Aida Zabidi
Please God, keep me far, far away from apathy. 

Sometimes I wonder if a day will ever come where I become disillusioned with my work, and take it out on the patients I see. It is a daily process dealing with patients, but I wonder if my passion for health will ever fade away in the midst of the sea of patients. 

Most times I look forward to work. 

The variety of patients I see is a daily reminder that my role really is to serve the people and the community, and most times I do feel a lot of fulfillment in my role. 

There are times though, more often when I’m tired or stuck in a routine of sorts that I find my patience fraying. 

My normal ease with overanxious patients becomes a lot more businesslike. 

The chronic patients who have poor control over their sugar and their blood pressure, still refuse to change their diet or exercise, and grin foolishly when I catch them out on not taking their medications are the ones that usually grate on my nerves – especially after you invest so much time appointment after appointment counselling them on the harm and effects of their health, after you try and provide the most comprehensive breakdown of their disease and link them to all the available resources you have. 

On a bad day, I usually give them my sweetest smile and tell them, “Uncle/auntie, please be careful with your health. You might end up in a hospital and die.” Sometimes they look at me blankly, and think I'm joking - at times I think they probably get a bit offended or nervous.

That said, my worse fear is apathy – if I should ever get to a point where I become one of those doctors who stop caring entirely about the health of their patients. 

I’m sure we all know doctors like those. Ones who see their patients surprisingly fast, who casts a cursory eye over their markers and shrugs, and simply continues medications without counselling or any attempt to find out further or optimize the patient’s condition. 

If I ever find myself in that position, I will know that my heart is no longer with my patients, and I hope that day never comes.
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