Who is a Doctor?

Doctor 3

Who is a doctor? No, I am not asking you to give me the dictionary definition of the word ‘doctor,’ for Merriam Websters and Oxford dictionaries have already done a good job of that.

So I ask again, “who is a doctor?” By that, I mean, who is the person behind the title, “medical doctor?” I think, that doctors are, first of all, humans, just like you and me.

Now, not many of us accept them for who they really are. In fact, views about medical practitioners somewhat swing between 2 extremes: one, the overly expectant notion that doctors are superhuman – they never fall sick, never have problems but are born to bear all our troubles; two, the exceedingly hostile view that doctors are evil – at best, marketing agents for Big Pharma and at worst, people who only want to treat our ailments and not cure them, who lie to us so that we can remain attached to their apron strings for life.

Somewhere in between these 2 extremes however, lies a woman, a man, who was fascinated by some aspect of medicine and wanted to pursue this dream or whose journey was pretty much decided by family circumstances, (for example a child who loses his mother to cancer and chooses to pursue studies in medicine in the hopes of finding a cure to cancer), or who just wanted to contribute his ‘widow’s mite’ to reduce the anguish of the human race. Somewhere amid it all, is someone’s daughter, son, father or mother, husband or wife, who must also meet other obligations, lest he be dubbed a bigger failure.

Doctor 5

Doctors, I think, would love to explore their ‘less serious’ side, which is necessary for them to sustain the ‘serious’ side at those times when the occasion calls for it. I say this  because in the short time that I have been blogging, I have come across 3 amazing people, all of them doctors, who churn out beautiful pieces from their rich mental and literary reservoirs. And no, they do not write about hospital business, which got me thinking, how many more of them doctors are there in the ‘blogosphere’ and why do they blog at all? Isn’t their life supposed to be all about the white coat, consulting, prescribing et al?

I learned that for these people, blogging is an emotional escape, a means to de-steam and recreate themselves, so that they can maintain sanity, work exigencies notwithstanding. That is because they are human, before all else and they have blood running through their veins.

They have feelings too. Do you know how many of them cry after they lose a patient in the operating theater? Or whose physical strength is tested out in a bout with some mentally deranged subject, who must be brought under control before further progress in treatment can be made? Or that actually throw up at the sight of so much blood (oh yes!) and must still report to duty the very next morning as if nothing happened the previous day? How on earth do they heal? Come on guys, let’s cut them some slack, shall we?

Doctor 6

The blunt reality is that doctors do not have all the answers. If they did, the world would be on a permanent high and there wouldn’t be so many sick people, would there? Now tell me, what do you think about doctors? I’d really love to hear your honest opinion.

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7 responses to “Who is a Doctor?

  1. Hmmm!, Doctors are modern day angels that God uses to cure & heal people. Infact I have one of them as my very good friend & rib cracker, known as Dr Richard Ikpegbu. His smile alone when am ‘down’ gives me a happy face. To all of you good doctors out there…one Luv!

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  2. I worked for a number of years as a medical transcriptionist, and though I was only listening to voices, I am well aware doctors are humans with human failings and triumphs like everybody else. Yes, ma’am. They DO work hard! I have heard more than one voice break when describing a particularly dreadful op or loss or procedure, the patients who go dismiss themselves AMA and what on earth is going to become of them? Yes. Prick a doctor, and he or she will bleed. Just like the rest of us. Excellent article.

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  3. Zee, this was very thoughtful and nice of you. few people ever stop to see the human behind the white coat. they have dreams, they have feelings…they are in pain and are troubled every time.

    every time you walk to a doctor’s office, you expect that when you leave you drop your troubles behind. who carries it? it is the doctor! while you are stating your problems, his/her neurons are in overdrive trying to find a solution to it…he leaves for home drained mentally and physically… and yet he has other duties to perform- lover, father, mother, son, daughter, all which require emotions, most of which he has been drained of at work…it is not an easy task…

    and then somebody says they are aloof. if they don’t wall themselves in like that, they would always be overwhelmed and would be an emotional wreck, a basket case. the coldness is self preservation…. they have to be careful not to get too attached, not to care too deeply because the bond is transient but when severed takes a piece of them…. aside, the coldness helps decisions to be made according to best practice without sentimental bias which can lead to serious consequences…

    doctors are one of the most troubled people on earth with higher suicide rates, substance abuse, divorce rates.. their life expectancy is lower than the general population….

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  4. This is one very exciting piece gurl, and these points that you raised are real food for thought! The popular saying that healers cannot heal themselves is so true! They don’t have all the answers for the mere fact that they’re only but humans too, mere mortals! They aren’t invincible, unfeeling or indestructible! They exhibit human traits as is applied to every normal human being! They recognise that God is the One who truly heals, which is why some health faclities identify with the popular slogan ‘We care, God heals’!

    I’m pretty fascinated by doctors and I appreciate ’em loadz for the mere fact that I could NEVER be a doctor and that’s besides the fact that they save lives! My mum wanted to force the profession down my throat but I rebelled my way outta it! I can’t stand the sight of blood, foul smells, people writhing in pains, corpses and all what not; I’d just take the easier route and pass out already! *laughing*

    Moreover, the few dealings I’ve had with some doctors at my primary health-care facility, shows that they’ve got this somewhat innate ability to just switch off, tune off! Become unfeeling and stone cold, like one who’s lacking of real emotions! You can’t read ’em or decipher what’s going through their minds as you consult with ’em! They’re almost like robots! And that, creeps me out! Lol

    Plus, you can’t be a doctor or even think ’bout dabbling into any kinda profession at that, without having raw passion for it! Teachers, Doctors; even beyond the raw passion they may possess are actually called to do! That’s just the main truth, plain and simple! Its a gift and you either have it or you don’t! I didn’t have it, I still don’t; ‘fraid I never will, don’t wanna and that’s just what it is! LOL

    Am done rambling, thanks for this Zee darling, you make sense quench! Lol

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