The last department we shadowed physicians was at the radiotherapy department. Radiotherapy is a treatment used to kill or control malignant cells. It was certainly eyeopening for me to enter the world of cancer and to see how doctors assess and treat it.
I had the great privilege to learned a ton about cancer and how radiation therapy is used to treat patients by shadowing Dr. Kaoutar Soussy, a vibrant second year radiotherapy resident at CHU. At times, doctors combine chemotherapy along with radiation to treat patients.
Other times, patients require mastectomy along with axillary lymph node dissection. There are more combination of treatments besides the ones mentioned as well. The two major radiation instruments used for treatment in the department were Elekta and Varian. You can learn more about them by clicking their names.
Dr. Soussy (donned with Hijab and holding the x-ray up) is having a look at another doctor’s patient’s x-ray and giving her opinion on what she sees.
One particular thing I will take back with me from the Radiotherapy Department is the lively energy they had. Dr. Soussy and her colleagues had the best bedside etiquette. The manner they greeted patients and engaged them was unique and different from the other departments we visited.
The residents always had a smile on and their positive energy kept the entire department beaming with light. It was as if they were made for this department. I strongly feel this is necessary for this particular line of work. Cancer is something that brings many patients to a very dark, scary, and lonely place.
However, what amazed me was that doctors and patients had a common ground in their faith. Even though a patient was ill, doctors and patients always started and ended their meetings with small prayers. I have never seen cancer patients smile and laugh as much as I have seen at CHU. The patient’s faith is what keeps them strong, hopeful, and the positive environment the doctors generate for them allows them to even joke and laugh about things!
This department also had a Riad called the “Daar Al-Haya” (Riad is a classical square Moroccan home) near the radiotherapy and oncology department. This Riad houses patients who come from far, cannot afford to travel, and needs treatment daily. The Riad was very pretty and I admire this home very much. I can say this department was by far my favorite. The energy here was something I will miss and Dr. Soussy made sure we had a good time with lots of laughter as we learned along the way.
Dr. Soussy and I took a photo when we visited the Riad, Dar Al-Hayaa.
We will visit the Blue Pearl City this coming weekend! Stay tuned to see what is in store!
Asalamualaikum – Mohammed