December 31, 2005

Great White Tower Afterthoughts

Just completed the last episode of the Japanese drama I mentioned in my earlier entry. I guess I understood the meaning behind the drama a bit more now.

Gozo, the young professor surgeon began his ambition to be a great surgeon to save lives. He has great surgical skills but the only thing is that he is ambitious. He climbed his way up with a little short-cut by his father-in-law bribing people in the hospital for extra votes to his seat in professorship. He has a dream to build the best hospital. His arrogance brought him to his downfall. His complacency made him resulted in his medical negligence towards a cancer patient. A patient died as a result of it. Patient's family began medical legal suit against Gozo and the hospital. Gozo lost the legal suit eventually and discovered that he has lung cancer.

In the last 2 episodes, many aspects of human relationships were touched on. Gozo with his best friend, his teacher/professor, his mistress, his father-in-law, his mother. His best friend Satomi and his teacher Prof Azumi seemingly betrayed him by testifying against Gozo in court. Only the arrogant Gozo kept thinking that they betrayed him but actually all they did was to speak the truth in the interest of patient care. In the end, it was clear that Gozo indeed only trust Prof Azumi and his skills and Satomi's medical diagnosis. Gozo, the great cancer surgeon himself had stage 4 lung cancer without realising it. Gozo did not realise his arrogance and complacency before his death bed. Suddenly it seemed like he has been confident instead of being arrogant. He was being certain of his medical diagnosis and clinical judgement instead of complacency. Both are sitting on thin lines. It is not easy to tell...

Gozo's mother plays a small but significant character. Mother and son have not spoken for 12 years. Gozo has been too busy with his work and doesn't stay with his mum. Yet when the legal suit was agonising Gozo, his mum would turn up for the hearing. She is very concerned but somehow the distance was kept apart. At least Gozo spoke to his mum on the phone before he died. But his mum was the last to see his dead body. She knows her son best and believed in all his actions, his dreams of being a great surgeon and building the best hospital. No wonder people say mothers know their children best.

Gozo's relationship with his wife is cordial. They do not quarrel nor have conflicts but their understanding of each other surely isn't deep. Gozo's mistress understands him best and she would quietly render support behind him. Nope I surely don't support the idea of having mistress but I was moved at how deep their relationship was. They are simply soul mates. Gozo entrusted his mistress (not his wife) to care of his mother after his death.

Lastly, about Gozo.... I was reminded that no matter how high up the corporate ladder you try to get up, you can be defeated by yourself, your own health. Gozo was the current hospital surgical unit professor and the upcoming medical director of the new cancer centre, but he himself was defeated by cancer. The irony was clear as he has helped many patients battle cancer through surgery but he can't fight it himself. No point working so hard and forsaking good health. I'm glad that I have no desire to get up that ladder. I'm glad that I have a God who has promised me eternal life with Him.

Enough of my ramblings. At least, I learnt these 2 things in relation to my own work as I come across them:
1. The importance of pre-surgical patient's informed consent;
2. The importance of proper clinical documentation.

Next hospital drama: Grey Anatomy :)

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