Mohammed Mustafa finds a different kind of enlightenment in the East
- By: Mohammed Humayun Mustafa
Perspective is an interesting word. It has currency among medics, and, terrifyingly, it has influence in defining what a good doctor should be like. How often has a stay in hospital, sleeping in a bed lined with sheets that make plastic look sensuous and covered with a blanket as welcoming as a Siberian salt mine, meant that--and this is the defining experience--being on the receiving end of administrations from a medical team that embodies paternalism and hierarchical pride has motivated someone to get into medicine and become a better doctor?
Medical students returning from their electives in developing countries use the word perspective with alacrity. They tell stories of poverty impinging upon not only health but life in general. Such seemingly irremediable destitution, coupled with the witness's associated soul searching, often proves a tonic of enlightenment to those who encounter it. What's more, it puts into perspective--that word again--where Western