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On NHK NewsWatch 9 yesterday, they were talking about the shortage of emergency room doctors, and the resulting situations lately where hospitals were forced to turn away emergency patients. In many cases there was a doctor on duty, but not qualified to treat some emergencies. So the doctor would refuse the patient rather than treat the patient and possibly get sued if something went wrong.

While interviewing a doctor, this phrase was shown in the subtitle

その頑張りは、すべてむだというかそういう気持ちになる。

(I did not think to listen to the Japanese audio, though I suppose its what he said.)

The English dubbed audio said

There's a saying "Honest people only make fools of themselves."

I can understand the intent though I have not heard such a saying before.

Regarding the Japanese sentence, is this a set phrase (or saying) of some kind?

As best as I can make out it is saying "As for endurance, resulting good feelings or such are said to be entirely useless." or "Resulting good feelings or such are said to be entirely useless, so endure it.", although its likely I'm wrong.

Especially I don't think I quite understand というかそういう.

4

Unless this is a set phrase, I think we need more context to go on--who said the quote, what was the line before and after, etc.

I don't see the provided translation matching up though.

Here is my attempt:

その頑張りは、すべてむだというかそういう気持ちになる。

All that hard work for nothing, you know...that's how I feel.

Here is how I break it down:

その頑張りは、/ すべてむだ / というか / そういう気持ちになる。

(as for) that hard work,/ all (for) naught / you know (or, how should I put it,.) / this kind of feeling becomes.

references:

http://tangorin.com/general/というか

http://eow.alc.co.jp/search?q=というか&ref=sa

http://tangorin.com/general/そういう

  • thanks snail plane. how do i do the "URI escaping" ? – yadokari Mar 28 '13 at 2:07
  • The easiest way is to use the "insert link" icon instead of pasting a URL in directly. (You can also press ctrl-L to get the "insert link" pop-up.) – snailboat Mar 28 '13 at 2:36
  • Unfortunately I did not think to save it on my DVR. However the context was basically the same as what jmac related in his reply. Especially the danger of being sued for malpractice was a big concern. If he lost his license, he would be no help at all. – user3169 Mar 29 '13 at 22:23
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There was a news segment on public hospitals a few months ago focusing on a doctor from [柏原]{かいばら} hospital in Hyogo prefecture (Western Japan). Here is an article covering what happened (Japanese). The prefecture kept closing down the hospitals and consolidating them due to a shortage of doctors, and he was the only pediatrician for several hospitals in the area. As a result, he was the only pediatrician for 18,000 children. He handed in his resignation because the working conditions were just too poor.

This is what he said:

「すでに月に7日以上宿直や小児輪番を担当し、夜ごとひっきりなしに外来患者を診ていました。睡眠不足で疲れ切っていて、いつ事故を起こしてもおかしくな い状況でしたから、もう限界。小児科が実質私1人となる体制で『勤務を続ける』と言うほうが無責任だと思ったんです」

Rough translation:

I was already working the night shift 7 days or more per month while working on rotation as a pediatrician, and each night without fail I would have out patients come in. I was sleep deprived, exhausted, but since a serious accident could occur at any time I hit my limit. I was the only real pediatrician in the area, and I thought that it would be irresponsible to "just keep on working".

My guess is that the quote you give is from a doctor with a similar experience. I think that the quote you gave would be translated more as, "All of my hard work is for nothing, or at least that's how it makes me feel." Like Dr. [和久]{わく?} he probably thinks that despite all his hard work, the situation isn't improving, and he's just burning himself out for no good reason (or at least feels like that's the case).

In the case of Dr. [和久]{わく?}, the parents of children in the area started a group to lower his workload, not come in the middle of the night with trivial problems (like slight fevers), bringing him food, and otherwise trying to make him a bit less stressed.

  • Thanks for your information. In the article, I found the term コンビニ受診 interesting. In the US hospital, you are seen in an emergency room based on need, not first come first served, which seems to be the case in Japan, even when dealing with minor injuries or illnesses. – user3169 Mar 29 '13 at 22:33

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