Saturday, March 13, 2010

Patient came in c/o light-headedness , provisional diagnosis of uncontrolled DM was made.

MO to HO: Ask the patient whether he has erectile dysfunction

HO to Me: You ask then

Me to pt: Uncle, nak tanya sikit, jangan rasa terhina k, soalan routine saje ok? Bendera boleh naik ar uncle?

Pt to me : Walaupun sudah 66 tahun, bendera masih boleh naik, no problem!

Me to HO: No erectile dysfunction

My patient died

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

When I saw him going into cardiac arrest, and subsequently his death announced, I had a sense of futility, then sadness. I was just talking to him yesterday, asking him whether he felt better, eating well and ect. It was as though he just disappeared.

I had seen somebody die. Some willing, others were not. Some were expected to die and some not. Some died of natural causes and other deaths were iatrogenic. It does not get easier for me. On the other hand, if death became easier for me, I would lack empathy. I want to be the sort of doctor that, 20 years down the line, when any of my patients die, I will still feel sad, and sorry for them.

This type of learning, with the rare opportunities for open dialogue abt death and dying is unique. In the hidden curriculum of medicine, where learning about death comes from seeing it on the wards, there is little time and often doctors are unwilling to discuss death and emotions relating to it. A personal education from a willing and honest patient is invalueble.

I am still clueless about the process of dying, my role in it and my response to it.