How will I (probably) celebrate christmas

in Medicine/Personal by
Physician on call Christmas eve

The first question really was, “Do physicians really celebrate Christmas?”.  Hardly an easy question to answer because , even here in my community, physicians are a diverse mix of personalities, cultural upbringing and religious beliefs. But a fairly common experience among physicians will give you an idea where most doctors will base their answer(s) to this posit.


Indeed any physician’s career is synonymous with the word “busy” and time, even if mostly it is theirs to spend,  is rarely in their control. Me for example, has had most of my adult life Christmases (and new years), in the hospital or in the operating room. Firecrackers and alcohol made it a point that I am preoccupied with mangled limbs during these times when everyone else is busy merrymaking or hearing a mass or is with their family. In other words, majority of my Christmases is spent with patients. Not a good thing for my family perhaps but yes, there’s quite a few profession with such altruistic endeavors instead during our supposed “rest” or vacation. So my answer will be “yes, physicians do celebrate Christmas but mostly, of attending to our patients”.

More time.

If for some reason a doctor ‘frees” some time off his busy schedule and patients, chances are, he or she’d be attending other social functions related to his profession. I remember receiving Christmas party invitations last year scheduled for almost all days of that week ! December and the Christmas season   makes us a much sought after godfathers for every living angels in this part of the world.  In the Filipino culture and tradition, saying no to an invitation is taboo. Finding gifts for all of these events are a bit too overwhelming if you don’t have a staff to handle it for you. I don’t have a staff, so now you know why I looked harassed and disheveled during Christmas season. Even that single Christmas decoration, a single ‘parol” in our kitchen has gone caput this year.!

But this year, there will be less of these social events and more time with my family. Not even gifts, just the basic spending time with a family that for so long ago, miss me during the previous Christmas season. And for all those scrupulous patients (including careless parents)  who despite strong warning from health officials, still blow those hellish firecrackers and get injure in the process, I will make sure you get your share of ‘lessons’ learned correctly. That’s not without saying I’m charging double  for intentional recklessness that rob me of my valuable family Christmas time!

Dr. Remo-tito Aguilar co-founded #HealthXPh. A board certified orthopedic surgeon, he is Chief of Clinics at General Santos Medical Center and Medical Specialist II Orthopedics at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City. Dr. Aguilar is a healthcare social media evangelist and writes his medical musings at The Cast & Curious (