Being a doctor in Africa

When I first decided to be a doctor, I didn't really know what it meant to be a doctor. I thought prescribing drugs was going to be my biggest work. Then I learned about the incredible breakthroughs in the field of surgery. So I thought my work was going to be mainly doing surgeries and prescribing drugs. 
That too was not correct.

After spending eight years in a medical school and working for some time as a doctor, I've figured out that the biggest challenge in the field of medicine is having to communicate, interact, give advises, and understand the social values that every single patient you treat is going through and offer your help however you can.

*That is truly difficult and it's the one strongest reason for medicine being an art as much as it is a science.*

Recently I've had the pleasure to meet and discuss certain issues with doctors from other countries. Americans, Germans, Cubans, and Ethiopians. They all agreed on one thing.

The social aspect of medicine is always a challenge especially when you're in your early years in the practice. Fortunately, most people who are good enough to be doctors are good enough adapt to any kind of challenge. Otherwise they shouldn't have finished medicine till they learned that lesson.

*Here in Africa, doctors lack many investigation tools and so we have to depend on the clinical finding more than the lab results. For availability and quality reasons.*

Most diseases we encounter are infectious diseases some commonly called tropical diseases. So our minds are tuned to some degree towards these diseases unlike in the first world countries that the doctors are tuned to think of cancers as their first impressions.

So when doctors from Europe think we have the disadvantage of scarcity, I beg to differ. I believe we have the advantage of a disadvantage. Our deficits have strengthened us. That is what they call "A blessing in disguise."


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