Date: 03 Oct 2011 20:57 Title: Shared Practices
Wow Nerys - a very interesting look at how dealing with a myriad of unfamiliar alien physiologies would affect even the most savvy, or gifted physician. You touched on a lot of areas I wouldn't have considered - from difficulties with food allergies, to climate issues, to severe cultural differences which can make diagnosing and treating patients difficult at best and harrowing at worst. An insightful look into the mind of Dr. Istep. Thank you for this.
Thanks. :-) Coming from someone who seems to have a medical background based on her comments on other stories, that really means a lot.
I didn't think Cardassians would be used to the kinds of logistics that would be involved in treating diverse patients, and we never really saw it touched on in the show, either. I tend to draw my inspiration from Diane Duane on that--and it really makes Starfleet doctors look like miracle workers! Poor Istep...he's trying his damnedest, though. :-)
Date: 12 Sep 2011 22:05 Title: Shared Practices
"I am NOT having luck with blue people today."
Oh, that line is absolutely priceless. I liked the grunt work, the sameness, the fatigue, the personality conflicts. All felt very real and very immediate. You can feel the doctor's exhaustion as he drags himself from one crisis to the next. Tote that barge, lift that bale.
Thank you so much for reading. :-) I rarely get new readers lately, so it really warms my heart to see someone try more than one of my stories.
I'm glad you liked that line. :-)
Yeah, there's a lot of "grunt work," but in the end, it has deep meaning to him.
Date: 12 Sep 2011 03:09 Title: Shared Practices
The first thing we learn about Istep is his dedication to his work and patient; he doesn't even go to his quarters to sleep at the time of emergency, but instead stays as near to his patients as possible and naps (I wouldn't call that 'sleeping').
And then we listen to a long list of his current patients.
An interesting glance at how he would deal with a Cardassian patient who ends up in the infirmary not due to an accident or fight, but one's own recklessness. It reminds me of a parent scolding their child to teach them that some things shall not be done.
He's lucky that the Obsidian Order and gone and not lurking in people's heads. In the privacy of his own thoughts he can think that, but saying it out loud a few years earlier would have disasterous consequences. I even wonder if he would dare to think that back then, since who's to say that the Order didn't lurk into people's minds.
And then the misunderstanding with the Andorian. Istep certainly didn't expect such a reaction, but he doesn't seem that surprised by it--he understands where it comes from, but I think he felt offended by putting him into the same bag as those who worked for that "reputation." He doesn't like being accussed of an attempt such a despicable act. He doesn't seem to hold it against the Andorian, though, he doesn't blame her. I suppose it saddens him.
I also have an impression that he gets a bit tired and irritated by constant discussions with Federation officers. He's used to issuing instructions and order, not to arguing about them. He knows that he can't expect the aliens to be exactly like Cardassians and he tried hard not to take it personally or hold against them, but it grates on his instincts.
In the end, it doesn't weaken his need to bringing help to those who need it. He might be tired, but he's not giving up.
"Tired" is definitely the word for Istep in these trying days. He's working himself to the bone, and you're right--he can't make himself disengage or step back until his body forces him to.
I figured that a Cardassian doctor might be allowed to be more "scolding" when his or her patients are reckless. They are medical *authorities* because of their education and position, and ought to be obeyed...thus, after a patient has been healed (he would not chew out someone who was still ill or still suffering), he would feel entitled to lecture that person if it was their own recklessness that got them in there.
I can't say what Istep would and wouldn't think...a good doctor seems like he'd be one of the first people to hate what the Order did, and to recognize it as wrong.
I don't think Istep says it all in that particular mental "log," but the accusation definitely upset him. Doubly so because he knows where it comes from. Yet he also knows himself and knows he is *not* that kind of monster.
As for the pushback he gets from the Starfleet officers, yeah, that definitely grates on his nerves. Even though he's trying to hold his tongue (I think as a doctor, he's in a good position to really know that not all species have the same instincts), he's definitely got a sense of dissonance.