Tuesday, 15 January 2008

The Stethoscope

I’m always keen on buying the medical instruments and books, I used to collect money and buy something new every few months, I had the electronic thermometer while everyone used the mercury one, eye and ear examination set which no one of my classmates had, and different types of blood pressure measuring instrument (sphygmomanometer).

However, I never bought a stethoscope for myself, the stethoscope is the thing which nearly every doctor needs (especially the junior ones); I consider it like the sword of the knight.

When I was a first year medical student, Mohaned and his parents paid us a visit. Mohaned was always a marvellous, when we were children; he was the only one who my parents really admired, full of wit and enthusiasm, nice and the one who always scores very high in his exams, I could feel that they wished to see their only son to be like this; yet, I was different.

When he visited us; he was four years senior to me in Basra medical school, I showed him my new stethoscope and sphygmomanometer, which both were sent from outside Iraq and really of good quality.

Mohaned put his hand in his pocket and gave me a small box as a gift congratulating me for attending the medical school saying “ I brought you this stethoscope, it’s not as expensive as the one you got but it’s really reliable and it would be more practical to you using it at hospital”.

Then, he taught me how to take the blood pressure measurement, he descried it once but it was the proper scientific way which was not followed by most of the doctors as it more time consuming.
I learnt it from his and kept doing it the way he did.

Few months later and as soon as I finished the first year in my medical school; I went to the A&E department taking his gift and started practicing there, I took it step by step, every holiday and every spare time.
Mohaned’s gift was always with me, in every procedure I attended, in every clinic I sat, and with every patient I examined.
Till the last year in my medical school when that stethoscope became out of use and I had to use the other one I got.

When I left Iraq, I had to leave Mohaned’s gift; which was the only medical instrument I got as a gift from a friend.

The last few days and as I was thinking of what to do with my salary, I thought of buying a new stethoscope, then I decided not to so as it might be expensive and I’m not in need to it.

Today and as soon as I started my first day at work, I got another stethoscope as a gift, I immediately remembered Mohaned and what I did with his stethoscope, all the ones I met since I went to Al-Yarmok hospital, all the people who knocked my door seeking help, all the long way from Baghdad to London through the medical school.
I’m again in the A&E and with a new stethoscope; seems to be a new start for a very long way.

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