Posted by: PMS | January 22, 2008


You, are a doctor. A specialist, at that.

A doctor, is someone whom (most) patients trust with their lives, quite literally, since most know next to nothing about anything, hence relying on you to relay the medical updates.

A doctor, is someone who gives hope to people who see no further than a misty future. Isn’t it a fundamental necessity to practice tact while relaying news, however bad it might be? You are not expected to lie in false optimism and give empty hope, of course, since patients have the need, and right, to know about the truth. But the (wrong) method of letting out the truth MIGHT just accelerate the patient’s despair, and rapidly lose the will to cling on for any remaining days, no?

Isn’t it like a prerequisite for doctors to be tactful and discreet in front of patients and families? We’ve heard of cases when it’s all in the patients’ minds to will themselves and get better, yes? And what affects the patients’ minds? You doctor. You. Largely because you are the professional source of advice. The biggest source of near-accurate advice which patients and families rely on, other than faith, religion and family support. We don’t believe in you, then who? Barney the purple friendly dinosaur?

Throughout the entire consultation earlier today, I lost count of the number of times you shook your head, sighed, and said “Jin cham ah“.

We all know you were talking about other patients. We do. But what about the little frail old lady sitting in the patient’s chair, who doesn’t understand English, at least not the technical medical terms you were using, while describing other patients?

All she could understand was your body language. Your off-putting body language and your jin-cham-ah-s. I am perfectly healthy (touch wood), and I already am affected by your negative vibes (which then again I am affected by nearly everything. But still.) What about the throngs of patients that you get everyday? How many would you have infected with your negative vibes already, however unintentional it was?

Education really doesn’t make a person more refined. You can be a big doctor reeling in big bucks on a daily basis, but I don’t think you make a good doctor until you practice tact and discretion.

For the record, yes my grandma DID get affected with your head-shaking sighs and jin chams.

As did I.

Mei bing dou gei ni hai chu bing lai.



  1. I could absolutely empathize with you. Just last week, I have some sort of skin infection due to chemical exposure. Went to a dermatologist referred to by my doctor and the derm insisted he do not know the root cause and was impatient when I asked him questions and to think he is a skin specialist. If he can’t diagnose, I do not know who can.

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