Dr. Satish. S, Additional Director – Neuro Surgery, Fortis Hospitals, Bengaluru
July 1 may not carry any significance to others but for us doctors, it is a day to rededicate and recommit to this noble profession, we all chose to serve for a lifetime. We celebrate this day as Doctor’s Day to commemorate and honour the priceless contributions made by the legendary physician, freedom fighter, educationist and second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy.
For onlookers being a doctor may look fancy and totally an upscale profession to be in, but trust me, it is not all that rosy on the other side. It comes with toiling 24X7, topping in academics, sacrificing many simple pleasures of life, and foregoing valuable family time. And yet, it is not easy to understand the functioning of human body and the organs, zero in on an accurate treatment plan and anticipate the result that’s because each and every patient is different, yet here we are to save lives!
If one has not understood the amount of time, risk, stress doctors undergo while treating each patient, the recent second wave and the toll taken by doctors, should have served as an eyeopener.
But alas! Healthcare workers being attacked by the relatives of patients has become a norm and in over 30 years of my experience as a Neurosurgeon, this problem grew multifold in the last 10 to 15 years. How many of you understand, on how much stress and heart pounding a doctor would experience, while operating upon a critically ill patient. Physical assaults on doctors and other healthcare providers can have serious unintended consequences. Yes, it would cause them mental and physical harm for the rest of their lives. Instead of considering what is best for the patient’s wellbeing and recovery, the doctor may consider how this patient or relatives will react if the critically ill patient does not perform as expected. We already see the consequences of this violent behaviour in our tier two and three cities. Doctors and specialists refuse to treat and admit patients whose life hangs in the balance and where time is of essence. They simply are asked to take the patient to a higher facility in a bigger metro.
Believe it or not, we don’t differentiate between genders, age groups, communities while attending patients and all that we need is to save a life. Every time, I scrub in for a surgery, I know that all I need to do is giving my best, nothing less! We think about patients, their families, their dependants and aim for their full recovery, as it is of our own.
As doctors, my incredibly talented colleagues and me, nothing comes forth than seeing a patient walking healthy out of a hospital. And when I hear about the incidents where doctors are attacked, it disheartens me totally. This problem unfortunately has multiple angles, and it needs to be addressed.
It sounds silly when I say that patients trust more of Google than their doctor, but that’s a fact. Mind you, even the best literature on human anatomy can never match the expertise of a real doctor.
Private hospitals are not here for only making money. Do not mistrust us. We are here to serve in a better possible way. Our team of doctors, paramedical staff work relentlessly for bringing in the best, highly advanced medical care and ensure the same for everyone walking into hospital.
Death can be painful, but it is an undeniable fact. Despite our honest efforts and excellent medical care, mortality can hit anybody. Kindly, don’t be angry with your doctor for breaking the news. Your physician tried the best and is equally disappointed and saddened.
I agree that medical expenses in case of critically ill patients are skyrocketing and can push few families into financial distress. Remember, your medical bills are not an investment to get the life back. You and your doctors did everything to save a life. Do not feel cheated. Hospitals are never the reason for patients to not recover.
Our traditions teach us that Vaidhyo Narayano Harihi. Even doctors are just next to God, believe me there will not be any deaths in this world. Do not credit God for recovery and blame us if the patient dies. We certainly do not deserve this.
Finally, violence of any kind be it against doctors, paramedics and other staff working round-the-clock, for ensuring the safety of patients is a strict no-no.
As doctors, we are fighting an invisible enemy that hit us as a pandemic. And we collectively condemn attacks against us. After all, it is our right to fight back.
Doctors Lives Matter Too!