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Life changing moment in life of a Radiology Resident

There are moments which shake your very existence and make you realise the value of life. 

For me this moment of years back during my post graduation. It was a barium meal follow through study and I was a first year resident supposed to take the ileocaecal junction spot film for a young patient. Being a relatively young doctor I was looking at the films and never really felt that I was dealing with a person. I was getting late and barium was not reaching the ileocaecal junction.  I must have conveyed my displeasure to the nurse assisting about how long was the process taking (unknowingly). Finally took the spot film and went off duty. 
Three months later , I was rotating back in barium's and a thin looking young man had come for post operative follow up for bowel lymphoma.  I started to take relevant history in a machine like fashion and suddenly he said , "Doctor, last time I came, barium took so long and you were very disturbed, remember me ?"

I stood there feeling ashamed of my immature complaining last time around. That was one of the moment which defined my life from there on.  It reminded me of two things in life, one that every film we see as a radiologist is an actual patient and words we say nonchalantly in the hospital  may be affecting people in ways we cannot imagine being on the other side.    

I grew up as a Doctor that day. Learnt More than  what any textbook could teach me.  As a physician we are responsible for our words as much as we are for our actions. 

Life changing moment in life of a Radiology Resident Reviewed by Sumer Sethi on Thursday, May 05, 2016 Rating: 5

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