Before one sets about curing an ailment, he or she must first identify what disease is plaguing the patient. Gathering information by asking questions and listening, symptoms can be determined, while signs can be observed or elicited. We call this a diagnosis.
Likewise if we claim that the medical professional's work culture is diseased, we need solid evidence and a clear picture of the disease we are dealing with.
Medical professionals throughout Malaysia have voiced out frustration over hierarchical work systems, bullying, harassment, rising suicide, burnout and depression rates, (citations needed) and how it affects not only their well-being and satisfaction, but also endangers the lives they handle.
The signs are evident; about 30% of house officers do not complete their training on time. At least 170 specialists quit the civil service yearly, despite adequate remuneration & incentives, allegedly due to the bureaucracy in the civil service. From this it is clear that a problem does exist; the patient is indeed, ill.
But merely treating the symptoms will not suffice when the disease remains rooted intrinsically.
So we ask ourselves, what causes this constellation of signs and symptoms?
What transforms enthusiastic, altruistic individuals into disillusioned, cynical ones?
Perhaps it is the mindset cultivated that a doctor must suffer in order to truly become one. This is by no means untrue. What perverts the notion is this: a doctor must be made to suffer in order to truly become one.
By now, the final question remains; is the disease curable? If it is, then every effort should be made to do so. We believe there is a CURE. It may not be a miraculous one and it certainly will not work overnight, but we believe it can make a difference.