Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Is there a Doctor on the plane??

[Attention!! This is not an article written by me. I just copied and pasted it here to share the thought with you guys. Thank You -syanabel ]




I just returned from an absolutely fabulous two week vacation in Europe visiting Barcelona, Paris and Amsterdam. I could go on ad nauseam about how much fun I had during my vacation, but I shall instead tickle your fancy with a more medically related topic. 
There were really only two short periods of time during my vacation where I was reminded that I am actually a doctor. The first incident occurred during the plane ride from Washington, D.C. to Barcelona, Spain. I was just starting to become comfortable (a huge challenge for me on flights) when I heard one of the flight attendants announce over the intercom "if there is a doctor on the plane, please press your call button." I'm a bit ashamed and embarrassed to admit that I completely froze and did not announce myself as a doctor.
A million thoughts raced through my mind at that moment, and a recent New York Times article hit on several of them. My thoughts/fears included:
- I've only been a doctor for a little less than a year, I'm totally not prepared for this. 
- I'm being trained as a psychiatrist, unless it's a psychiatric emergency, what good will I be? 
- I don't have a stethoscope, pen light, scalpel, or other equipment with me, how would I be able to do any good? 
- What if I intervene but make matters worse and end up hurting the person?
- I'm sure someone more trained than me will be able to respond.
The second incident occurred while I was sitting outside a restaurant in Amsterdam. I witnessed a rather inebriated German fellow attempt to do a trick on a bicycle in the middle of the street and end up falling and hitting his head on the pavement. I reflexively ran into the street, picked him up (with the assistance of another German fellow) and performed a very limited exam on him to ensure that he didn't have any major injuries.
Looking back in retrospect at these two incidents, I think that my two different responses had a lot to do with the fact that I actually witnessed the latter one and hence at least had an idea what I was dealing with. I also realized at that time that there were no other medical professionals around (or at least they weren't responding) and I felt a bit obligated to at least provide some sort of help.
The one common thread that I see with both of the experiences is that when I'm not wearing my white coat and hospital badge or inside a hospital or clinic, I don't feel very much like a doctor at all. During my entire vacation, I pretty much lived life as a tourist on an inspiring adventure. And I wonder if this is because I've only been a doctor for a short period of time, or if it's common for very seasoned physicians to live this sort of "double-life."  Anyone out there have any thoughts/experiences to share? What do you do when someone asks, "is there a doctor on the plane?"
Source : medscape.com -author

2 comments:

vampire's lovex said...

maybe awk tak berapa nak yakin lagi kot,sebab tu bila ada org mintak volunteer,awk x berani,tapi bila nobody ask u,awk ok je kan... hai doct :)

syanabel said...

erk..belum jadi doktor lagi, saya student lagi..huhu. Anyway thanks for reading~