a young pakistani doctor blogs...
Sunday, October 09, 2005
  The next day
I slept at 5 am last night, very drained and exhausted. I woke up after a good 8 hours sleep at noon, just a while ago, uninterrupted by any more quakes. I took a long, relaxing bath and thought that the quake was finally truly over. I went out to get some groceries and sat down to my computer when I felt another quake. I rushed outside thinking 'here we go again!'

I've woken up to news that the death toll from the quake is past 18,000. Its really depressing information. It appears that Islamabad, while fully within sphere of the quake's full force, didn't suffer all that much. We've got that collapsed tower which CNN and all the other networks are covering so much, but that tower is only responsible for a few hundred deaths. I'm not saying that's little or anything, but it pales in comparison to the death toll in other parts of the country.

I think the quake is over for the most part. We may have a few more jolts, but they shouldn't be too severe. Yesterday I was worried about strong aftershocks. I don't think we'll have any strong ones from now on.

My brother went to Abbottabad and took all the stuff in his shop out. The plaza that houses his shop is pretty badly cracked he's waiting to see what will happen with it in the next few days.

I'm feeling guilty. I feel I should be outside doing something productive rather than just sitting my ass down and writing and watching the news. I plan to donate what I can to the President's Earthquake Relief Fund when the banks open up tomorrow.
If you are a Doctor, isn't your skill very important? Shouldn't you be out there helping the victims of the Earthquake with their medical needs?
Please don't be offended but it seems that time is critical and people who have necessary skills are even more important than money is at this point at least.

I don't know Pakistan. Are you a long distance away from where the major damage is occuring?

Are you a medical doctor? Or does the Dr. indicate that you received a doctorate in some other field?
I just graduated from medical college. I gave my last exam a few days ago. Most of the damage is not in Islamabad but in Kashmir and some northern areas. The hospitals here in Islamabad are coping well with the increased patient load because there simply arn't that many quake victims here in Islamabad. I might have gone to the other places, but there would be nowhere for me to stay, and I doubt how much use I'd be seeing as I'm still untrained in the practical aspects of my profession.
It just seems to me that if you are serious about being a doctor you would be there.

I don't want to call you a coward because I myself have never been tested but if you are a Doctor you need to be brave and if necessary put your life aside for the sake of others.

Being a doctor is a grave responsibility. I know I could never be able to live up to such a responsibility and that is why I never even thought about being a Doctor.

But for those who are, courage, dedication, sacrifice is what is necessary to do the job that needs to be done.
Thanks for the response.

If the medical system of your area seems to be coping then I guess there is nothing you can do.

Usually in disasters the people are just happy with whatever they can get such as nurses and others with at least some minimal amount of medical training.

And of course you have graduated so that means that you have more skills and knowledge than a nurse does, but certainly if they need the skills of a nurse you wouldn't considering the circumstance feel offended by doing something below your skills.

As for places to stay, well usually the work is quite demanding. People stay up 24 - 48 hours so the last thing they need to worry about is a place to stay. They just find a blanket and just fall asleep somewhere when they have a few minutes.

But again, if the medical system where you are at is coping well then you aren't needed.
Im not scared of being there on the scene. I just don't think I'll be any use. You have to understand that after med school in Pakistan, there is a one year House Job in which you're placed in the hospital and work there for a year, honing your practical skills. I don't have those skills yet. I've still got training left. I'm afraid I'd be more of a nuisance than a help. I wouldn't want to make things worse.
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Recent med school graduate from Peshawar, Pakistan. Started blogging when in throes of final year exams. Currently studying for USMLE Step 1. Aiming for the 2008 Match. I blog about my studies, my worries, and my thoughts on life. I live in Islamabad.

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