Hippocrates

I don’t know the time in history when you lived. I guess it was many years ago before the coming of Christ. It was during that time when the world was half as old as it is now. I guess a sky scraper now stands tall on the place you called grave. May be it is not even a sky scraper but a super highway or something to the effect of extreme engineering and thrilling architecture. Hippocrates, even as time continues to pass and history continues to record itself, you will always stand tall when medicine is mentioned or rather when makers of history go marching in.

You gave us the true ideals of medicine; getting the science and mastering the art. Hippocrates, medicine has changed a great deal from your time up to the twenty first century. Consequently, many diseases have come up since that time, HIV and AIDS is incurable, cancer has sent many people to the grave and many more complications have developed since then. Even with the state of the art technologies of this age, these health complications are still a menace.

Hippocrates, something went wrong between the time you lived and now, medicine as a career has gone on the downward trend and a few will recommend it as a career for their children. Doctors are burning out; most spend a good amount of time training and practicing but what do they get in return? Asante ya punda ni mateke. Is medicine no longer a noble path? Please answer me Hippocrates. The society is mistreating doctors and demotivating them. What happened between now and then?

Again, medicine has become a profit making venture, it is no longer passion that drives people to it but the desire to be rich and rich and rich. Just come back to life even if for a minute and teach us in the way we should go and we will never depart from it. How I wish you taught physicians the contents of your oath that officially hands them over to the world. Many recite the oath with pride but they never live up to it (Hippocratic Oath).

What would you tell me now that I am becoming part of your great family? I guess you would look at me with steady eye and tell me “The journey is tough, only be strong and courageous.” And I will look up to your face as though puzzled with your wealth of experience and nod in agreement. I am glad you are mentoring me even in death. My greatest prayer is to be of help to my people; to alleviate pain and suffering and to inspire hope. I will grow into my own person but I will uphold the values of this path that turns out to be my calling. I will not despair no matter what. By the way Big Hippo, medical school still starts with the anatomy laboratory and that is where future surgeons will make their first cut. Rotations come later in the sunset years of medical school and then internship follows. Nothing has changed much, though I am not sure whether you went through all these.

Rest in peace my dear mentor. I will never let you down. I will never cease to wonder what sort of person you were, were you tall? Short? Authoritative? I can’t connect the dots to visualize who you really were. All I know is that you carried along with you the ideals of medicine. Medicine, hot passion it is and cold science; this is where the chemistry between a physician, a patient and diseases lie.

 

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Author: Dr. Kiaye Oliver

I am a dreamer. I love medicine. She is generous. I am also in love with literature, she makes me see the world the way I want to and sometimes the way it is.

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