Letter to my Angry Patient – from a tired Nigerian Doctor

angry patient



Dear Angry Patient, before I start, I must say I’m sorry.

I’m sorry for keeping you waiting for the medical consultation. I see you’ve been here for a while thinking I haven’t even come to work. I know it wouldn’t interest you to know I actually slept in the hospital, and I’m just out of a rushed ward round because I know you’d be waiting for me.

I’m sorry I can’t spend more than 10 minutes with you. There are 60 patients waiting, it will take 10 hours with no break if I spend 10 minutes with each of them.

I’m sorry I have to give you long appointments. Seeing 60 patients a day means 1200 patients in a month, what if they were all to come back in addition to new patients? Now you understand.

By the way, do you know Nigeria has only 0.4 doctors to 1000 patients? The United Kingdom has 2.8 doctors to 1000 patients, and guess where many of them are from.

I’m sorry I don’t smile or look as good as Doctors on Grey’s Anatomy. Frankly speaking, I haven’t been home in 2 days, and I have repeatedly failed my exams. All this because I don’t have enough time to read being here with you, so please pardon me.

I’m sorry you don’t agree with me that you need to do all these tests, afterall, its only a cough; any cough syrup will do. But, I’m sure you would hate me if you came back with Tuberculosis or even HIV.

I’m sorry I can’t treat you as an Emergency just because you have friends in high places, I haven’t forgotten my welfare is not so important to these friends of yours.

So Dear Angry Patient I hope you find it in your heart to bear with me.

Sincerely Yours,
Your Over-Worked Nigerian Doctor.


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  1. I hope they understand. Yesterday, I was forced to tell a young man: "Excuse me,sir; you are talking too much and I still have other patients to see."
    I've never been that frustrated. 30mins for GERD in a healthy looking young man?! Haba!


  2. Exactly how I feel right now from working 11 days so far in a row none stop with one more to go. But thanks to some of my hilarious elderly patients at present. Their jokes keep me going and still makes me laugh even though I'd rather be in my bed under my duvet.

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