A Tale of Houseman- The Superhuman in Me

konvensyen imedik

( A different perspective)

It has been quite a while my mas’ulah asked me to write a few things on my journey as a houseman. Well, truthfully i found it very hard to jot down my tales as a housemanship, because to say that I truly enjoy it would be a lie, to say i’ve survived it, the future is still uncertain, BUT to say that i’ve not learnt anything, is also an understatement. So, at last in the month of Ramadhan, in my 1 year plus journey as a houseman, i decided to write my tales, my journey, what I had learnt. Truth to be told, I was not a perfect houseman, but what I would like to share with other a muslim houseman out there is to believe something.. The Superhuman inside yourself..

Previously when I was in college days, when they asked me what I want to be, my answer was certain.. I WANT to be a DOCTOR.. I was initially offered a place in Manchester University, however as my IB diploma points was not up to their requirement, I was sent to India, as Allah knows what’s best for me. I remembered i was offered by mother to study in UK, but to study other course, but I was determined, and i answered.. “No, I want to be a Doctor.. It’s ok, I think I’ll survive India..” . What happened in India, my journey, was another story, but it was a part of the foundation that made me believe the superhuman in me.. I believe, along this journey, surely most of the HO’s/ doctors have heard a lot of people said.. “Being a doctor isn’t easy. Sincerity is very important. You think you’ll become rich when you become  a doctor.. You need to sacrifice your life when you become a doctor. ”

Lesson #1: The Superhuman in me, always change a negative surrounding to a positive one.

So, in April 2013, i took the responsibility of a Doctor. It was a unpleasant culture initially. Because, adjusting to the system and culture in Malaysia did take time. I had met wonderful friends and also not so wonderful friends. Both, thought me important things in life. But, put aside others in my topic, the thing that I initially was overwhelmed in Malaysia is the negative criticism culture. For me, I wouldn’t have mind for my superiors to scold or to correct me every time I did something wrong, and I stand by myself, I had gone through all those scoldings, with a brave heart, not to drop a single tear in those situations. And I admit, when we say this to our superiors most of them will say, in our time it was worst. Yes, I admit it could have been worse in previous days, but does it need to be continued, is the question that has been in our minds.

Ironically, as I grow older and longer in the system, I noticed that those negative criticism, humiliating others would not have make us more interested. Instead, in my Medical posting, I was given freedom, I was taught properly what I should have done in certain situations, and they practiced positive criticism, which made us HO became more interested to learn, though I admit medical was a Very Very tiring posting.

So, from that day onwards, I believe culture can’t be change in a day. Hence, it starts with YOU. But, to change a culture, Dear HO, you yourself need to prepare, need to study, and take the consequences of your wrong doings.Take negative criticism, digest it, don’t take it too hard, be positive.  So, every time I meet a junior poster, I tried to impart my knowledge, what I have done wrong previously, and to be patient but vigilant and strict if they had made any mistakes. But, I do not believe in giving orders, scolding or bullying or humiliating others.

Lesson #2: The Superhuman in me, admits weaknesses but overcomes it.

So, after I went through few postings, I reached Paediatric posting. It was a fun and jolly posting as I got to play with babies and children. But this was the posting that really made me nearly lose my patience and my perseverance. At times, Allah knows what was our weaknesses and he bestowed trial and unpleasant situations to see how we dealt the situations. And my weakness was PATIENCE. In medical school, pediatrics was my least favorite subject as I knew I didn’t have the patience. Not to the children but to the PARENTS. So, there was a situation where I had a dispute with my patient’s parents. And when I came back, I was frustrated, and tired because, My feeling was we had always tried our best to do something, but they will always think that we didn’t do anything. And every single time, I felt that I had put my carrier first before my family, come back late every single day, but all of these was not appreciated. We were being scolded perhaps not from our superiors only, but from our patients, staff nurses, PPKs and you name it. So at that time, I thought, what am I doing? Is this what I really want to be? ( Hence, what other said about becoming a doctor in my earlier writings indeed was true). So, I complaint and complaint to my parents. But, as Allah was wise and my parents was also wise, they said something that made me thought hard.

“You were very privileged when you were born. You had everything going on for you. It was not like in our days. Your generation didn’t go through what we have gone through. Those days, when we worked hard was because we needed the rezeki to support our family. You may think that doctors are being ridiculed, but didn’t you think that other jobs was also the same for others. In life, you need to start from BELOW at some point. Because it builts your character, it builds who would you come to be in the future. Stop being negative, having that self- pity inside yourself. Don’t think that others are always more fortunate than you.”

