“Circle of life… best way to be a doctor is to be a patient yourself.”
-Dr. Raul Limos
My 14th rehab session has been done and dusted, and I am beginning to walk with the use of a cane. It still a long ways from full recovery, but I am glad that with my progress; at first I was frustrated, because I wasn’t seeing any progress in the 1st 2 weeks of rehab.
I usually get visitors when I go to rehab, in the form of my co-senior interns, the junior inters, residents, or even consultants. One of the things I look forward to when I go to rehab is having visitors to give you a pep talk.
On my 14th session, it was something a little more special. My former patients I handled during my rotation in Internal Medicine and Surgery are also in rehab, sometimes at the same time as me. They usually say hi to me and make small talk, but on my 14th session, there was this lady and her son, her son recognized me, and kept on thanking me because I was one of the interns along with my resident in the ER that helped his mother who suffered a stroke. He was very happy with how we managed and took care of his mother. And was surprised to see me in rehab after my operation.
I’ll admit, I am not the main physician of his mother, I am a mere senior intern, AKA slave for the residents/consultants, so him thanking me may be exaggerated or something I don’t even deserve, but seeing how sincere he was with his thank yous, I can’t help but feel glad, even if I contributed the least, to be part of the medical team that helped his mother, who now happens to be my rehab buddy.
The phrase mentioned above, as clearly stated, was mentioned by my professor in Radiology, Dr. Raul Limos, when he heard about my humbling moment, having to share rehab session with a former patient, and he couldn’t have said it any better.
Having to be the patient, instead of the physician, for the time being, is certainly an experience I will not forget, and it will aid me in becoming a better physician, because I am now in the other side the coin, having to be in the shoes of a patient, having to see their point of view, having to feel the frustration… I’ll keep it in mind when managing future patients. Not only to manage the disease, but also manage any ill emotions that can come from being a patient.
Well, it’s time to study for the upcoming board exams, because with that moment seeing a very thankful son of a mother I was in the medical team managing, I feel so psyched up and want to pass my board exams ASAP and become a full fledged doctor.