Primum Non Nocere

I had to assist two of my faculty for a surgery yesterday. It was my first time scrubbing in for a procedure in this department. I have never been very fond of theatres or assisting for surgeries. I believe I’m not  surgically skilled and the fear of goofing up is the root cause of my dislike for theatre days. Even small things like scrubbing, putting on the sterile gown, catheterisation…makes my tummy turn.

Since I’m pretty convinced now that surgical side of healthcare is not my cup of tea, internship will probably be the last time I’ll be working in a theatre(unless God has other plans). And looking back, I was really worried about my general surgery posting. But by God’s grace, I was put under  the best general surgeon in the hospital. In due time, my fear of theatre days were overshadowed by friendly chatter of the two teachers who turned to family, awe for the skills I was witnessing,  and the best care that all those patients were receiving.

And then there was yesterday’s surgery. I watched in horror as the two surgeons argued on forever on what had to be done…they openly  wished the unit chief wouldn’t come by(as he would definitely disprove all that is being done). Incompetence and dishonesty were ringing in all their decisions and I suddenly felt a bit dizzy. WHAT ABOUT THE PATIENT??I was screaming inside….she trusted her life to you guys…she wants the best..not what you FEEL is enough..I wished I could walk out after shouting all this out. But I was helpless. I was meant to assist, fill all the papers and go home. I wasn’t learning anything and I guess was losing many a lesson on medical ethics and patient care that the surgeons I had worked with so far had installed in me.

But as I have been taught…copy the good  and learn not to be like the bad people you come across. So I shall consider this a lesson and hold on. And this was also a reminder- I need to learn more. I need to be competent at what I’m doing. And my prayer today is that no one should ever suffer because of my Incompetence or lack of knowledge. I definitely have a VERY long journey to take. But I pray I can strive forth and be useful to at least one person in this world. No wonder Hippocrates stressed- primum non nocere-DO NO HARM.


Nothing but a recipient of Christ's grace. I am a young doctor and I use this space to find meaning in the bedlam of my thoughts. My blog might resonate with the screams of a young adult finding her place in life, the stench of hospital corridors, images of the many people who intrigue me and the lessons my Saviour Jesus teaches me.

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