Thursday, March 19, 2009

A Medical Student's Apology

Doctor and NurseWe wander around the ward corridor
Chirping, chattering, cheering, conniving
Stealthily we peeked at you
And we thought you would be interesting.

You are awake, you are not sleeping.
You don't have any pain, you are not eating.
You are not demented, and you have got no one visiting.
You look okay, in fact you look welcoming.

We come to you, and start to greet you
The greeting is always the same
Official, boring, and impersonal
And we always go like this

"Hi Mr. Smith my name is Yang,
I am a fifth year medical student.
Do you mind if I spend a few minutes with you,
to talk about your recent condition?"

You agreed to that because you are nice,
But deep inside you let out a grunt.
"Those students again"
"How many of them are out there lurking?!"

"What brought you to the hospital?"
"An ambulance, obviously"
"Tell me more about the pain"
"It hurts, doc"

Minutes dragged on to hours
Hours dragged on to days.
Your stay in the teaching hospital,
Is punctuated by endless visits by annoying students.

At times you see us on the corridor,
Laughing, sniggering, jeering and bantering.
And you probably wonder,
whether we realise we should be a bit more proper.

At times you accidentally hear us say,
"Mr. Smith is an interesting case, go do a long case on him"
And you probably wonder,
whether we realise you are not here for our exam rehearsal.

So an apology this is
For all the patients we have hurt,
For patients we saw as a long case or a short case,
And for patients who are not good for any type of case.

We don't mean to annoy you,
Although at times we probably do.
We don't mean to use you,
Although in reality we probably do.

We empathise what you are going through,
At the very least, we used to.
But after toiling for a year or two,
Even the warmest heart probably turn a bit cool.

My dear patients, we wish we really could
Be a bit less rude and do a bit more good
We are really sorry what we subject you to,
Hopefully, just hopefully, we will all pull through.


Image Credit: Lupus Comedy

4 comments:

Ai Ling said...

A well-written apology poetry! :) Good luck in your clinicals.

Phiaw said...

Too bad blogger don't have the thumbs-up sign that said so-and-so like this as in facebook. Coz i would have put one here ^^

Just something random, my word verication for this post is: hotsishi. Hmm sounds like hot urine.

jasmine said...

here we see a different side of you:chang yang the poet! i like it. & reminds me of the haiku u wrote about snape.(:

and btw that earphone trick? how...odd!

changyang1230 said...

Haha thanks for your compliment! This post was a random recollection of what I perceived to be patients' response to our constant lurking in the hospital ward for practice purposes.

Ya Jasmine, it actually works. :D