“I'm (almost) a doctor”
- By: Kitty K T Cheung
I poked my head behind the curtain into the cubicle to find out what the argument was about. “All right. As long as it's an order from a doctor I will comply.” The old woman took her arm out from the tightly held blanket and finally let the nurse take blood. The patient probably spotted the stethoscope around my neck. It took me 10 minutes to explain to her that I was not a doctor but a medical student, and that nurses and doctors work as a team and their decisions or requests should be equally respected. This was not an uncommon occurrence in our wards.
In southern Asia, where the public is generally less keen or knowledgeable on health care than in other parts of the world, medical students are easily mistaken for qualified doctors. Mostly this is not deliberate on our part. Patients think that everyone with a