Magbule Doko is a family physician in Windsor, Ontario, and an adjunct professor at The University of Western Ontario
Our decision, firm and dedicated
To become doctors: a noble profession
Long years of heads in our books
Clinical years of emotional turmoil
Oh yes you did not know
Their stories touched us, imprinted on our minds
We cannot erase their trauma
Then board exams. Pressure.
Finally, out on our own: we act brave.
“Peoples’ lives are in your hands,” they say
Yes, we know.
Then you come to us, angry and frustrated
With your illness, your child’s illness.
We ask questions; the algorithm starts
We examine; it continues
We discuss the possibilities
Sometimes, we don’t know
Sometimes, we watch and wait
Sometimes, it’s a virus – go home and rest
“You doctors do nothing.”
We do nothing?
Your struggles do not go unnoticed
We know the frustration
Of the wait, the worry.
Your suffering, your pain
We see it.
But we have sacrificed
Our own mental state
Once we become doctors,
We are not the same.
Our outlook on life is one of caution
We know too much about what can go wrong.
We make decision after decision
Our brains fatigue; we burn out.
“You doctors do nothing”
It must feel that way at times
Your experience with your illness
It is your narrative
Why can’t we do more?
Sometimes we feel powerless too.
We will uphold our oath.
You will endure your illness.
It is not that we do nothing,
It is that we are trying
And we hope to get it right.