Medical Doctors in the eyes of the Community

The issue of who we are and how we should act is tied directly to the question of morality. To a certain extent, we become what our acts do to and for us. In other words, our what-ness and behaviors are largely direct products of our actions. Hence the question of how one ought to act or simply the issue of morality becomes the inescapable part of humanity. Throughout the journey of life, there is a question no man can escape: A question of what one ought to do. In our daily lives we ask questions about the morality of sexual relationships, about the ethics of using people, about taking responsibilities for the consequences of our actions, about the morality of abortion, about the ethics of using non-human beings, etc.

The aim of morality is to make the world a better place for everyone. On the way of trying to make the world a better place people invented theories and instruments that they think would help them. This gives rise to scientific advancement, modernity, and the systematic study of morality which could not indeed make the world any better. The world is rather facing serious problems caused by each of these (scientific advancement, modernity, and the systematic study of morality).
“Oromo morality, safuu, is based on the idea of oneness of the universe. The action of anybody takes into consideration the consequence of the act on the whole universe. As in consequentialism, it is not the consequence of an act for the agent or for the whole human being that determines the morality of an act, but rather the general wellbeing of the cosmos.

In this respect, safuu is very similar to modern Eco-centrism that is a philosophy or perspective that places intrinsic value on all living organisms and their natural environment, regardless of their perceived usefulness or importance to human beings. In safuu the moral end is the maintenance of the cosmic-order, not the attainment of pleasure and avoidance of pain. A man who leads his life according to the principles of safuu refrains from engaging in an action that would bring him an immediate pleasure if he knows that the act will spoil the cosmic order in the long run. At the center of a moral decision making it not the agent, but the cosmos.”
A change, or at the very least an awareness, of one’s attitudes can set the dignity and conserving care. Once healthcare providers are aware that they play an important role in mediating patients’ dignity, several other acquired or experience based best behavioral practices should logically follow. Doctors’ behavior towards patients must always be predicated on kindness and respect. Small acts of kindness can personalize care and often take little time to perform. Getting the patient a glass of water, helping them with their slippers, getting them their glasses or hearing aid, adjusting a pillow or their bed sheets, acknowledging their response, greetings or gifts. These behaviors convey a powerful message, indicating that the person is worthy of such attention. Such behavior is particularly important when caring for patients with advanced or incurable disease “both because of the physical threats of dying and because of the challenge to our sense of self-worth and self-coherence.
Certain communication behaviors enhance the trust and connection between patients and their Doctors. Certain intimacies of care require special attention, taking the time to ask patients their permission to perform an examination will make them feel less like a specimen to be poked and prodded and more like a person whose privacy is theirs to relinquish under mutually agreed conditions.
This quality of professionalism and connectedness also increases the likelihood that patients will be forthright in disclosing personal information, which so often has a bearing on their ongoing care.
Attitude and behavior can be examined within the realm of the intellectual, but compassion, requires a discourse about the healthcare’s feelings, personal experience and best practices.

I mean to internalize a deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the wish to relieve it. Compassion speaks to feelings that are evoked by contact with the patient and how those feelings shape our approach to care. Like empathy (identification with and understanding of another’s situation, feelings, and motives), compassion is something that is felt, beyond simply intellectual appreciation. For some of us, compassion may be part of a natural disposition that intuitively informs patient care. For others, compassion slowly emerges with life experience, clinical practice and the realization that like patients, each of us is vulnerable in the face of ageing and life’s many uncertainties. Each of these will not speak to every healthcare provider, but they can offer insight into the human condition and the pathos and ambiguity that accompany illness.

Being a son of Oromo, grown in the rural part of Oromiya, lived in the community with intact cultural background; I had to train myself in the way my life it to be. Having many years of experience representing my colleagues in the school and at different social strata in the vicinity of schools. I moved to the northern part of Ethiopia for my higher education program, where I learned being a medical doctors is beyond the shadow of treating, feeling of others pain and letting your client get free of his or her complaints nor to prescribing a bullet of medicine or drugs, but living in own community causes.
As a matter fact, Oromo youth are more close to each other, sharing multiple cultural values gained from the early society in the early years of childhood, than what other communities single family members d. Compared to other students of higher education, in spite of our large areas of living experience in Oromia. Compared to others, it takes us no more time to be close to each other and become intimate, share and live with each other when it happens to be. It doesn’t mean we don’t have intimacy to others, but our relations in the campus will go beyond sharing rooms, classes and joining religious groups. We have to cope to both external and internal environment as there was no one for us especially in distant areas away from Oromia.
It was at this time that I had a chance of living “Oromo youth affairs” that let me learn how to organize, shape our variety of problems during difficulties, academic successes, gatherings, common social and political experiences, managing differences. Sharing illness of my fellow brothers and sisters gathered for education, help people irrespective of their tradition, level of experience or where they are from, years of training, disciplines, degree of respect and every of the existing timely demand at any cost.
Intensive debates, hot political and academic issues, stages of cultural and societal celebrities, personal and group needs, and lack of support on Oromo causes in the areas were my major source of experiences in handling our common issues.
I used to be named as a father of and leader of Oromo students, a man who had extra role in representing the Oromo community in the university, despite the fact that I have no connection to other Oromo institution than self-inflicted responsibility share with my fellow Oromo brothers and sisters, which I’m always proud of. The pressure from my personal contribution in the area has even influenced me indirectly to live the way my other fellow brothers and sisters want me so. It was also the source of my other experience in community organization, society formation, school development programs, humanitarian services, charity aids that shaped large a number of fellow youngsters in the schools, association building ,…etc.
It is my extra honor while sharing how much our profession had strong relations in our communities’ daily life that goes beyond practicing our profession; to the extent of having elderly role when many may be there with more experience, academic journey or years of services, which I truly loved.
It gives extra hope and courage if given an opportunity of living in the diverse exercise of Oromo needs, going beyond the medical practice, and that is why I strongly urge every one of my fellow Doctors for living in our professional Safuu, use our Oromummaa, moral values and experience for the best of our existence.
“Oromoon safuun bula, Nuti Doktoroonni hawaasa keennaaf qaaliidha”
Author: Dr. Bonso Bude Doje

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