After my internship in my 5 year course of B.D.S. (Bachelor of dental surgery- aka Badey Doctor Sahib, aka Battees Daanton Ka safaaya, aka Brain deficiency syndrome) got over, I knew I had no chances of getting a Post-grad seat this year. So I applied for a diploma course in Root canal treatment under Dr. Jacob Daniel in his dental hospital. The first month was all pre-clinical i.e. working on extracted teeth so that we'd realise our faults, correct them & hopefully, not repeat them on patients per se.
The month being over, the time for baptism drew close. We came down to the clinical section. No reassurances. No concessions. It was straight from the frying pan into the fire. the first day at work turned out to be disastrous.
Medical ethics says its unethical to talk about your patients, but pardon me, Ill do it anyhow. Only because it was my first RCT case, and coz he was a specimen by himself. Before I could even touch him, he squeaked (yes, squeaked!!!) like Sachin Tendulkar - "It wont hurt no?"
If I hadnt been so nervous, I would have made sure Id have given him pain. However, thats not the objective of a Dentist. His job is to alleviate pain. So I assured him the procedure would be painless. Giving the injection was a pain because he wouldnt stop moving his tongue & pushed the needle away everytime. Finally when I got it right, he wailed & squealed like a baby. Gawd! Ive known kids who take dental treatment better than him.
Proceeding with the case, I realised it was not such an easy case. The combination of excess salivation, patient's fear of pain, my nervousness - wasn't ideal. It took me well over 3 and a half hours to accomplish what takes say, 15 minutes. But I can be forgiven for that. First case, mon amis!
Nevertheless, the day taught me a few lessons. Once we finish BDS, we tend to get a little complacent. We think we know everything & nothing is going to stop us. Well, he did!!! The day was bad only because of my hubris. Im thankful to Pavan, the patient, for giving me a tough time, because through patients like him, I become tougher, more alert, more committed. The day may have been rotten, but it inspires me to do better. And guess what, I AM doing better now. Hope to continue the trend :0)