Lessons from the New Doctor

PMI Pearl City, Hyderabad Chapter

Dr. Deepa Bhide, PMP is a physician and currently an independent healthcare IT and project management consultant. She has a postgraduate degree in Pediatrics and Neonatology from the University of Health Sciences, India. Deepa is an advocate of using project management in healthcare and related domains. She has worked extensively in the confluence of clinical medicine, IT and project management domains with hands-on experience in managing projects from conception to closure.

Laden with a mix of anxiety and eagerness, I walked into the hospital ward with my badge, white coat and my 22-inch Littmann stethoscope--all a testament to my label as a "doctor." Since my childhood, I had nurtured a dream of becoming a doctor and leading a hospital. I had pulled through the grueling four-and-a-half years of medical school teaching, and now prided myself in being an intern. At last…a doctor!

On seeing a new patient wheeled into the unit, I leapt up from my chair. I was surprised when my colleague remarked, “Oh, easy, easy!” He was sitting next to me biting a stale cookie and reading a magazine. “Give the nurses a few minutes to do their part of the work. They are going to do a lot and make it easy for us to take over!”

I was surprised at how this man could be so apathetic. Clearly, the new patient needed to be attended to quickly, and we were sitting there doing nothing but watching the rest of the crew in the midst of all the hectic activity.

I started to get anxious and agitated. I could hardly sit still and struggled to wriggle myself out of this puzzling situation of "suggested masterly inactivity," even if it was a temporary one. Adding to my anxiety was the presence of my professors, who were rounding on the patients with their team. (A dash of caffeine wasn't helping, either.)

Emergency …

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"Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself."

- Charlie Chaplin