Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Doctors' Day-A Day of Introspection

It's the Doctors' Day today, a time to pay tribute to the entire medical profession. This is in commemoration of the birth Anniversary of Eminent Physician and Patriot Dr.B.C.Roy. First of July, 1882 happens to be the birthday of Dr B C Roy, who was born on this day in Patna. After his MBBS from Calcutta, he completed his MRCP and FRCS at London and returned to India in 1911. Thereafter, he joined the teaching staff of the Calcutta Medical College. He excelled as a physician, an educationist and as a freedom fighter, joining Mahatma Gandhi in the Civil Disobedience Movement. Dr Roy's dedication to the upliftment of Indian society led him to choose political arena where he became leader of Indian National Congress and later Chief Minister of West Bengal. After a life of work and service, the doctor passed away on July 1, 1962, on his birthday. Doctor's Day thus pays tribute to Dr B C Roy and all doctors like him, who spend their lives serving people.
Doctors are considered as Gods in our country who have the miraculous powers to heal people and not just treat them. Doctors-patient relationship is considered as a very sacred and they share a very special bond. People connect with Doctors on an emotional level and trust them blindly. This is not just an customer oriented service rendered by the physician to the patient but it goes at a more deeper and spiritual level. A Doctor cannot just be mechanical in his interaction with the patients. He has to be a part of patients life unlike fellow doctors of other more professional countries. We are an emotion driven nation and doctors are our "agony aunts" too. Unfortunately this trend is shifting more towards commercialism and patients are just considered as clients by some of the doctors. I am sure all of us have had some good or bad experience with the doctors. We still remember our friendly neighbor "Doctor Uncle" who would give chocolates every time we went to his clinic with some fake "School fever/Stomach problem". I wonder, how many of todays' kids are going to have fond remembrance of their Doctors in the future. During my research, I had the opportunity to meet some of the highly "professional" and very few "not-so-professional" doctors. Unfortunately, I was dismayed to see some of the doctors lacking common courtesy in one of the premier institutes of the country. It does not take much to talk nicely with someone specially when that someone considers you next to God. Some doctors don't have skills to communicate bad news to their patients. This incident happened with one of my close relative who was told blankly on her face that she has cancer. The way private hospitals treat poor patients leaves nothing to say. My granny was kept in ICU of private hospitals way after she was no more, just for the fat bill. Some doctors consider it their insult, if patient ask them about the causes of the diseases or the line of treatment.
The Doctors have lost their basic communication skills in their run for professionalism. A Doctor must be a skilled communicator and persuader. Patients would listen and follow each and every advice of the Doctor, if he is able to touch their heart. So, it is mandatory to incorporate a basic course in communication skills for medical students along with the studies.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Be the best of whatever you are

If you can't be a pine on the top of the hill

Be a scrub in the valley--but be

The best little scrub by the side of the rill;

Be a bush if you can't be a tree.

If you can't be a bush be a bit of the grass,

And some highway some happier make;

If you can't be a muskie then just be a bass--

But the liveliest bass in the lake!

We can't all be captains, we've got to be crew,

There's something for all of us here.

There's big work to do and there's lesser to do,

And the task we must do is the near.

If you can't be a highway then just be a trail,

If you can't be the sun be a star;

It isn't by size that you win or you fail--

Be the best of whatever you are!

Douglas Malloch