14 March 2019

Call to Serve


Nothing happens by chance in my life. This is one of my life principles. Including when I was given the opportunity to pursue a medical education, I believe this is not a coincidence. As someone who has been equipped, it would be selfish of me to enjoy it alone. I have a duty to share. To share what I have gained with others. After graduating as a doctor, I wish to go to areas in Indonesia to give of myself in the field of health.

I know that there are still many areas in Indonesia that lack medical personnel and have difficulty accessing health facilities, which makes me feel called to give myself. Through the internship doctor program after graduation, I thought I could make it happen. It turned out that I didn’t get an internship in a peripheral area of Indonesia, but in a city that was quite advanced in the health sector. The desire to go to areas in Indonesia that are difficult to reach health facilities still runs strong within me.

One day, a friend invited me to register for doctorSHARE. After waiting for a long time, the opportunity came. I was invited to do my first medical service in Muara Kaman, East Kalimantan in April 2018. I was so happy to have the opportunity to share and serve my brothers and sisters in remote areas of the country with doctorSHARE! We traveled by road for about 6-8 hours from Balikpapan to get to Muara Kaman.

The terrain that had to be traveled was difficult. We crossed the Mahakam river using a wooden boat, passing through damaged roads that were bumpy and muddy. There is no doctor at the Muara Kaman health facility. Patients at the health center are served by midwives and nurses. So, if they needed further health treatment, patients had to be referred to the nearest city with a distance of 1-2 hours with difficult terrain.

My first medical service made me realize that there are still many people in the peripheral areas of Indonesia who still do not receive adequate health services. They still have to struggle to reach health facilities. It was very different from the place where I interned. This made my heart even more moved to serve. The next opportunity, I was invited to serve in Kei Besar Island, Maluku.

In Kei, I experienced first-hand the phrase that Dr. Lie Dharmawan always echoed, “If you become a doctor, don’t take money from the poor. They will pay, but at home they cry because they don’t have money to buy rice.” At that time, the minor surgery team was operating on a lipoma on a mother’s back. The case was quite difficult, and the surgery took a long time. In the middle of the operation, she suddenly started crying.

We thought she was in pain because the anesthetic was starting to wear off. When we asked her why she was crying, she replied, “I don’t have money to take an ojek home.” Hearing her answer, my heart was touched, I almost shed tears. It was true what Dr. Lie always said. That mother came from far away, giving what she had just to get health care. My third medical service was in Batui, Central Sulawesi.

We also served the Kahumamahon tribe, an isolated tribe in Maleo Jaya Village, South Batui. Witnessing the genuine smiles and happy faces of the local people when we served them was an irreplaceable feeling for me. It was a satisfying feeling. Being a doctor is an amazing calling for me. I can be so close to life. Being a doctor for me is not only treating the patient’s illness, I can serve the patient as a whole human being and can also touch the patient’s soul. In fact, it is often my soul that is touched by the patient.

I am also grateful to be able to meet strong teams who have the heart to work and serve others. I learned from them that there is always a way to do good if we are willing to try. No matter how small the kindness, it will be beneficial and impactful. Every medical service with doctorSHARE has its own story in my heart. An opportunity to give myself, serve, learn, and meet great people. The experience and spirit of service will live on in my heart.