A doctor based in Johor Bharu had recently encountered a very peculiar patient – a Bangladeshi foreign worker who had accurately self-diagnosed his ailment, and correctly identified the medicine needed to mend his sickness.
In a Facebook post shared on his personal profile, Dr. Goh Aik Ping shared the story (in Mandarin) of this peculiar patient, who came in sporting yellow construction boots “just like Phua Chu Kang” and an unkempt appearance; but impressed Dr. Goh with his familiarity with medical terms and accurate self-diagnosis.
He said the patient had complained of diarrhea, and had suspected that he is suffering from ‘dysentery’ – a medical term for intestine infection. Surprised, Dr. Goh asked him how he came to knew the term, but the patient did not give him a proper answer.
After doing an examination, Dr Goh began to explain that his discomfort was due to an abdominal inflammation. However, before he could go into the details, the patient asked him is he had medication such as Ciprofloxacin, Metronidazole and Azithromycin- all of which are antibiotics that usually only a doctor would know.
To add to the surprise, the patient even managed to pronounce all the names of the antibiotics correctly!
Unable to control his curiosity longer, Dr Goh began to probe into how this peculiar patient, who only worked as a construction worker, had such deep knowledge of medicine. The patient revealed that he was actually a pharmacist in Bangladesh, and even had his own pharmacy in the country. He has a MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) degree, and his brother is also a doctor.
However, he left his own country to escape the political instability, and was only planning to return once things get better in Bangladesh.
Astonished that the patient sitting in front of him was actually an accomplished pharmacist, he was overwhelmed with sorrow that someone with such esteemed qualifications had to flee his own country and work in Malaysia as a labourer. The patient however remarked that despite the long hours in our scorching heat, working in Malaysia was still better than living in Bangladesh as it is presently.
Dr. Goh then expressed concern as Malaysia is also facing a certain political instability. He worries that we in the future might also have to give up our own profession, to escape to ‘developed’ countries, endure life as a hard-labour, and yet still living a better life than we would in our own country.