I’m currently doing my hospital attachment at the oral surgery department, as part of my training as a dentist. For the past 3 weeks, life has been different from the usual routine of clinic life, to the hectic and unexpected cases we see here in the hospital.

At first, I thought I would dread this posting as usually OMF is the hardest posting of all, but Alhamdulillah by the grace of God I’ve been enjoying this posting as tiring as it may get sometimes.
One of my favourite things is getting to see the patients getting better from day to day. Most of the cases we get here are emergency cases, from motor vehicle accidents, mostly from young unlicensed bikers not wearing their helmets. Some of them got it pretty bad, and here at OMF department, dentists attend to these cases, and review them on a fixed basis, from weeks to months to monitor the progress of the patients. There’s a certain happiness that fills my heart when seeing the same patient coming back for their review appointments, and seeing them get better not only physically, but psychologically and emotionally.

“Doctors are instruments of God”, I remember Dr Harlina saying when I attended her talk in Cairo a few years back. The doctor that operated on my father also said, “My hands only touch the patient, but it is God that heals”. Being here now, I find these words to be truer than ever.

Having been a patient myself, battling a disease for almost 12 years, I fully understand how it feels like to be in the patient’s shoes. The agony of being ill, wearing that green hospital clothes, losing control over your own body, it affects you not only physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Over those twelve years, I’ve met a handful of doctors. Some good, some bad. I wouldn’t define a good doctor based on his clinical skills only, but rather his ability to empathise with his patients.

I’ve met so many doctors who were super smart, but didn’t have a heart. The thing about treating patients, is that we are treating a whole human being, not just a lesion or a body part. Most of the time, patients would be depressed or have anxiety. I remember being in the ICU, and a kind doctor there simply talked to me like a friend would, and that made me feel so much better. When our psychological well being is in a good state, then the body heals better too.

Now that I’m working, I hope I can be a good doctor as those who have treated me. I hope I will remember to be kind, because in a world where so many people are trying to be so many things; rich, famous, etc, the things that we lack most is kindness.

Maya Angelou — 'I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'
May Allah grant shifaa not only those who need to be healed, but the healers too. InsyaAllah.