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Jarvis watched Dr Aberden study the x-ray of the new patient with hair-splitting attention. It was quite clear that the doctor had deduced the fact that the type of pneumonia this patient had was not caused by the expected culprits like Strep or Staph, as they were “lovingly” called by the lab attendants who worked a floor beneath them. While Dr Aberd found the short terms oddly disturbing, Jarvis considered them funny.

Working with Dr Aberden as an assistant had taught him so much, not because of the former’s dedication to work – but because of his outlook about people. For someone of Dr Aberden’s status, brilliance and knowledge to have zero clues about most of his patients was nothing he could make comparison to. He could not get the correlation; he believed a doctor was supposed to know more beyond diseases, surgeries and drugs – the doctor was supposed to have contact with the people he treated. And contact was something Dr Aberd rarely had.

Dr Aberden’s voice brought him back to reality.

“Dr Jarvis, please prepare Mrs Orsemile for an immediate MRI. I would like to assess the extent of fibrosis caused by the unusual pathogen”

Huh? Jarvis wasn’t sure he heard well; an MRI?

“Um, sir I feel a bedside ultrasound or even a multi-angle X-ray can give us a better view of what you would want to find” he stuttered. Dr Aberden turned around in his chair, and with a quiet stern look, said

“Dr Jarvis, you have a way of usurping my decisions. I will pay more attention to your jabbering when you give me solid proof. Allergy to the device, mmpf. No wonder you never got past a second class in medical school”

“But sir, the patient has some sort of allergy to the procedure. We can_”

“Do you undermine my decision, Dr Jarvis? And what makes you think the MRI is not going to give us what we need? Please don’t start with your instincts or the Spirit story”


Jarvis opened his mouth to talk, and closed it again. Because that is what he was going to say anyway. Walking with the Holy Spirit over the years had given him a sense of security, and saved him, alongside with Mr Aberden from making costly mistakes. On one occasion, he had delayed an operation because he had sensed a “time bomb” lurking in the patient’s body, only for them to discover a massive hydatid cyst that was so well hidden, and on the verge of bursting, meaning the patient could have died within seconds. Dr Aberden always dismissed these events as strokes of luck, but Jarvis knew better. He sensed an uncomfortable burden in his gut as his boss picked the phone to call the diagnostician.



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