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Dear Doctors of Egypt

An open letter from those who are sick of being sick.

Dear Doctors of Egypt,

Having recently been ill and thus having to suffer the unfortunate experience of making the doctor rounds, I am in somewhat of a pissy mood regarding your kind at the present moment.

Let's start with the question on everyone's minds: why do you need to keep us waiting so long? Like, who the fuck do you think you are? You know what the problem is; it's that they know they have us and they know it. What are we going to do; sulk and leave? Not likely when your body feels like it's launching a full blown rebellion against you, pillaging and raping every organ and limb, and your trusty ally, Cataflam, has failed you. Listen here, I will double your damn fee if I don’t have to sit around and wait like it’s a goddamn breadline and we’re rationing the remaining stores of the city. What really irks me is that sometimes the doctor is just not there. Not that a patient before you has taken particularly long. No, the doctor, in his infinite power - majesty if you will - has decided to simply saunter in a fucking hour late. There is a special place reserved in hell for people who have chosen a vocation that is intended to make other people feel better (“I wanted to become a doctor to help people” BULLSHIT) then subsequently proceed to torture people to grant them access to this supposed help.

When I ask for a little elaboration as to my condition or to the medicine you're prescribing or the blood tests I'm meant to be taking, kindly, don’t be an asshole and just give it to me. I am, after all, paying for your goddamn time. When you reply with a one word answer, it’s really quite frustrating. Um, so what are these blood tests for exactly? Viral. Viral? The fuck does that mean?? Do I LOOK like I went to medical school? If I did, I certainly wouldn’t be here, would have self-diagnosed and likely wouldn’t need your useless and likely unhelpful opinion. A one word answer doesn’t quite cover my question, I'm afraid. I apologise for being so far beneath your intellect level, but judging by the fact that your advice has proven to be largely unhelpful I'd say we’re not so different you and I. Oh, no wait, we are. If I’d spent six-odd years in med school, I'd at least be able to render a fucking diagnosis. Sometimes (often) I'm annoying and I press for more answers; so what exactly does that mean? Bear with me. I'm happy to pop endless pills or have as many needles as you deem fit stuck in my veins but I'd like to know the reason why. If you're so goddamn clever, perhaps you can explain the concept of my illness to a mere idiot like myself?

To be fair, this isn’t solely an Egyptian doctor issue; it’s a worldwide problem – why do you scribble out prescriptions in handwriting that reeks of illiteracy? And do pharmacists take some sort of special course designed to enable them to decipher the handwriting of doctors? And don’t look so shocked when I ask for a little elaboration on my prescription because I can't read it. ‘It’s all written on there,’ yeah? Well, next time I submit an essay I'll do it in hieroglyphics and we’ll see how much of that any professor can read. Your handwriting is the monetary equivalent of Monopoly money; perhaps I should pay with that? And don’t look so surprised when I say I can't read it because I cant read Arabic; you clearly cant write so I guess that makes us even. I feel like you purposely make your handwriting difficult; as though in a sort of reverse exponentiality situation, the worse your handwriting is, the better a doctor you are. You have no time for such frivolous things as learning to write words; you are a man of science! By the way, even pharmacists struggle to read what you’ve written. I was going to get given Tramadol one time instead of Panadol because of your indecipherable writing. In retrospect, I'm a stupid, stupid girl for correcting that pharmacist. He was all set to hand me that whale of a drug, which would likely have been more fucking useful to me than the stupid Panadol you prescribed.

And while we're at it, you make decent money. Why not invest some of it in sprucing up your decrepit practice? Peeling walls do not exactly instill a sense of hearty comfort in your patients.

But essentially, the pertinent question is: WHY ARENT I GETTING BETTER? And why do six different doctors have six differing diagnoses for the exact same problem? When I drag my aching body out of bed to go to your practice, it is for the sole and specific purpose of you prescriubing something to fix me. You do not. But no I'm glad I'm glad I just spent 400 pounds for fifteen minutes of your vast incompetence.

After many, many doctors visits I've come to the conclusion that every time I self-diagnose myself, I'm correct and I can self-medicate like a champ. This leads me to believe I am better than 90% of the doctors in this city. I'm quitting CairoScene and going to med school.

Love,

A Random Egyptian Girl


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