Doctors want more patients.

What they often need is more patience.

Patience with others.

And patience with themselves.

We’re all in such a hurry. Most of the time.

When you were younger, you were in a hurry to grow up and do important things. Now that you’re done with medical school, and stand on the threshold of your upcoming medical career, it’s natural to feel even more urgency to move ahead.

Get a PG seat. Complete a specialty. Set up a practice or join a hospital.

Begin work.

Treat more patients. Make a name and reputation for yourself. Earn a lot of money.

And do all of this… fast!

That’s a praiseworthy effort. After all, there’s no point wasting time when you can speed up and move ahead.

However, some things cannot be rushed.

It may take some time before you become adept at drawing blood samples, inserting i.v. lines, doing dressings.

It may take even longer to get comfortable with more complex or difficult procedures.

Be patient – with yourself.

It may take a few days, or even weeks, for a rather sick patient to improve and get well.

It may take several attempts before an elderly or confused patient can understand what you’re saying, or to follow instructions.

Be patient – with them.

It may take a while before your chief or consultant trusts you enough to let you do carry out some procedures or take on responsibility.

It may take some effort to get comfortable with translating what you learned in theory to practical use in patient care.

Be patient – with the process.

There will be inevitable delays in your career path. A few phases where things seem to stagnate with little if any progress.

There will be some difficult cases where progress is slow and irregular, with setbacks and complications.

There will be times when people, circumstances and sheer luck seem to work against you, hold you back, slow you down.

Be patient.

Lao Tzu says: “Nature never hurries, but nothing is left undone.”

And remember…

Good things come to those who wait.

Have you read Dr.Sivasubramanian’s books on the making of a surgeon yet?

Read the other ‘Desirable Traits for Interns‘ here.

Published by DrSivasubramanian

Paediatric Heart Surgeon and Author -

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