It has been a tragic couple of months for London, Manchester and Britain as a whole. The terror attacks and the fire in the Grenfell Tower block are deeply saddening, and have really emphasised my appreciation for and the importance of not only our emergency services, but also the accepting and tolerant communities we have established.
I’m sure many of you, if not most, have seen images of these attacks. For me, a particular twitter post brought down the earth the realities of being a member of the emergency services. The sacrifices which these people are willing to make to help others, and the bravery of each and every one of them. I never thought a name on the back of a helmet could signify so much, but I believe it is a reflection of how we can be so willing to help others, regardless of race, religion, age, sexuality, and any other factor.
Following the Grenfell Fire, I read a really interesting article entitled, ‘Ahmed Kazmi: A GP’s experience of the Grenfell Tower fire’. http://blogs.bmj.com/bmj/2017/06/16/ahmed-kazmi-a-gps-experiences-of-the-grenfell-tower-fire/
Yet again, this made me step back and think of what the role of a doctor really is. The article reinforced to me that as a doctor you are not always curing people, saving lives or treating illnesses, and often this is just a small part of the day. One of the most important aspects of being a doctor is undoubtedly, dealing with people and Ahmed Kazmi proves that, as by comforting and playing with children, he was still acting as a doctor. I can see how it could have been very easy for him to leave the centre, seeing they didn’t need his medical knowledge. However, this has emphasised to me that help comes in so many forms, treatment, operations, a shoulder to cry on, a helping hand.
This makes me think again of the BBC documentary ‘Hospital’ in which a young junior doctor sat with the wife of a patient, after telling her that his chances were slim. Despite her stressful and busy day, finding the time to help and care for each patient and their family is essential, and in that situation it seemed to make even the silence much more comfortable.
I just thought I’d write a short article as I believe that this is something every aspiring medic should understand and consider – help and care come in a number of ways, and it is incredibly important to give every patient the time and support they both need and deserve.