Saturday, July 5, 2014

Valedictory Speech


The following is the text of the Valedictory Speech 
delivered by Danish Henry 
at the 12th Post Graduate Medical Education Graduation Ceremony, 2012 
at The Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi

The Chief Guest, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Dean, respected faculty, learned fellows, exhausted residents, ‘bacharay’ interns, ladies and gentlemen, good evening!

This day marks the completion of a journey that began not so long ago. Let me give you a glimpse of what it means to be intern. It all used to start with being on-call and end with being post-call. Anything and everything in between is what we call life. The evening was spent waiting, not for another episode of “Ishq-e-Mamun”, but for the chief to round, who would always assures to be there in 5 minutes. We were bombarded with pages, few genuine and many bogus. “ap nay paracetamol enter ki, patient ko day do”, I reply, “nahi sunga do”. Another page, “Doctor Danish, mariz chair pe bethna chah raha hai”. I say yes and “aa kay orders likh day”. There are orders for everything, even for patients to scratch their heads. A rough voice exclaims, “Urology intern, come to the counter, outside call for you”. I take the call, “dactor saab, mariz kay peeshab mein khoon aa raha hai, koi tablet bataye”. I ask, “mariz kaha hai?” “woh to Dubai mein hai”. Getting back to work, I generate a consult and I am advised to send CBC, BUN, creatinine, electrolytes, PT/APTT, blah blah blah… and a blood culture stat.  Then comes dinner. Our chefs have the distinction of keeping the taste same, no matter what is cooked, don’t worry, today is an exception. The rest of the night is spent drawing blood like a vampire and patients do not lose a nanosecond to tell you “weakness bohat hai, koi teeka laga dey’, as if though we keep a stock of Red Bull, which will give them wings. This is just the tip of the iceberg, in some rotations, the number of pages per minute is more than our respiratory rate. These pagers are like a complaining wife. You are to listen to her and you cannot leave her. The next day is kicked off with the grand round, where you can easily locate post-caller sleeping and many attendings emailing.

Our internship has been a wholesome learning experience. Long-working hours stiffened our spirits and made us resilient. Cut-throat deadlines turned out to be capacity building measures. There were times when all motivations run dry and fatigue took charge. There came a point where we all realized the value of maintaining ties to the world. Then I came across a placard. It said, “This too shall pass.”

Valedictory Speech
Click by The Aga  Khan University Hospital

A journey that we embarked 353 days back, not that we are counting, is on the verge of completion. It has been a journey of energy and endurance, of dressings and discussions, of ORs and OPDs, of long weekends and weekend calls, of late night sampling and early morning rounds. I call it a journey of metamorphosis. We started off as young graduates bubbling with knowledge and enthusiasm and we are graduating as smarter doctors who know that extraordinary results require extraordinary efforts. We are prepared to move on and bear the tremendous responsibility of being a doctor. Let us promise, to ourselves, that we will never forgo AKU values.

While we take pride in what we have achieved, we do this with humbleness and humility. We acknowledge the contributions made by the AKU fraternity, our families and our friends. We share our success with them. We appreciate those who encouraged us. We also realize that criticism strengthened us, and made us a better doctor, a better person. We owe thanks to the faculty, who guided us and corrected what we wronged. To fellows and residents who helped us with learning. We have had our agreements and disagreements. But there was always a moment to celebrate, happiness to share and a memory to cherish.

To our parents, words fail to describe their affection and commitment for us. But more importantly to our patients, who brave the miseries of life, teach and trust us. Let us seek inspiration from their lives. Let us reflect on our current practices and renew our commitment to provision of healthcare we would expect for ourselves.

My felicitations to graduating interns, for having suffered, o sorry!, survived this challenging and happening year.  We have forged many life-long friendships. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. May we go forth to prevail!

Graduating Interns of 2012

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