In Support Of The Doctor Who Speaks Up For All Of Us

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The above was the Facebook status of a very bright, young doctor relating about one aspect of the many ironies in life that a doctor experiences in the course of her work in the society.

I read her status, and it cheered my day. I felt vindicated and validated on behalf of many doctors working in O&G in specific, and on behalf of all doctors fighting against medical misinformation in general.

I shared her status. Many doctors did. Go and check up my FB wall. I have nothing to hide.

And then, THIS NEWS came up in my facebook newsfeed!!

Screenshot 2015-06-09 22.18.01

Dear doctors in the higher up,

Act like a leader, and support your subordinates who are saying the right thing.

So what is the big deal if the doctor had been slightly sarcastic in her FB post? I would have done exactly the same thing! Her facebook status hit the nail on the head. It drives the point against irresponsible practice of homebirth right home!

If I had the opportunity (of being on-called while that particular case had materialized) I would say what she said. It was the best example of the consequence of shunning modern hospital intervention and that example happened to be current.

OF COURSE I WOULD GRAB THE OPPORTUNITY TO EDUCATE THE SOCIETY WITH THIS EXAMPLE!!

Has confidentiality been breached? On what ground(s) was she punished?

Many doctors had shared the FB status of the brave doctor when she was being so-called sarcastic in her FB status. Myself included. Yups, I shared her status in my FB wall too. Many of my friends did. Why is she the only one being punished?

Is there anyone being made responsible to track every single doctor who has shared her status in FB and then punish all of them? Is there anyone being made responsible to track every single FB status THAT SUPPORTS the doctor’s FB status and then punish them too?

Is she the only one being punished for representing what we all believe in?

Be fair, that’s the least you can do!

All doctors should rally in support for the brave doctor! All doctors who have liked and shared the status of the doctor when she first posted it should support her against the unfair punishment. She said exactly what we would have been thinking had we been in her place.

***

It must be the generation gap.

Our generation is not politically correct. And we don’t want to change that part of our personality. We knew it, and we don’t care. We revel in it. Proud of it.

We know you shake your heads at us. We forgive you. Because at the moment, I am shaking my head at your children (who is one generation below us) who you mollycoddled and pampered far more than we ever were when we were growing up. (During my time, most kids were not chauffered by parents to school, we went to and from school by bus or by bike, we didn’t have smartphones or tablets. We went out, playing and roughing it around the neighbourhood with no fear of being kidnapped, abducted or raped. We fought our own battles without involving adults and my parents blamed me whenever teachers scolded me).

So let’s forgive each other’s generation snobbery. We all think we knew better. You did (and still do), I do, and the generation below me will do.

The truth is, we are not at all disrespectful of protocol. It’s just that my generation is easily disgusted by two-faced ingratiating butt-kissers of our generation (or in any generation). We don’t respect authority just because they are authority. No…there is more to respect than merely your position. Most of us prefer to say exactly what we think, preferably at the very moment we think it. If the moment doesn’t allow us the luxury of saying what we think stat (because the higher authority is not receptive to feedback and simply does not appreciate original ideas when they are given), we will postpone the saying later.

But it will get said (or written). It will be discussed among our friends and colleagues. Discussion and argument back and forth will ensue. We are exhilarated by the intellectual exercise of defending what we believe, when we believe it.

That’s us being expressive. Can’t blame us. We were brought up in the age where learning was supposed to be INTERACTIVE. Where feedback was encouraged. No courses is complete without feedback forms being distributed nowadays.

Yes, I know. During your time, you were not pressured to be interactive. You learned in the type of school where teachers could scold you and cane you and your parents would say the teachers were right. “You must have been naughty”, your parents concluded straightaway. Your side of the story would be ignored, not worthy of being listened to, let alone of being considered.  Being expressive and opinionated was not encouraged back then. It wasn’t the way you had to learn, DURING YOUR TIME.

