Friday, July 23, 2010

My First Lesson In Med School

Credit: Picture from stock.xchng

One of the first lessons that I was taught when I entered medical school is this:

"To be a good doctor, you need to have the eyes of an eagle, the hands of a maiden (or woman) and the heart of a lion"

This lesson, which I still remember vividly, was taught by Prof Mafauzy Mohamed who is now the campus director of the medical school of Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Although I have found variants of this quote in the internet here and here, that statement made a tremendous impact in my medical career, and 16 years later as I look back, I realize how true it is not only for surgeons, but for all doctors as well (and is very true for an emergency physician too).

We need to be sharp, like an eagle's eye - to pick up warning early signs and symptoms that the patient is deteriorating.

We need to be gentle, like the hands of the maiden (although most versions in internet, use the word "lady" or "woman"), I particularly like the word "maiden" to depict the gentleness and kindness of our touch.

We need to be courageous, like the heart of a lion - when the emergency situation calls for such action to be taken swiftly and boldly to save the life of the patient.

As the saying goes,
"A teacher affects eternity, no one can tell where his influence stops" - Henry Adams

That's the rewarding part of being a lecturer.

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