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Lessons learnt over five years at the ‘doctor’s desk’

By Kizito Lubano | March 15th 2017 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Writing is one of the things I love to do most in life. Sharing what I have learned in my 30 plus years in the human health field is probably another. So, having a weekly space in a great newspaper was like getting to do both and getting paid for it!

Again, all this would not have been possible if not for the vote of confidence of Wednesday Life. To all of you, you are all awesome! And of course, the wonderful readers of this piece — and of everything else I’ve written — get my heartfelt thank you as well.

At the end of the day, all my words are nothing without people who want to read it.

There have been many developments since Doctor’s Desk started nearly five years ago.

Doctors are now free to advertise their services, Health CS Cleopa Mailu said in a special gazette notice published on July 26, 2016: “The practitioner can also market any publication, research work or any contribution the practitioner has made in the medical field forms...as long as they do not infringe on patient confidentiality,” the regulations state.

What do I enjoy most about being a doctor? People may find it cheesy or clichéd, but the thing that has kept me going is the human interaction.

Snippets of humanity and kindness shining through the chaos is the best part of the job and what puts it all in perspective for me. People keep you going.

Observing the progressive deterioration in public health systems has however, caused me a mixed range of feelings.

As a colleague of mine summed it up so well: “I am frustrated, I am committed, I am only human and I am your doctor. Lately, because of the protracted industrial dispute that has been on and off in the last five years, pain, shame and blame have dominated the emotional life of doctors working in the public sector.

Today, it is not enough for doctors to be experts in disease treatment methods. It is becoming more and more apparent that for doctors to be successful, they need to be skilled in finance, business and even communications.

Besides the media and the general public, there are many different audiences to whom you might need to convey your work: Public, funding agencies, industry, health-care practitioners and researchers from other disciplines to name a few.

I have also learned to write in plain language that the public and patients can understand. From simple explanatory brochures – or website copy – to more extensive descriptions of diseases, trauma, diagnostics, and treatments from procedures through pharmacology.

Long live Doctor’s Desk!

Cleopa Mailu
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