Now, our time is the more interesting time of learning (but I might be sprouting generation-biased nonsense here, but then this is my blog.) Even when we have no idea what to say, we are asked to participate. Even when we don’t have that much of an original opinion, we are asked to speak up. You cannot attend a talk where the speaker won’t say “Saya tak mahu saya sorang yang bercakap di depan. Kita mahu sesi yang interaktif yadda yadda yadda.”

Ugh! ( One tip: if you are interesting to listen to, people won’t fall asleep even if the session is not interactive. Trust me! They will want to listen to you talking non-stop. They don’t need any other stimulation in the form of interaction, because you on your own is stimulating enough.)

When I went to Australia, I felt pressured to participate in the tutorial, to offer an opinion …when all I really wanted was just for the lecturer to tell me what I need to know and for me to just go back, learn it, rehearse it,  swallow it up and spit it out in the exam. (Yes, I was more traditional than what some people might think).

I had to rack my brain finding something to say to fill up my speak-up quota of the day. I felt embarrassed whenever anyone had commented “The Malaysian students are not participating in the lecture nor in the tutorials. Too passive. Too silent.” Because stupid me, I felt a responsibility towards my country that I should be making my country proud by my performance, however superficial it might be. I had to learn to be more extrovert and to be more forthcoming because in Australia, people are encouraged to speak up. It is tacitly being thought as the most superficial measure of intelligence. And I cared about Malaysia too much to let them think that Malaysians were simply passive, non-opinionated fools.

We come back to Malaysia not knowing how to suppress our thoughts to ourselves when we believe we are right. If we are wrong, we expect you to tell us point by point how are we wrong, and how you are more right than us. REGARDLESS OF WHO YOU ARE IN THE GOVERNMENT!

Because that’s how you wanted us to be, remember? Otherwise, WHY DID YOU GROOM US THAT WAY FROM THE VERY BEGINNING OF OUR SCHOOLING DAYS?

Don’t get me wrong. We know how to be polite. We can be diplomatic to those who deserve our kindness. We return smiles. We say our thank-yous and our apologies when they are required.

However, we don’t like to be false and pretentious.

We are ultra-sensitive to false information that belittle the effort of our fellow doctors in any department, and will fight those openly, without shame. And by fighting openly, I include the social media.

Social media was used to denigrate and libel the reputation of our healthcare workers, and therefore social media must also be used to defend our honours. Because the higher authority is hardly effective at defending the various issues that have cropped up against doctors for the past few years! For doing our parts in defending the doctors rights, we don’t expect your thanks. Just help us by not making it harder.

You see, social media started in our generation. We know how to use and manipulate it more effectively than the older generation does. Social media IS the modern and latest medium of advocacy. What the young doctor wrote on her facebook wall was a non-issue, in my opinion.

***

Another peculiarity of our generation is that, we always try to mean what we say.

I am not going to say sorry if I am not sorry.

I AM NOT SORRY FOR SUPPORTING THE DOCTOR WHO HAD SHARED HER TOUNGE-IN-CHEEK COMMENT IN HER FACEBOOK WALL ABOUT THE PATIENT WHO CAME TO THE HOSPITAL WITH THIRD DEGREE TEAR AFTER HAVING REFUSED HOSPITAL INTERVENTION AND OPTED FOR HOMEBIRTH.

I AM NOT SORRY FOR SUPPORTING THE OTHER DOCTORS WHO HAD SUPPORTED THE  DOCTOR. I AM NOT SORRY FOR WRITING THIS IN SUPPORT OF HER EVEN WHEN I NEVER KNEW HER.

AND I AM NOT SORRY THAT I AM NOT SORRY.

There are MANY, MANY of us who had either liked or shared her status. There are hundreds of us who had shared the status of others who had supported her.

Do all of us deserve similar punishment to her?

WHAT IS YOUR STAND?

Perhaps, the more accurate question is, DO YOU EVEN HAVE A STAND?

And if you do have a stand, do you have the correct one?

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