The idea of being diagnosed or medically examined always gets me excited. I mostly can't say why, but a quick guess could be because of the feeling it gives me. The feel of having a picture or idea of my body system and how it works, however imaginary; the random health related questions I get to ask; or maybe because of the sense of security; that certainty that a doctor will handle all your ailments...
To this day, I cannot describe how I felt, but 'tensed' might justify it. Struggling with so many cloudy thoughts, at the same time trying to exclude the thought of 'losing my sight', I don't know where that fear came about, maybe its ordinary to think of the worst once in a while, especially when faced with a puzzling circumstance.
It was on a wednesday, at about about 10:00am. I had to visit the school optometrist. On reaching my school teaching hospital, I didnt know where to head first, as it was my first visit there, I was a bit ignorant of their general procedures.
After a few enquiry, I was taken to the Out-Patient Department (opd) where I met a pert young lady. She looked just about my age, (or so I thought). After a brief chat, she registered my details and gave me a card (a form of Identification). After the necessary registration, she directed me to an office where i'd ask for Dr. Evelyn or Dr. Francis, while she prepares to bring my record file.
Welcome! A male voice sounded as I stepped into the office. Sighting two male doctors, one attending to a patient while the other sat staring, I got closer and asked for Dr. Evelyn. She wasn't available, as they told me she was in a meeting. The first Doctor introduced himself as Dr. Francis, hence, I immediately dropped my card on his table. He took the card, read it and asked for my record file. The other lady (I don't know her name, but I call her the 'receptionist') has not yet brought the file!...Before i could reply, to my utmost dismay, 'you are foolish for coming here without your record file!' He echoed as he flung my card straight to the wall, down the floor, I watched as it flew. Was I shocked? Enthraled? I just couldnt utter a word. My mind kept skipping on several questions; is he really ok? 'professional ethics!'... isnt there anything like that in the medical profession? Though certain of something called the 'medical practitioners code of conduct, his actions made me doubt its existence. Suddenly his age prompted my notice, he looked matured, probably around his late 40's. Shouldn't age come with more tolerance? I thought! I know that line might not be a thing at all, but I thought of it anyways.
Suddenly, the receptionist walked in with my file. Still mute, I recieved the file and held on to it. 'Why did he come in here without a file?' he asked furiously. Without any delay, she explained everything she needed to provide in the file, that took her time. Looking seemingly disatisfied, he asked her to pick the card which she did, gently dropped it on his table, and left quietly.
I handed over my file to him, after reading the details on it, he said in a harsh tone... "oya! What is your problem? Be fast, i'm hungry! I need to go and eat!!
"why are you so unprofessional?" I asked without much consciousness. "What did you say?" he asked back. Occupied with so much imaginations in my head, I was quiet, pondering the possibility of putting my eye under his care! It's mind-boggling!... I stood up, still not sure of what to say without sounding rude. "Just go and eat!" I responded as I picked my card. Immediately, he stood up, picked his keys and left with a groan.
Quickly, the other Doctor Stepped closer, introduced himself as Dr. Majid and asked me to sit by his table. I looked at him, seeing the frustration in my eyes, he said calmly.."am sorry for his behaviour! Do not fret, he has issues"... issues! huh? Too curious to ignore the details, but more tired to entertain them. "He shouldn't let his issues interfere with his profession!" I replied as I handed over my file.
After the examination, it turned out I wouldn't need any lens afterall, he prescribed some medications and said i'd need to stay off bright screens for a while. As for Dr. Francis, because of his lack of professionalism or as Dr. Majid said, 'issues', I noticed many patients refuse staying under his care. Acting professionally in what one does is of a greater value. People expect nothing less, or so I choose to believe.
A fundamental distinction between a profession and any other occupation, is that individuals engaged in a profession have an ethical obligation to whomever they offer their services. A profession as medical practice entails a code of ethics. The ethical codes serve as guiding principles which help them practice according to a set standard. Such ethical codes which include: non-maleficience (avoidance of harm), respecting the choices and decisions that a patient makes about his/her own health, principles of confidentiality and good conduct while relating with a patient; ensure the safety and comfort of whomever the professional deals with formally.
In practice today, many so called professionals, not just in the medical field, conduct themselves in a hapharzard manner, ignoring any ethical standard. Because of the way Dr. Francis acted, I lost confidence in trusting him with my eye care, regardless of how competent he might be. This, I believe is ideal for any person in my place to feel the same.