I was ashamed by my lack of gratitude towards what Allah had gave to me. And my parents words is a part of the fuel that I’ve been burning in my journey. And I admit,  from the observation that I have done, doctors do have their ego. And some disturbance in their egos is good for them, for them to remember that Allah is the greatest. So At that point, though how unpleasant it may be, i dealt with parents with patience, at least I tried my best. So like it or not you must understand and admit you do have weaknesses but you have to work and improve on it.

Lesson #3: The Superhuman in me, still needs Allah the Almigthy

This would be the most important lesson, perhaps, in my journey. I do believe knowing the reason/ the purpose in doing something in life makes it much meaningful. Hence, this matter evolved back to the famous questions before we become doctors..”Why do you want to become a doctor?” The reason would may be many, but the single important thing that I believe is your Niat. So, as muslims, we do everything with our niat for Allah. Same goes to being a Doctor. When we vow everything for Allah, it is a great responsibility. Every single act, if we did with Ihsan, we would be able to feel the Iman.

“Al Ihsan” is a supreme spiritual aspiration “to worship Allah as if you saw Him” as defined in the very famous hadith of Jibril 3alayhi salam. “Al Ihsan” as an act of excellence; “Allah loves that when one of you accomplishes a work, that he accomplish it with excellence”

In my early years as a doctor, like I have stated, Everytime when I go to work, I’ll remind myself, I’m doing this for Allah, I want to help people to know how great You are by realizing the need of You in sickness and hope, I want to be a Doctor for the ummah not only physically, but also spiritually, and Allah I hope that I’ll be a part of your mujahiddins in the future. But, when I reach the hospital, different things always happened. Negative surroundings made me disheartened, gave up sometimes. And I realized day by day, why was I disheartened. It was because, though I had those good niats, But when it came to a circumstances,sometimes we feel that we want to impress our superiors, or our patients, hence, my life wasn’t at a go. I suffered. I suffer because I wanted to please my superiors/ others more than Allah. But if you have Ihsan.. IT would be different. You will please everyone along the way if you have Ihsan and Iman.

So, comes the journey of my HO with the need of Allah in me. Alhamdulillah, I was given the opportunity to have great people surrounding in my life. My tarbiyyah in India, didn’t stop the moment I became a doctor. I attended weekly usrah if my schedule allows it and if Allah wills. And to be with successful doctors who are sacrificing their life, not only for their patients, for their family but also for the Ummah made me inspired. Made me believe that if they can do it, why shouldn’t I can’t. I could not express how important are these circles of love. I initially had problems in adjusting my time, I was reluctant at times. Because, after all the work, you barely had time to spend with you love ones. But as I grow wiser, knowing how to prioritize, I had the chance of attending programs, brought usrah during HOship. Not to brag or anything, but I needed them more than anything, more than they need me. It was a part of my fuel too.

In joining tarbiyyah programs, it does make me realize that we are all super humans. We can do anything what Alllah wills. IT just takes a little bit of effort. In the beginning I always envied people who have the time to do lots of thing for the society. Being together with non doctors society also(doctors are known to be amongst themselves, speaking medical things amongst them), made me realize that our Ummah needs people who are willing to cure the society day in and day out. And we doctors, without realizing, have that ample opportunity. We see patients, patient who may not know why there are doing stupid things, patient who does not perform solah in hospitals, patient who did make mistakes but wants to repent. We do see these kind of patients. It is our choice, to reach out to them and spend a little tiny bit of time with them or to make a choice to punch out on time. And if it is our choice to be calculative in our working time, don’t blame Allah for not giving the opportunity to do dakwah to others. Other people may need programs like ceramah/ kafilah dakwah to do good to people but, we fail to see our opportunities.

Hence, Allah has created us with outrageous possibilities, without us knowing sometimes. Believing Allah has reason to test us heavily sometimes, is the only faith that we had to overcome hardship. But, be a Superhuman, out do yourself, as how those sahabahs out do themselves. Being a HO, doesn’t stop you from  being a believer, doesn’t stop you from being a preacher, doesn’t stop you from being a slave for Him. So buck up and be strong, thrash down all the pessimistic feelings, work with Ihsan, and may we young doctors will have the chance to serve the Ummah and the Mujahiddins in the future. To be stressing out our life as a HO would be so shameful as our brother and sister in Gaza/ Syria/ or any part of the world was tested much more than us. Let it be our motivation to help them.

I admit that I have tones of weaknesses, these are notes that I myself need to improve on, and I hope that others would have learn something. My journey as a HO. The Superhuman in Me.

Dr Farah Inani A Razak.
Pegawai Perubatan Latihan Siswazah, HSB, Alor Setar Kedah.