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them I was fasting. I then ran off.
Work to do!
I was even more scared when it
came to being on call. Being on call
meant you were the doctor called
for emergencies (for your level). As
a very junior doctor, this meant non
-stop ward cover (ie. you went
round all the wards in the hospital
doing various things like prescrib-
ing, looking at sick patients, review-
ing medications and fluids and deci-
phering earlier management plans).
On a non-fasting day, while working
on call, I usually felt like I was going
to collapse. I was scared.
Ramadan came. The most challeng-
ing thing for me was having pa-
tience and keeping control of my
temper. I remember someone had
told me when I was a medical stu-
dent to "remind myself I was fast-
ing" especially if things got stress-
ful. I was told to say "Inna sawn,
Inna sawn", which means "I am fast-
ing, I am fasting". This worked bril-

iantly when I started to feel the
So the missing food and drink part
was down, what about the rest?
When I was a medical student going
on placement to different hospitals,
I developed a condition that I call
"no-prayer-room-phobia". So just
like people with claustrophobia look-
ing for available exits when they get
into a room, my first day at any hos-
pital would be spent finding the
most appropriate place to pray.
Now this was easy in most London
hospitals due to the high volume of
Muslim health care workers. There
was always a designated prayer
room with the qibla direction al-
ready marked out and lots of prayer
mats, masha'allah. Being out of Lon-
don was a completely different
At my first hospital, they eventually
agreed a prayer room but only the
men could use it. At my next hospi-