Ronibats.PH Stories of a Filipino neurosurgeon, teacher, and writer

CategorySocial Issues and Public Health

When Doctors are Shamed on Social Media

We need to talk about doctor shaming on social media. This month alone, I have seen three separate posts in which a patient’s watcher, presumably a relative, snaps a photo of the involved physician or intern, and then posts the image on Facebook with either a disgruntled remark or an agonizing narrative alleging that the doctor is being negligent by sleeping while on duty or acting rudely when dealing with patients and their families. The post invariably generates commiseration in the form of likes and comments, only a few of which could be considered constructive, some even bordering on harassment and libel.
The outcry: “Ipa-viral ’yang doktor/intern na ’yan!”

Saving the Filipino Patient

Earlier this week, a medical intern’s photo of the emergency department of Philippine General Hospital circulated online and became viral. It showed an overcrowded triage area packed with patients lying on bare metal stretchers, fazed watchers, and not surprisingly, only a handful of medical personnel. Because of a change in the start of the academic year, the student workforce had been reduced to a third of its usual number. “Madness. We need help,” part of the caption read.

After the Storm: Yolanda in the Eyes of Doctors to the Barrios

While I sat in front of the TV in the comfort of my apartment as Yolanda (Haiyan) unleashed her fury in Central Visayas, these doctors to the barrios (DTTBs) decided to stay at the forefront instead of going back home when the super typhoon hit their respective municipalities.
Rather than point fingers and waste time ranting on what should have and could have been done, allow me to share the first-hand stories of my colleagues, so that the Filipino medical community and the rest of the nation can focus all effort instead on what can be done right here and right now, to create meaningful impact on the people who have been hardest hit by this catastrophe.

Waiting, Wanting

The joy of seeing my post-operative patients follow up in the outpatient clinic, feeling much better than before I operated on them, cannot outweigh the helplessness I feel whenever I tell the many others waiting in line for their surgery:
“Pasensya na po, wala pa po kaming bakanteng kama. Hindi pa po namin kayo maooperahan. Bumalik na lang po kayo pagkatapos ng dalawang lingo kung hindi pa rin po namin kayo tinatawagan.” 
It still breaks my heart a little, every single time.

Ronibats.PH Stories of a Filipino neurosurgeon, teacher, and writer