The joy of becoming a doctor and serving humanity is incomparable to any other. No doctor thinks about money in the face of human pain, illness, suffering and death. This very trait of the doctors has been exploited for many decades now.
The concept that a doctor must work more than others as a duty is itself twisted, meaning “we don’t care if you lose health, sleep or peace of mind, we don’t care if you don’t get to spend precious moments of life with your family, we take for granted that you must always be available as dictated by the society and the administrators just because you have chosen to be a doctor”.
I am proud of being a doctor, and always willing to help out in case of an emergency situation, but I do not support the idea that doctors who must also live a good life, sleep well, eat well and enjoy peaceful togetherness with their loved ones should be forced to work more than other professionals because of the shortage, which is not their fault. Most doctors gladly comply with extra work and proudly continue to attend the needy, but the whole trend now is “to add more and more” to the demands because the governments / administration (all over the world) perpetually fails to meet the healthcare manpower requirement thanks to its short sighted and skimpy policies, and wrong investments.
In face of millions of critical pending cases, decisions, and issues, lawyers, ministers, judges, administrators, etc. are not forced to work night shifts, extra duties or weekends, even if people suffer. It is the nobility of the medical profession to tolerate and be kind that is misused against this profession itself. People who do not themselves work 24/7 for years in a row with heavy life & death medicolegal responsibility should refrain from advising others to do so, as they will never understand the associated stress and drain upon the mind and body.
If there is shortage of doctors, more demand, the administration should pay better (rather than diverting funds elsewhere) and hire more doctors and rethink why this situation arose. If there are less medical seats in the face of fierce competition of millions of willing candidates wanting to become doctors, it is the proof of failure of our policy makers to provide for better and more doctors through increased opportunities in medical education.
The increasing demand for doctors in the face of increasing population is NOT a doctor’s fault. (They do not increase the number of judges or make them work weekends because work suffers) The widespread (worldwide) exploitation of talented doctors in the name of “residency” should stop. Proper rest, remuneration, vacation and study time are the rights of every working doctor, and they must get these.
Of course there will be those who will say “I enjoy the day and night double / triple shifts, emergencies, duties” etc., but then one’s efficiency declines after two days if proper rest and food is not ensured. The patient will ultimately suffer. There will also be those who support the “I was ragged, I will rag” theory. That doesn’t help our future.
It is high time the human right concept is extended to the younger generation of doctors.
Please share so as to reach out those who do not understand the plight of doctors forced to overwork.
Source: Dr. . Rajas Deshpande