Uncertainty pervades all aspects of medicine. Certainty about diagnosis, therapy and prognosis is truly desirable but highly subjective. The lesson I learnt is only a long and difficult interpretative process merely dissolves a very slight degree of uncertainty. To embrace this, the first step is to define what you see. Second, you identify the missing information. Third, you build around the puzzle and finally, you acknowledge that interpretation is a strenous process. Most of the time, time is of the essence and the patient’s condition does not allow us too big a time frame to work on. What is absolutely certain in this wilderness is that intuition can never mislead. Doubt should be ultimately acknowledged. A certain tolerance to uncertainty is necessary for effective care and self preservation. I'd like to think of us as puppets onto a bigger stage where higher forces are pulling our strings towards some things but away from others whilst we foolishly think we are in control of everything.
This narrative highlights how being a doctor is a day to day battle. The decisions we get to make are against so many odds, yet we choose to accept this huge level of uncertainty and do our best for the patient's well-being. Treating a patient is a privilege. The intangible closeness of a doctor with his patient is a luxury most doctors have encountered and it is by far the most important reason one practises. Enjoy this narration where I was able to wear my Superhero cape for a day!
Joomun, Rayda Aaishah MD
"I DON'T WANT TO DIE!,"
Survive & Thrive: A Journal for Medical Humanities and Narrative as Medicine: Vol. 4
, Article 14.
Available at: https://repository.stcloudstate.edu/survive_thrive/vol4/iss1/14