A medical student’s token of appreciation

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By Saeed Graham

As a medical student, it isn’t often that I get to interact with superiors who are genuinely interested in my development in the field.

It would appear as though completion of this particular stage of the journey precipitates as amnesia for the feelings of insecurity and incompetence associated with being a grass-shoot attempting to self-actualize

I’ve experienced the full spectrum of indifference from attending physicians while on rotations; one going so far as to telling a classmate that she “doesn’t have time for students.”

Regardless of this being the case, I am compelled to draw attention to an individual who has been the contrast to these experiences: Dr. Sir Prince Ramsey.

Doc’s practice has, for a long time, been a nest for newly graduated doctors and medical students. In the summer months especially, his office setting was just never complete without the small army of 3-4, young, white-coat clad medical students surrounding his desk.

Myself, being blessed with the opportunity of being one of these students, was never fully able to appreciate the way in which he interacted with use, until I started my rotations.

In retrospect, I wish that all residents and attendings were like Dr. Ramsey in their attitude towards students.

Although our inexperience made use a potential liability, the confidence he displayed in us made us in turn confident in our abilities. The opportunity to be a direct participant in simple procedures exposed me to aspects of patient care that were impossible to learn from a textbook.

Doc also played the role of an educator by ensuring that he explained the reasoning and logic behind what he did. He would also frequently ask us questions to test our knowledge on mechanism of action of drugs, pathophysiology behind diseases, and other relevant medical topics. He would always say that “as a doctor, you can’t forget…” This statement really drove home the obligation that we as future physicians have to remain both knowledgeable and abreast of new medical findings, to maintain a high standard of care for our patients.

This is all even more awe inspiring in the context of the feats and accomplishments that he has made though his career. The fact that the recipient of a prestigious United Nations award would endorse the company of untitled medical students and doctors really speaks volumes about Dr. Ramsey’s humility, altruism and love for the youth.

On behalf of myself and every other medical student/doctor who would’ve passed through the apprenticeship of Dr. Sir Prince, I’d like to express gratitude for allowing us all to sit at the feet of one of the greatest to ever do it.