About 20 min after take off, I heard a flight attendant announce, "any medical providers on the plane, please go to the rear now." It jolted me out of my reading and I walked quickly back to find a patient having a grand mal seizure. The flight attendant was a nurse and shortly a recently graduated young physician and a respiratory therapist came. I found myself doing what I've done for the last 37 years. Giving orders quietly, doing my best to help, trying to look like I know what I am doing.
As seizures usually do, the problem resolved itself and mostly we tried to keep the patient and passengers calm. I retrieved my stethescope and opthalmoscope/otoscope from my brief case. (This led to my cousin posting a youtube video of Leslie Neilsen in Airplane wearing his stethescope in his ears. :-) ) After 45 minutes, The young lady was stable and I went back to my reading leaving her in the care of the young MD, and his friend the respiratory therapist.
In the process of it all, I had been on my I-pad looking at Uptodate for doses on her medicine, and the pilot had called the University of Pittsburg for advice. My goodness technology is amazing today. At the same time, I was reminded of how little I can do when I am separated from the tools in the emergency room. At 30000 feet there are things you just don't have.
When it was over, I was really just glad I could help. I suppose that was part of the reason I went to medical school.