I read this post by Sach and discovered that she is the daughter of a Doctor. I did the clever mental processing required and figured that the medical parent is probably Sri Lankan. Like I am prone to do about wholly irrelevant things I pondered for a while. Not for that long, just long enough to think that I could write a post about the subject.
I realised that I know quite a few people who are the offspring of Sri Lankan Doctors, myself included. Both my brothers are too, these sort of coincidences always intrigue me. But are you a Sri Lankan Dr's child (SLDC)?
If the answer is a resounding "yes" I wonder whether you grew up in an environment of "overcare" or "undercare". I know of some SLDCs who get little attention from their medical parent, on the medical side that is. They may be suffering from a seemingly chronic illness and Dr Dad will, after months of ignoring the symptons, take a cursory look and then announce that there's nothing wrong with them or it's all their own fault anyway for wearing the wrong colour trousers, or trouser, as any Sri Lankan would say. If the SLDC went to their GP they would immediately be put on a dose of antibiotics and given all kinds of treatment, but the illness would clear up pretty damn quickly. Perhaps these Doctors get so used to dealing with and seeing sick people every day that they need some at home too, just to feel comfortable.
On the other side there are those Doctors who go for the overcare approach. This is what I grew up with and still face. I live in a state of constant fear. Fear of coughing in front of my Mother, or of expressing any sort of physical discomfort. Or mental discomfort for that matter, but that's another issue.
A faint sneeze in front of my Mum can easily result in several specialists being telephoned, favours called in and local hospitals put on one of those alerts that only actually happen in plane crash films. Of course this stuff has advantages, massive ones. I have learnt to control my sneezes over the years and can now squeeze one out with all the volume of a Englishman complaining about poor service in a restaurant. And I don't need to go to the Doctor's very often, unless Liverpool are playing of course. My Mum would be hard pushed if one of us were taking ill during a Liverpool game. After some thought she would do the right thing and put her loyalty and sense of duty ahead of life's less important things. Then, at half time, she'd take a look at the ill son in the corner of the room.
These Sri Lankan Doctors are an abundant resource aren't they? I was travelling to the motherland last year with my brother and there was an announcement over the plane's PA asking if there was a Doctor on board. There were scrums and fights as most of the passengers went forward and volunteered for the task of saving the poor suffering passenger's life.
My brother, a fit bloke, won many of the fights and stepped up to save the fellow. At this point he faltered. He is indeed a Doctor, but of something other than medicine. Something like Geography or an ology. He stared at the patient for a while, then started to write a paper on the impact on the aircraft's aerodynamics of his choice of brown trousers with a green flowery batik shirt. This didn't help the poor bloke, who couldn't breathe, so one of the other 378 Sri Lankan Doctors stepped up and did that resucitation thing. All was okay. Except the fact that the green flowery batik shirt survived.
Sri Lanka has the highest ratio of Doctors in the general population out of any country in the world. The latest reported statistics claim that for every 100 Sri Lankans there are at least 95 Doctors. Only India can come close to this remarkable statistic with a figure of 92.7 per 100 people in its population.
But how about you? Any medical parents? Or are you the child of a Doctor and have also chosen medicine as your career? Are you a lucky lady who has two medical parents?