Following up On my previous Post – “Why So many miserable Babies…………………”, it should have actually read, “Why So many miserable parents and care-givers including medics of so many miserable Babies…………………” – Yes, I am one of those miserable medics!
Yes, gone are the days of 1960 A.D. (when I got admitted to the Medical College) when I considered myself “a Selected Saviour of Mankind!”.
Yes, gone also are the days of 1972 A.D. ((when I took to specialise in Neurosurgery – as the branch with enormous scope for delving into new research on the yet-still-poorly, grossly
underunderstood (more about it in a later page!) masterly, and FTL (Faster Than Light) evolving human brain )) when I considered myself “a Selected Saviour of Mankind’s Brains”!
Between 1960 and 1972 – in 1971-1972 to be exact, I was in U.K. doing various odd medical jobs as Senior House Officer (SHO) and Registrar in medical institutions of various statures – giving me a much valuable – sometimes pleasant and sometimes painful – experience.
My first asignment was in Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, New Castle Upon Tyne in the midlands. Being new to England and dropped by the Airport Bus in the local Bus Stand, I boarded a bus and asked an elderly lady passenger whether the bus will go through and drop me in Queen Elizabeth Hospital. She said, “I should talk to the conductor!”. The conductor promised to tell me when Queen Elizabeth Hospital was reached and allow time for me to disembark.The bus went on and on and the elderly lady passenger kep staring alternately at me and the conductor and eventually mustered enough strength to call out to the conductor why the bus had passed Queen Elizabeth Hospital without stopping and dropping “this Paki doctor”. The conductor just stared into the sky and made no efforts to rectify his failure to keep a promise made to me. But the driver, who heard all this, stopped the bus, came on to us and asked the conductor whether he had promised to drop me in Queen Elizabeth Hospital; the conductor merely nodded the head admitting his error. All the other passengers rose up in one and said in a chorus,”Take the bus back to Queen Elizabeth Hospital and drop the doctor there as promised”. The driver obliged and I was safely dropped at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. I used to believe that an Englishman is as good as his word; it was proven (by the co-passengers and the driver) / disproven (by the conductor) to me by this incident in my life. As Socrates put it, “Don’t take anybody’s word as true!”
My first asignment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Gateshead, New Castle Upon Tyne in the midlands was to teach children, mostly immigrant “brownies” / “pakies” as they were clumped together (even Indian Restaurants were called Paki Restaurants) – the British, for reasons best known to themselves, saw everybody (including Indians) from the Indian subcontinent, as Pakistanis / Pakis!
The assignment was probably to test my fluency in English – not my skills in medicine which I was there to enhance! Any way, “Beggars can’t be choosers!”, I picked the gauntlet and proved myself. Nay, it was indeed a pleasant experience too as the kids, though immigrants, had normal / supernormal brains and used to greet me, in chorus, whenever I entered the classroom, “Good Morning Dr.Kriiiishshshnannn…”, reverberating in the classromm – front to back, roof to floor and wall to wall and, through the windows (doors were always kept closed, as you know – it was the duty of any new entrant to any room to close the door after him / her – just to keep the chill out!) even to the world outside!
After a month in Gateshead, I moved on to Edinburgh where I spent nearly seventeen months in various hospitals, in various jobs in various specialities in medicine in hospitals of various statures.
More of it in the pages to follow!
So long then!