Lessons from more than a Doctor

Lessons from more than a Doctor

Lessons from more than a Doctor

To many of his patients, Dr. Eric Kwek Soon Kiat was more than a doctor; he was a doctor whom had gone the extra miles – a doctor whom they could have a heart to heart talk on many issues other than their medical conditions and a doctor whom wasn’t rushing his patients out of his consultation room so that he could see more patients and fatten his wallet. Dr. Kwek was a good doctor but most importantly … he was also like a friend to many of his patients. Fond memories of his acts of kindness, his patience and sincerity will always touch the hearts of his many patients or should I say, friends.

I have the habit of sharing lessons, as what a dear friend of mine put it, with family and friends through email. I am not sure if they read the email all the time because I rarely get a reply from them. It has always thrilled and delighted me to get replies once in a while. However, I was both happy and sad when I received a reply from this dear friend about a week ago. He was the one who shared the story of Dr. Kwek with me.

Although I did not know Dr. Kwek personally, reading the testimonials of his patients still saddened me. In a tribute to him, I learned how he had walked the extra miles. He was called up late one evening by this patient’s sister and yet he turned up at the hospital’s A & E department just to visit this patient. They made a detour to his clinic later, at close to midnight, so that he could give this patients some jabs. A simple act like this could have been just a routine and norm for Dr. Kwek. However, for this patient, this simple act of kindness and concern meant a great deal and touched his life.

In my reply to this dear friend, I said, “It is very rare these days to find a good doctor who is not more interested in his/her pocket than his/her patient.” I hope Dr. Kwek story could serve as an inspiration to other doctors and aspiring doctors. Just as the revenue is important to you, your patients are equally, if not more important as they have entrusted their lives to you. In saying that, I do not deny that survival for you and your family is also important in order for you to have a peace of mind to help others.

From the video on Kindness by Amy Krouse Rosenthal which I had share in my last post, Amy asked, “What constitutes a life worthy of being remembered? How do you want to be remembered? Big questions to reflect upon! A life worthy of being remembered will differ from individual to individual as one explores deep within oneself. And how do one wants to be remembered? That could be a tricky question as how others remember us may not always be how we have wanted them to remember us.

Perhaps the question we need to consider is “What is/are the important things, the priorities, in our life 10, 20 or 30 years down the road?” It seemed that what was important to Dr. Kwek had naturally become the way of how people are remembering him now. The story of Dr. Eric Kwek Soon Kiat has enlightened me and reminded me of the priorities in life.

To leave you with something my dear friend said, “Life has different plans for each of us, may all of us finish it without regrets.

Do you have a story of a doctor who has also touched your life? Perhaps you would like to share it with us? Maybe you can walk an extra mile and send the doctor a ‘Thank you’ note.
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24 thoughts on “Lessons from more than a Doctor

  1. Kristi {at} Live and Love...Out Loud

    Doctors like Dr. Kiat are hard to find! How wonderful that your dear friend was fortunate enough to have had him as a doctor and friend. I wish I could say that our physician was just as selfless.
    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting on my “Awesome Mom” post. I really appreciate you taking the time out to come on over to my place. I sure hope you’ll come back on Wednesday and link your post up! Have a great week.

    Kristi, Live and Love…Out Loud

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Kristi, yes, he is indeed a very rare find. I surely wish I could know a doctor like him too. You are most welcome. I will do my best to drop by on Wednesday again. :o)

  2. bluecottonmemory

    My grandmother and aunts had the most awesom doctor – Dr. Applegate. He would make house calls to my 94 year old grandmother. He also spent hours researching places for my mom to go for a very rare cancer she had – and managed her care amazingly. He sadly died a few years ago in his mid-50s of Lou Gehrig’s disease. He left a gaping hole in their lives – they adored and trusted him.
    .-= bluecottonmemory´s last blog ..UpDate on The Blue Cotton Blanket =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Bluecottonmemory, thank you for sharing your story of another awesome doctor. Dr. Applegate certainly had gone through the extra miles for your grandmother and your mother too. I believe he was also equally kind to many, if not all of his other patients. It is truly a great lost for us all.

  3. Mark

    Thanks for sharing the story of Dr. Kwek. I imagine he was a man who did what he loved and loved what he did and that the money and the remembrance of who he was was a very low concern for him. When we do what we love, we usually become very good at what we do and the accolades and money are a natural outcropping of who we are.
    .-= Mark´s last blog ..Kindness – A Gift Given – A Gift Recieved =-.

  4. jacqueline

    Deares BK, i totally agree with you on your replied to your friend’s email :
    “It is very rare these days to find a good doctor who is not more interested in his/her pocket than his/her patient.” Thanks so much for sharing Dr. Eric Kwek Soon Kiat’s story with us. I am so touched by his selflessness. Sadly i have yet to meet such a wonderful doctor. Have a lovely merry happy week and love to you!
    .-= jacqueline´s last blog ..a new flip-flop for zee Mister =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Mark, thank you for taking the time to read it. I agree with you that very likely he was a man who did what he loved and loved what he did and that money and the remembrance of who he was was a very low concern for him. Everything else just follows naturally.

