Ramadan Day 24

Today was hard. The early morning made me sleepy in the middle of lecture. I could barely tolerate the man’s monotony and as he explained concepts that went over my head, I wondered for the millionth time why I was studying medicine. As a child born to an Indian family in South Africa, it was mandatory option and fate I sealed for myself far too early on in life. There’s an embedded notion in all communities that doctors are smart and earn well. This is somewhat exacerbated among Indians. Mostly because many qualified Indian doctors work in the private sector and flaunt their wealth with their BMW 5 series and holidays to Europe. As much as the idea of wealth and travelling reassures me about my future, I would hate for it to be my job.

I would hate to go in to work everyday and take money from sick and miserable people, regardless of whether they can afford it or not. I would hate to spend 15 minutes with a patient only to forget them 4 hours later. I would hate to work to benefit me more than those around me. In my readings of Islam, the idea of working or an occupation seems to center on doing good. That it should be beneficial; I imagine to your community and for your spirit.

It disgusts me that Indian doctors can charge up to R600 for a single consultation plus more because it was your first visit. Honestly, this degree is about absorbing everything there is to know about the human body and knowing how to do procedures and regurgitating them on a poor soul who unfortunately, does not have the knowledge. It disgusts me that doctors can exploit that.

In some ways I’m glad I’m studying medicine. If I practice, I know the kind of doctor I don’t want to be. I suppose much of my rant is not about Ramadan but in a lot of ways Ramadan has shown me humility and humbleness and I can only hope that when I qualify, I practice with these qualities.


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