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  • Writer's pictureFlorence Wei

The Best Doctor in the World

Style: Fiction

Writer's Statement: N/A

Under the pale light, dust particles drifted like fireflies following their tails, twisting and turning to face blue sterilization cloth spread across stiff red clinical chairs, tilted in obtuse angles. To the left of each occupied chair beeped a box-shaped computer monitor. To the right, a sleek IV pole with curtain hooks hanging blood bags connected to a square pad on each patient’s heavily outstretched arm through transparent tubes. The whir of an overheating computer, accompanied by the overpowering bitterly-clean tang of antiseptic, filled the space.

“Dr. G.P.T.?”

Dr. George Phillips Thompson, the lead pathologist, glanced behind his shoulder at the nickname. The assistants called the doctor by his initials due to his intense distaste for his last name. Dr. GPT was a young man, younger than most doctors one could find, and he proudly displayed all his degrees on the wall of his office as if he were the best doctor in the world.

Dr. GPT spun away from his desktop and twisted the painted handle on the heavy door, sparing a glance through his thin gold-framed glasses as his assistant wheeled the patient in. A bitter odor lingered in the air. Though there appeared to be no running blood, a line of careful stitches ran through the patient’s russet, discolored stomach. The metal pole beside him clanked and clattered as the patient was laid gently on the scarlet clinical chair closest to the shelf.

“Okay.” The doctor ran a hand through his messy hair. “Let’s get to work, then.”

Dr. G.P.T. shrugged his white coat evenly on his shoulders before clicking several times on his sleek computer, stopping at the patient’s profile.

“Kevin Liang,” he mumbled as he skimmed through some more. “Type A. Patient suffered internal injury in the stomach from car accident and needs a transfusion because of blood loss after surgery.”

“Dr. G.P.T.,” his assistant pried, his shoulders tilted upwards. “I’ll get you the blood bag.”

“No, no,” the pathologist murmured absentmindedly, pushing his hand out of the way. Baskets, some with more blood bags than others, sat on a shelf in the corner, ordered meticulously as such from A+ through O-. He paused, selecting a bag from the third basket labeled AB+. “I’ll grab the right one. His blood type is A, right? This will do.”

“But that’s not-”

Before his assistant could finish, the young pathologist strapped the bag on the IV pole and attached it to the patient’s arm. As the clear tube turned a carmine shade, the assistant gaped incredulously at the doctor for a split second before scrambling to remove it.

“What are you doing?” he sputtered. “You can’t give that to a Type A patient!”

“You can’t?” Dr. G.P.T. stammered, dazed, resting a sweaty palm on his head. “It can’t be. That’s what MedGPT told me—unless I read it wrong—but I couldn’t have read it wrong!”

The assistant hyperventilated as he struggled to remove the blood bag to no avail, hands working busily at the tubes. “And how could you, an esteemed doctor, use an AI anyway?”

Dr. G.P.T. stared desperately at all his degrees and achievements on the wall. They mocked him with intricate cursive words and sigils of approval. He glanced down at his patient and back at the draining blood bag. A lingering thought plagued the back of his mind: Was this really all worth it? He shook his head in amusement and pity as he pondered.

“It’s too late, really,” Dr. G.P.T. sighed, lunging forward to grip his assistant’s neck with rigid hands. 

He had to be the best doctor in the world, one way or another.



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