ mouths. Our Malaysian voters seem to have wised up a little recently. They finally realized that only compulsive liars make it to the Malaysian cabinet.

In short, most folks are not anticipating goodness and mercy to pour out from the hearts of most professions. For some reason however, most patients and their families still hold medical doctors on a high pedestal. It is as though doctors are more than special and capable of no harm or malice.

I beg to differ. Doctors are jerks, some are bastards, a few are both.

An ICU staff nurse was recently warded in the local mental hospital. She has attempted suicide by slashing her wrists. While her self-inflicted injuries were not life-threatening, she was both hysterical and catatonic at the same. Accompanying her was a young Malay doctor, a medical officer who graduated from the NEP factory known as UKM. Attempting to pacify her and prevent her from spilling the beans, he had administered some tranquilizers easily available from the general wards. The ugly story emerges nonetheless. He was married to a fellow doctor but decided to have some fun, a one-night-stand with this attractive Dusun nurse. Stupidly, she took in his every word and gave herself to him, unaware that he was already married. When he forced her to terminate the unplanned pregnancy, it finally dawned on her that she was nothing but one of his many temporary toys. The reality was too bitter to digest, and her choices are between a live a life of shame and guilt, or a premature death like that of her unborn baby. The young lady has since moved on in life, where and what I am not know. The young doctor has also moved on… to other convenient Kadazandusun targets.

A top-scoring Chinese doctor from University Malaya was placed in charge of a critically ill patient. The patient had a perforated peptic ulcer for which emergency surgery was done. Sepsis was setting in and the patient’s kidney function was deteriorating by the day. His potassium was low, and nearing a fatal level. He was developing bedsores as a result of prolonged immobility. Chest x-rays showed worsening pneumonia. The brilliant UM product deliberately ignored all these ominous signs even after repeated alerts by the astute staff nurses. With no sympathy and little concern except for herself, she allowed the patient to deteriorate. Naturally, the old man passed on but only after two long and painful weeks. The patient will soon be forgotten, as will the lady doctor.

An Indian doctor from the Neurosurgery Department saw the brain scans of a fit, young man who complained of severe headaches. His immediate and confident diagnosis was that of a frontal lobe tumor. He advised urgent surgery but the patient’s family was unsure. It was a major surgery with debilitating consequences should any complications occur. The smooth-talking doctor persuaded the family and assured them of his surgical skills, expertise, and vast experience in dealing with such conditions. He proceeded with surgery. Intra-operatively, the patient bled profusely, requiring massive blood transfusion bleeding was secured. Post-operatively, the young patient did not wake up. He died one week later. The histopathology report came back as an arteriovenous malformation. There was never a tumor to begin with. It was a wrong diagnosis and a wrong operation. The family collected the remains and thanked the surgical team for everything. They were never informed of the final diagnosis. Tomorrow, another patient will go under the knife. The cycle repeats itself.

I am not writing all these to cast aspersions on the ability and integrity of doctors. I am one myself and to do so makes no sense and brings no benefits to myself.

I write because I feel. I feel strongly about something and that’s good, I think. It means I am not numbed to death and dying, pain and suffering, fighting and losing, fear and consequences.

Don’t forget the doctors that have wrecked our nation. Dr. Mahathir got the ball rolling and made us a land of racists. Dr. Ling Liong Sik followed suit and created a generation of mediocre Chinese graduates from the TAR institutions. Dr. Chua Soi Lek screwed around and ended up on Youtube. Dr. Lim Keng Yaik led Gerakan and turned Penang into a mudhole. Dr Ng Yen Yen will be made Health Minister soon so God please save us all.

Our society is still so gullible. People watch ER, Gray’s Anatomy and Scrubs and thinks real-life doctors behave and think like George Clonney’s Dr. Doug in ER. Most doctors don’t watch ER or Gray’s Anatomy. They watch House and start behaving like House. The problem starts when they treat patients like House does without the corresponding intelligence and acumen. They end up being rude, arrogant and stupid doctors. We have a lot of that here in Malaysia. We have a lot of conmen working as doctors and doctors working as conmen too. In Malaysia especially, there are many doctors who were never meant to be in medical school in the first place, and I am not talking about the NEP here, though it contributes too.

All doctors will screw up once in a while but some screw around all the while. Some pursued the art of learning while in medical school while some learnt the art of pursuing the opposite sex. Then there are those who pray for their patients and those who prey on their patients. Every doctor needs to shit sometimes but some love to bullshit every time. Some put you to sleep to be under the knife, while some make you sleep forever six feet under the ground. A careless doctor is pardonable but a callous doctor is despicable.

Be vigilant, be discerning. Common sense will usually tell one if a doctor is a jerk, a bastard or a bullshitter. Finally, one can never fail to recognize that rare doctor who is all three.


5 comments:

E K said...

hey, cheer up.... sounded depress?

CK Tan said...

wow...
i agreed. as much as they should watch house cox it's just plain entertaining watching hugh laurie bulldozing all the way, it's also touching and made you feel tat doctors are human too when you watch ER and Grey's Anatomy. I mean.. seriously (hehe... Grey's Anatomy)

guess tat's life. thanks for feeling it. you are a good doctor i think.

Kong said...

I am generalizing. Would you say a doctor trained in an environment that emphasizes more on compassion & good ethic as in the West will become a more compassionate and caring doctor than one trained in India?

I am saying that because a person's good values are often greatly influenced by his/her environment.

Indian product said...

Of course!

Indian product said...

Of course!