Monday, August 11, 2008

does being a doctor make us any less humane?

At past midnight, all sounds at the peadiatric ward were accentuated. The occasional barking cough, the heavy breathing, wheezing in sync with the next bed’s snoring from the OSA (obstructive sleep apnea). Babies crying, each taking their turns, mothers singing their child to sleep...

Seeing this, I realized that a mother loves her child so much... so much so that she can sacrifice everything for her child... the sleepless nights, endless worries...

It’s fun playing with the kids in my peadiatric rotation, doing developmental assessment, watching how much they have grow, how much their condition has improved.

However, the peadiatric wards, especially the PICU (Peadiatric's Intensive Care Unit) is a very sad place. I saw a child who was brain dead today. The doctor had to let the child go with a DNR (do not resuscitate) order. The child's brain was edematous and no longer had a skull.... suffered from a fall and massive intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain)

Kids in ICU with many tubes in and out of them, fighting to live,... I wonder whether I would ever get numbed to these sadness... mothers praying hard... teary panda eyes… holding on to their child’s hand, fighting along. Down syndrome, cerebral palsies, patients in shock, respiratory failure, abandoned babies from Tengku Budriah Orphanage...

We still need to keep a brave upfront, to stay calm and keep professionalism - that is something I need to learn. To detach myself from the overflowing emotion, is that what we should do? Could that ever be done?

we can't be crying and resuscitating a patient all at the same time, can we?

does the journey towards being a doctor make us any less humane? - my friend asked-
less emotional, yes...
but inside, we are still very much human...


  1. U saw OSA cases in paeds ward??? kinda rare sure he's having OSA? or just some normal snoring? hehe=)

  2. >cg> those are the little things that keeps us alive, i suppose.. :)

  3. >darren> yes, the patient had OSA. i guess, hukm being a referral hospital, we have a couple of OSA cases, with morbid obesity.. the kid was 10 years old, under ENT follow up with CPAP...

  4. hey... I agree with your "less emotional, yes...
    but inside, we are still very much human..."

    Being in the healthcare sector as well.... sometimes we just have to be less emotional so that it does not affects our objective professional judgement. =P

    And it will be very tiring and emotional draining if we were to cry and feel sad for everyone... cause while feeling sad for one... we may affect the next one that we are treating.... =p

    Nevertheless..... i do agree that it does not make us less humane. =)

  5. xl, you totally understand it! we cannot afford to be too emotional, it may effect our decisions, our management,.. and we are responsible to those who put their health in our hands,... therefore, over time, we learn to detach ourselves... but inside, we are still very much humane :)


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Author's Note

Dear friends and readers, Thank you for dropping by and leaving comments/ shoutouts. More importantly, thank you for being there... please accept my apology that, lately, i may be busy with work and not have time to reply youir messages/comments, but rest assured, each and everyone is read, and highly appreciated :) have a nice day! ^^

of love

Today, i heard a story which was not a story of falling...
of living in the dark end of winter turmoil..
instead, it was a love story..
of a couple who did not live happily ever after...
but they live, loving each other..