Saturday, 30 November 2013

Why I Can't Seem To Leave Egypt's Health Industry

This is a reply to what was possibly the most depressing post I'd ever written here. To the friends and family that called me right after I had written that post and were possibly worried about my mental state, thank you. It was unnecessary but thank you. I'm going to try and write about the good things. The happy things. After all, the purpose of this blog was humor and not wanton depression. Anyways here goes.

I love the atmosphere at the hospital. I love that there's a united sentiment amidst all the doctors, workers, nurses and security staff. It's a sentiment of "We're all in this together. So let's try to do and make the best of it." I love the fact that if I have a problem with a patient, all I need to do is go and ask a fellow colleague on the same floor for his advice and we'll both work really hard to find a solution. Camraderie during wartimes.

I love meeting new people and their families. I love how for a while, I'm part of their life. I love how vastly different their life is to mine. I love that sometimes, when it's a good day, we share stories on the difficulties and glorious moments life seems to always throw our way. I love that for a moment, we're family.

I love it when it's late at night and one of the older patients can't sleep and so we sit up late at night just talking. I love asking them what their favourite subject is. I love when they say their favourite subject is English and so for the rest of their stay in the ward, I talk to them in English. I love the look their mother gives me when this happens.

I love when everything sometimes magically goes right for a critical patient and they come out of it 100 percent. I love that when they came in, they were distraught and torn with all these horrible emotions and when they left, all you can see on the patient and the patient's family is joy.

I love the chronic well managed patients. I love it everytime they're admitted again for a course of therapy and whatever underlying disease they have is managed well. I love catching up with them and their parents. I love how close our relationship has become.

I love that phone call I sometimes get from a parent months after a patient is discharged. I love hearing the boy or girl on the other line quarrel with her mother and say "Mom, give me the phone, I want to talk to the doctor now."

I love that sometimes in the ward, parents get to know other parents and offer support to one another. I love that when a patient is critical or not doing too well, all the other mothers pray for her and her child. I love how tearfelt this can actually be and how humbling it can be for me.

I love the silly romantic love affairs the younger patients sometimes have for each other. I love that I once had a male and female patient, both aged 10-11 and how they'd hold hands when they'd take their medication through the cannula because according to them, holding hands meant they'd have super powers and so they wouldn't feel the pain.

I love it when a parent asks me when their kid is discharged if they can have the follow ups at my clinic. I love the look on their faces when I tell them I'm far too young yet to have a clinic. I love how they tell me I'm going to be alright and how I'm going to be a great doctor when I get older. I love how red my face gets and how humbled I feel when I hear that.

I love it when a surgery goes by smoothly and the first time the parents meet their child after an operation, all I have to say are good things, happy things.

I love the mothers and fathers that take an active interest in their child's disease. I love having to explain, in broken Arabic what's going on. I love the laughs they sometimes get out of hearing my broken Arabic.

Most of all though, I love the stories. I believe in the power of stories, and I hope I continue to feel that way about them.

Good or bad, a story is a story, and sometimes that's enough. :)


  1. You're a good man, Dr. A. Also, since it makes you happy, we'll no longer hold in the laughs at your broken Arabic.
    Don't get your heart broken at that hospital, A, alright?

  2. May the things you love keep growing in number. Stay strong, stay brilliant. :) Your elitist friend.

  3. I think you make one of the best doctors, your patients need you to give them hope, support and trust, keep the good job ..