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Does House Officer Did Not Care About Patient?

Here and there, Medical officer, specialist and consultant are bashing house officer to be the most useless person in the system. Not just them, even nurse, Ward Sister, Matron all are looking at house officer with a face. Judging them to be worthless and perhaps they all should just be kicked out of the system.

When I read through my friends facebook post, most of them are talking about how dumb their house officer are. Same like my friends who are working as teacher telling how dumb their pupils are.

I still remember a specialist once said to us when I was a house officer, some of my friend just voicing out their opinion that they are also human being  that deserved some degree of respect and the specialist simply said in front of all the department staff that there is nothing to be respected if you are house officer. You shall have no respect.

Yes, we were treated harshly when we were house officer. There is no such thing as good day for house officer. A good day is when you have your half day off. When we were house officer, we work 7 days a week with an exception if you are not oncall, you can work half day during saturday and sunday (only for certain department).

Do we, house officers, did not care about our patient? Do we just do our work like a robot or monkey and never bother about patient at all?

I want to tell a story about a friend during my house officer's day. My friend was scolded badly in front of patient. "You useless housemen, you never care about patient at all!" screamed the specialist. "What if this is your mother? What if this is your sister? Your mother should regret giving birth of a person like you!"

My friend just keep his head down, feeling shame in front of patient, MO, nurse, patient's relative....

During that ward round, he was ignored by the specialist, consultant, medical officer, nurse, sister, because he was useless. Even other house officer did not dare to console him, yet, because the round is not over yet. he was traumatised. I can feel what he feel.

He was scolded because he did not know that patient already went for some investigation..I could not remember what is it. CT scan or MRI or something. Or maybe an earlier operation..

Because of that, he was humiliated in front of everybody. To add gasoline on to the fire, the ward sister even support the scolding person saying that "housemen nowadays doctor, not care about patient anymore". Perhaps for her, she is way more caring of that patient than my friend.

The specialist even gave a hard lecture on how important for a doctor to care about patient, not just treating the disease.

To tell you all the truth, I know my friend ( I will call him Dr.A as for now) well. Nobody knew that the night before, Dr A has been staying quite late in the ward. I met him in corridor few hours past 8 PM. I am oncall at that time. I asked him why he did not went back yet. He was saying that he is buying some food that patient that he 'did not care' the next day because that patient relative was late. That patient relative supposed to come bringing him food so he did not take hospital food. Suddenly something happen so the relative could not come that night. He felt a bit hungry and Dr A was reviewing him before he went off duty. They talk for a while, talking about that patient children and his life before this. His work, his most happiest day in his life, how he feel now when he is ill...they talk quite a lot. They became like friends. Dr A ask, what you want to eat perhaps I can buy you something tonight.

After insisting, that patient have to agree with Dr A, smiling and ask him to buy him some food.

"I promised that uncle I would buy him this food he loved. Haha. His son not coming tonight and he has not yet eaten his dinner," Dr A told me.

I join Dr A for a while with that patient. They talk like they know each other for quite some time.

That patient was 'healed' for a while that night. Able to smile again with his family not around.

They were no nurse, no specialist, no consultant, no sister, no matron at that time. It was already late at night.

So the next day, Dr A is the most uncaring doctor ever in the whole universe.

A lot of my colleague during house officer put patient care at their utmost priority. However, this type of house officers were the one that usually scolded a lot. Why? Because they did not care about consultant, specialist or medical officer. You know what I mean? To bring a patient a food or something they need cannot beat the value of getting something that a specialist or consultant want. A  lot of house officer that knew how to care their bosses ass will get less scolding compare to house officer who care about patient the most.

House officers do care about patient. They too  take the oath when they choose this profession. Sometimes life really is not fair.



* I think some MO would said this "those were our HO days. HO nowadays not the same anymore..." Who are we to judge?

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