“I will remember that there is art to medicine as well as science, and that warmth, sympathy, and understanding may outweigh the surgeon’s knife or the chemist’s drug..” . These are few lines from Hippocratic oath that keeps echoing within me since graduation. The day we were awarded doctorate, there was pride in our parents’ eyes and divine feeling of achievement within us. Five and a half years with gigantic books, clinical examination of patients, experiments with test tubes and microscopes, dissection of corpses were just the beginning of it. There were discussions about entrance exams for post graduation, the costs involved, our subject of interests and probability of getting a seat in orthopaedics or paediatrics after struggling with books for couple more years!!
The truth- While we were celebrating the entry into post graduation followed by superspeciality or subspecialities and eventually fellowships which all in all would be no less than 10 to 15 years more of studies and degrees with permutation and combination of 26 alphabets in English literature, which were meant to be longer than our name, our contemporaries in other fields had completed their degrees and comfortably placed in multinational companies or in the verge of procuring a seven digit pay check. Ultimately it narrows down to doctors being young practitioners in their forties.
Then comes the struggle to look charming, presentable yet mature in front of patients. Communications, surgical skills, pharmalogical knowledge and analytical skills are all used during 10 minutes or so in out patient departments where we need to struggle to our wits to convince patients and their kin regarding particular investigation. There have been instances in a physicians life when they would want to scream out and say “ Get this investigation, it is needed for me to diagnose and not to increase your bill” , but instead just smiles and says “ Please get this investigation, it would help in diagnosis and we will proceed from there”.
Who said doctors have poor mathematical skills? We calculate dosage within seconds and more so when you have your own set up and there are constant requests to cut down on the bill. Charity is expected of us in day to day basis. We have lost sleep, worked, walked and looked like zombies during our course; got married in thirties and taken kids to Montessori in forties!! When it comes to earning, constantly criticized for repeating consultation fees or charging for investigations and procedures.
We are a whole bunch of different species all together, spending maximum amount of our lives in hospitals, dealing with injuries, diseases and death. Criticised at times, treated like gods at other times and also when things turn sour, beaten like dogs. Keeping aside our kids, be it weekends or holidays in order to take care of someone else’s ailing kid, smiling at a newborn child while being late to our kids birthday, counselling our patients’ relatives while missing our own uncle’s funeral- we have done it all.
At the end of the day, what brings smile on our face is one successful surgery, one life saved or one successful CPR(cardio pulmonary resuscitation). We have gone through tumult, suffering, heart breaks but at the end of it, we are doctors and we save lives. We are saints with a gift to heal and huge hearts to forgive. We are proud of our lives and profession. This is to all doctors whose life has definitely been far from a cake walk. On 1st of July- A Happy doctor’s day to all you rocking doctors.
By Dr.Prithvi priyadarshini .U.S. MBBS, MD, DM
Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist,
Narayana multispeciality hospital, Mysore
Ph:9972028553, email: firstname.lastname@example.org