      @ Jacqueline, it’s very rare but I truly believe there are still good doctor in this world, like those who are volunteering their services in communities, places, countries etc which are deeply in needs of professional healthcare and to some it may be just basic healthcare. And in time of calamities, there are always the doctors who are volunteering to go to the ground to provide medical assistant. So hope is not all lost. Have a lovely merry happy week and love to you too! :o)

      @ Pam, he was certainly an extraordinary man who had gone the extra miles for his patients.

  5. Icy BC

    I haven’t met any doctor that I could remember in my entire life (52) yet. They are all just doing their minimal jobs for their patients!

    Thanks for sharing such a wonderful story, because it gives me hope that one day I would meet one..
    .-= Icy BC´s last blog ..Beautiful and Colorful Leaves =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Icy BC, yes. I certainly believe that one day I would meet one too. I have to agree with you that many doctors are just doing their minimal jobs for their patients; they may have forgotten that what patients also need is their moral support and empathy.

  6. meleah rebeccah

    Doctors like Dr. Kiat are FEW and FAR between. I am VERY fortunate to have a doctor who calls me at home to follow up with me, and who checks in on me to make sure I am doing well. And, he is always making sure I have enough sample medication since I can’t afford all of my prescriptions that I am required to take on a daily basis. I know I am truly blessed to have medical care like that.
    .-= meleah rebeccah´s last blog ..Doing Things Differently™ – My Week In Review [Part Twelve] =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Meleah, thank you for sharing your wonderful experience. It is really kind of your doctor to be calling personally to check out on you and making sure that you have enough medication on hand. I thought that your doctor is especially thoughtful and kind.

  7. One of The Guys

    I don’t have a story of any doctor to share. Unfortunately I haven’t had doctors like Dr. Kwek. He sounds like EXACTLY the kind of person you’d want as a doctor AND as a friend.

    As far as being remembered. Yes, being remembered is in some ways how we live forever. I’d like my children to remember that I spent a lot of time with them, taught them things and loved them unconditionally.
    .-= One of The Guys´s last blog ..The most expensive date…..what’s yours? =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ One of the Guys, I’m sure he was the kind of person that we would want as a doctor and friend.

      And Dr. Kwek taught me an important lesson; to get our priorities right. End of the day, what people will remember about us is the kindness, compassion and love we have given unconditionally.

  8. Hilary

    Hi BK .. a little bit of a local Gandhi or Mother Teresa .. always there for people.

    We could all do more for people – than we do .. just a little bit would help us all .. it would help us in the doing, and help others in the having had done ..

    Lovely to hear the stories .. thank you – should inspire us to get out of our comfort zones and do things for others unselfishly … – Hilary
    .-= Hilary´s last blog ..The Okavango Delta – the perfect place to Safari or holiday? = Yes for me! Part 1/3 =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ VanillaSeven, yes, I agree with you that it was a heart-warming and yet sad story for me; heart-warming because I was aware of the presence of such a great doctor and yet because of the passing of such a great man who was so dedicated to providing more than mere medical services for his patients. “Doing kindness to the rest out of sincerity” and probably without another expectation in return; shouldn’t be another better way to kindness.

      @ Hilary, yes … both Gandhi and Mother Teresa were such great and noble soul when they were alive and they will continue to ‘live’ and inspire many. Doing more for people may not necessary mean doing a lot. Just as you mentioned, “just a little bit would help us all…” And as what Mother Teresa said, “We can do no great things; only small things with great love.” What we do out of love will always make a different regardless of whether it is a small or big one. You are right, he is surely an inspiration for us to be selfless.

      @ JamericanSpice, he is truly an inspiration. I believe what he did can be an inspiration to doctor and aspiring doctors too.

  9. Will

    That is nice. A doctor who was able to stick with his reasons for becoming an MD in the first place. So many these days are just overwhelmed by all the non-doctoring stuff they have to do to stay in business. Not your normal doctor or man for sure.
    .-= Will´s last blog ..Wordless Wednesday 4-28-2010 =-.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Will, I very much agree with you. I believe that most doctor had, and I believe many still have, very good reasons for becoming an MD in the first place. However, some of them are distracted and working hard to stay in business. Not that working hard is bad, but it may not always be patient friendly. He certainly was not your normal doctor.

  10. Ben

    “How do you want to be remembered?” I love that question. It’s a very nice thought to think that a person can live in such a way that they will touch people’s lives even after they’re gone. The doctor you mentioned sure sounded like an amazing person.

    1. Symphony of Love Post author

      @ Ben, yes, he certainly touched many lives. However, I believe he didn’t set out to live the way he wanted to be remembered; he lived it the way he was truth to himself. I believe he was an amazing person who will always be remembered by the lives he touched.