Wednesday, May 24, 2017

The 1 hour Journey on Lalbagh

Two medical doctors aged 60 plus were my co-passengers today. They travel from Bangalore to kuppam every day to PES medical college where they profess and practice medicine. The 1 hr 15 min journey by Lalbagh express with them radically changed my views about many things in life. They introduced themselves and I was surprised that they travel every day to teach in an institute. I hope to be able to recall and collate what I understood today for the betterment of the willing minds.

When asked about the long travel every day to work in a different state, that too dealing with many surgeries in a row,many lectures back to back, many outpatient interactions once in a while, the lady doctor who is an Anaesthetist says " If you are passionate about your work, you will be able to take all efforts to make it happen".

LESSON 1 - PASSION

The topic turned to medical facilities in rural India. I got to know that most people get to come to them after the problem becomes a threat to life or activity because they are not educated. Rural primary health centers are equipped well with all the essentials of a basic health care unit but the junior doctors posted there do not have the experience to treat patients in serious condition. This is an admitted minus they say, along with the expectations that come from the socially reputed individuals who expect preferential care and would not tolerate pain or wait to get cured. Their views " System should change!. Every life is important and needs to be respected just for the fact that its life we are talking about and the social stature does not warrant a difference in treatments".

LESSON 2: BE HUMBLE

Coming from IT writing background it was easy to ask them how they handle records and writing in their field. They do not know about technical communication as a profession to even exist. They still do many of their case histories on hand-written mode which is later stored as digital copies but the work involves a lot of talking, understanding, and writing. The doctors seem to know Tamil, Hindi, Arabic, Telugu, Kannada, and of course, they spoke very good English. When asked what is their motivation they immediately said " communication is key to success in our profession.. or as an afterthought, she added anywhere for that matter. We spoke about how the doctors are trained to talk and understand their patient's problems and empathize with their situation and then treat them. I felt deeply about how easy it was for us to under-estimate the medical doctors of today while there were doctors who really do more than they studied about!!...

LESSON 3: COMMUNICATION

The talks went to how medical profession changed drastically over the years and then to the students of today who are bothered less about life and more about money... When talking of money the lady s aid " Money is essential for requirements but should not rule our principles and ethics in life - personal or professional". 

LESSON 4: ETHICS

When speaking of young doctors and upcoming medicos, the senior citizen doctor said " everywhere honesty is lacking... both in the system and consumer, in every business" and " medicine has become a business too " he added.Five people come together to an operating table for a surgery and only if all the five have the same commitment to see the patient out of her door happy, healthy and sound, will the surgery be truly a success, she says.

LESSON 5: HONESTY

When asked about God they said.. we are not Gods. We believe in God and trust that anything done in Good Faith will work fine. The one mishap in a hundred cases is blown up out of proportion in media, making all the doctors trust the various seemingly unnecessary tests more than their own knowledge in medicine.

LESSON 6: FAITH

When they alighted I conveyed my thanks for such a fruitful and active conversation that I have never chanced to have in a long time now. I am writing this piece to share the attitude of the older generation of doctors which according to me does not come from books, but the Upbringing in that generation.

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