Here’s the ugly side of being a doctor.

The side I don’t usually talk about.

I never wanted to be a doctor.

I wanted to research stuff,

I was intrigued by the world

I wanted to speak to thousands at once

Dance, act, make people smile

Restore ideals

Change values.

But here I am.

The buck stops with me.

I’m in a war zone here.

I’m not in the war.

I just watch it.

And try to stop it.

There too many dead people on my mind and in my heart.

You can tell yourself you are helping someone.

That what you do matters.

But the truth is.

People live and die and life goes on.

I was baptized in Medical School.

I pray because it’s the only way

I can stop hurting

I go for walks and pray.

I pray because that is how I can survive the implosion that is impending

I pray for the two-year-old who drowned in a neighbour’s tub

He was dead when he came…

For the ten-year-old who was engulfed in flames because he wanted to boil some water to have his bath

His mother thanked me for trying.

She said it was nice to see someone who cared.

I pray for the baby found dead next to his sleeping mother.

He was gone too long.

I pray for the abandoned premature baby girl.

I and some nurses would contribute to getting her drugs.

I’ve called codes, ran codes and run to codes.

I pray for the six-year-old that died within minutes of my exam.

She was stable.

She smiled before she died

I pray for the 6-year-old who died from asphyxiation

The mother had forced things down his throat, she thought she was helping him

I watched her cry her eyes out, begging me to help her I could not do much by the time he arrived.

I’ve struggled with my team to save a newborn When it was apparent that WE COULD NOT DO ANYTHING

I pray for the four-year-old I diagnosed with cancer.

As his father clung to me he cried “Please help my boy”

I prayed when I heard those words- Immunodeficiency.

Hmmm, how interesting I might say any other time. But not this time.

He stared at me, a boy of 10, body ravished by AIDS.

pray for the kid I gave my blood to

When the family didn’t have the funds to.

I pray for the woman who bled to death,

From her mouth and anus

Pint after pint we gave her, silent prayers in my head.

Alas, she left this world behind

I pray for those we lost, even as we tried Knowing that we were ill-equipped, no tools.

We were like warriors with no swords

Fighting death with our bare hands.

I’ve cried after losing patients

When I don’t cry anymore, people think I’m heartless

I pray for myself and my country

I pray for my State and Governor

I pray for my creditors

I pray they understand that I’m broke

The government I took an oath to serve owes me

And yet we must work Or we’re heartless!

Commercialistic doctors who think of themselves (Sigh)

I pray for my family I know I made promises,

Be patient Mum,

Dad I’ll make them happen soon.

I pray for me

That I don’t lose myself in the midst of this all.

I pray for my colleagues

Pray that they don’t drift into the darkness

That seeks their souls.

I pray for Nigeria

I pray we realize:

That we’re not what we once we’re And that we could be better

I hope we wake from our slumber I pray

But I’m a doctor,

We have been taught to be strong

Be well dressed Alas, a lot of us suffer inside

Here is to every doctor who keeps the ground

I pray for you too


This poem, the ugly side of being a doctor has been in my draft for years, modified from an earlier poem by another doctor. I kept adding my experiences, one by one, every experience here is mine. But speaks the minds of other doctors too. We are human too. Love and light.

Aproko Doctor

ugly side of being doctor
Ugly side of being a doctor
Credit: News Australia


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