Friday, December 16, 2011

Bloody Oath

I'm a doctor.  *boggle*

At the qualifying ceremony we all had to stand up and read out this thing called the Physician's Oath.  As Physicians we had to promise to be good guys and to always do our best and where-ever there's injustice, you will find us, and so forth.  Unfortunately it wasn't the pithy old Hippocratic Oath in which you vow solemnly to put African wildlife in boxes.  No, this was lengthy and sounded like it was written by someone with a Diploma in Public Health and a shiny pair of pants. 

As a result, my mind wandered.  I started thinking - which is always dangerous.  I thought to myself, Hey!  Hey Self!  You've got this degree: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery.  Is that two degrees or just one?  And how come you know a little bit of medicine but almost no surgery.  And how come I'm taking this Physician's Oath but not a Surgeon's Oath?  Maybe nobody has written one!

Ladies and Gentlemen, in the red corner, may I present...

The Surgeon's Oath


I am honoured to make this declaration in front of such of my family and friends that I still have, my colleagues whom I have not yet backstabbed, and teachers and mentors that I have been sucking up to;

I commit myself to practising surgery with speed, speed, and ... um ... speed;

My relationship with my patients will be built upon masculine slaps upon the shoulder and brisk promises to have them back on their feet in no time;

I will value all aspects of my patients - cash, credit, and other convertible assets;

I will not permit considerations of gender, race, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, nationality or social standing to influence my duty of care - but I should mention that if I do you on my private list I can get it done next Thursday even though the public waiting list is chockers until September 2013;

I will work with my patients to enhance their quality of life and provide support both in times of suffering and well-being - unless it's outside my specific area of research interest in which case I'll just expect the intern to handle it.

My commitment extends to the health of the community, valuing the diversity of people within in it as valuable providers of novelty ethnic food and taxi drivers to/from the airport;

I will support my colleagues working in health care, and treat them with honesty and respect, if they are both senior to me and within earshot; otherwise - shrug...

I will contribute to a work environment that fosters learning and cooperation.  I commit myself to passing on my loudmouthed opinions on topics of interest to me such as luxury watches, sportscars and Fascist politics whenever I have a sharp instrument in my hand, as have those who have gone before me;

I will acknowledge my limitations and mistakes, should they ever occur, preposterous as that may seem to all of us here today in light of my obvious talents;

I will strive for satisfaction and enjoyment in my work but reserve the right to brutalize those in my power should I be having a bad hair day;

I will maintain balance in my life, drinking both red and white;

May these affirmations guide, strengthen and inspire me in practising the art and science of surgery.

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