Dear Patient by Frederic Ting

Written by | Careers, Opinion

To all doctors,

Here’s a great response to the question “Doc, hindi kaba napapagod sa trabaho mo?” it’s taken from the blog of Doc. Frederic Ting, a Doctor at PGH.

Dear Patient,

I am sorry if I wasn’t able to answer your question immediately. I was just too tired, too hungry, and pre-occupied by a lot of things. But that question is too memorable for it has been asked by a lot of people, even by myself. So to answer your question:

Yes, I get tired -for I am also human.

Yes, I get hungry -for I am not exempted from the basic physiology of the gastrointestinal system.

Yes, I stink –for I am already 30+ hours post duty, but I still have to review your chart, make notes, and update my seniors / residents.

Yes, my handwriting sucks–for I have copied lecture notes from conferences, made tons of prescriptions and laboratory requests, written history, physical examination findings, and incoming / outgoing notes –all within a day’s work.

Yes, I may have to answer the call by my parents while pushing your wheelchair to the radiology department –for I have not seen them for months now.

Yes, I maybe jolly at times and quiet most of the time –for I just had 3 hours of sleep last night to study your case for today’s pre-operative conference.

Yes, I am saddened every time you tell me that you have no money for your medical procedure –for I will again be forced to spend part of my allowance / income just to have your laboratories done.

Yes, you may have seen me with tears as I walked out of our conference room –for I have just been reprimanded by my seniors for not looking for a journal that supports my decision in a dilemma I have encountered in preparing your treatment plan.

I know that you are going through a lot of things during your hospital stay. But may you never forget that we, your doctors, also go out of our comfort zones and give all that we can to provide you the best care possible.

And you know what’s the best thing about us, your doctors? It’s the fact that if ever we get burned out today, tomorrow is another day –another day for us to wake up in the wee hours of the morning, brew our coffee, hit our books, rush to the hospital, present you in conferences, and finally see you during our rounds.

All of these simply for the joy of seeing you get better.

People often say that doctors play god. But in all honesty, we do not play god; rather, we allow ourselves to be used by God.

All that we ask from you is that you pray for us, your doctors, that we will never get tired of maintaining that sacred connection between God, ourselves, and you –for He was, is, and will always be the True Healer, and because He is the only nourishment that can sustain us in our quest towards making you as healthy as possible.

Thank you.


Your Doctors

As great as his letter, to better appreciate what he wrote, you may also want to read the whole post here.

Last modified: August 24, 2013

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