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What Does It Mean to Be a Doctor Today?

Doctor's Day

Have the core characteristics, expectations and skills of a doctor changed? What do you think?

Dr Anthony V Pais, Co founder and Clinical Director, and Breast cancer Surgeon, Cytecare Cancer Hospital, Bangalore

To be a good Doctor you should have the combination of passion and moral interests and knowledge found in no other profession. Wherever the art of medicine is loved there is also the love of humanity. To be dealing with life
and death issues all the time you can handle almost everything. One can never underestimate the power of observation, reason, human understanding-mission driven spirit and the courage to be good. Medicine is an art which is unfortunately losing its presence among the medical fraternity. However it continues to be the pivotal factor which when combined with a humane touch transforms delivery of treatment in a holistic manner. At the same time there is frustrating impersonal side that poses a significant threat to the future of medicine – the mundane financial angle that drives the practice of medicine has become the rule today. This has to be improved
upon . The profound anxiety of violating the deeply embedded core principle of the profession: “Primum non nocere” or “first do no harm”. The more sleepless nights you spend in training the more nights you get fulfilled and grateful for the honor of becoming a part of your patient’s lives.

Dr. Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO, Wadia Hospitals, Mumbai
As a Doctor it’s always a privilege to be with your patients and serve the community. The Doctor today is as good as the Doctor yesterday; the core values of a Doctor and commitment towards patients will not change with time. Todays Doctor however has more tasks to do as compared to a few years back; one need’s to be continuously updated with latest advancements and technology in the continuously advancing Healthcare sector. Also one has to be a team player today, no matter how excellent one is individually, it just isn’t enough anymore. There are few frustrations as well, especially from the ever-increasing demands and expectations of the patients and their relatives; also some people behave like Doctors referring to the Internet. Having said this, though there are the ups and the downs, being a Doctor is the most amazing and blissful experience of my life.

Dr. Venkataramana N K, Founder & Chief Neurosurgeon, BRAINS Hospital,Bangalore

In the current day doctors have many challenges. One of the most important aspect is that the subject is becoming vast, medicine is advancing, technology is growing at a faster pace and as a result the number of people getting diagnosed with ailments are also increasing. More so with increasing lifespan, the health burden is increasing and if we go by the numbers the doctors are not sufficient.
The industry is growing too fast, and providing quality healthcare is becoming difficult. Hence, the medical fraternity and the government needs to work together in  order to provide better healthcare. Everybody deserves good quality health and as the old saying goes “Health is Wealth” so, the government needs to support this right.
The healthcare system has many challenges – firstly, maintaining the quality, maintaining the cost and make it affordable to everybody. Second is to maintain the number of doctors and specialists. Third, there is a huge requirement for emergency support and paramedical support groups. On one side there is tremendous amount of specialization ans super-specialization happening but at the same time  there is a lack of proper network. A strong network needs to be created for efficient healthcare delivery system and this has to be maintained with ability, stability, skill and transparency. Similarly we also have the responsibility of training the future generation doctors.
The additional problem is that the technology is likely to grow, cost is going to bounce and the awareness is increasing tremendously with the coming in of internet. With the increase in awareness level, people now demand for the  right quality of treatment, hence there needs to be a tremendous amount of balancing act and doctors have to play a significant role.
Doctors play a vital role in the society, because unless the society is healthy, the country cannot progress, the productivity and GDP cannot improve. So the government has to take care of the medical professionals, there needs to be a proper planning and assigning of adequate budget. Creating a new uniform healthcare delivery system is going to be an additional challenge in the future.
Doctors today are at the crossroads between all these problems and creating a streamlined system.Given the fact that Indian doctors are the best in providing a competent and compassionate care which is not available in the rest of the world,
the good relationship that exist between the doctors and the society are to be maintained to continue the tradition. This tradition needs to be nurtured and maintained and at the same time we need to grow with the modern times so that we do not compromise with the healthcare of the country.

Dr Soundari, Head Medical Services, Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital, Chennai

“Doctors are a vital asset to the nation’s well-being. With the advent of modern medical technology coupled with artificial intelligence, the health conditions in India is in progressive state. In today’s scenario, around 40% of ophthalmologists are women. We need to empower all women ophthalmologists in India by providing them opportunities with the latest trends in the field. Moreover, this day can be seen as an encouragement to those doctors for their commitment and dedication towards improving human health on global scale.”

Dr. Aviral Roy, ICU Consultant, Medica Institute of Critical Care, Medica Superspecialty Hospital, Kolkata

The key to becoming a doctor is to study hard and work even harder on a consistent basis from your childhood days. There is no shortcut to success and you have to be the top of your class in High School, and get through the tough entrance exam, which has an acceptance rate of just 2-4 percent in India. After that, you have to concentrate for five and half years and do rigorous studies, and further, if you want to be a specialist, then do another 3-8 years of additional dedicated and disciplined studies. You also need to be mentally prepared to see your peers or group of childhood friends you grow up with, start working before you become financially stable. This is followed by a lifetime of learning- of constant upgradation of skills to adapt and learn the latest procedures and protocols. And finally Once you become a doctor, you need to be always available to respond to emergencies and counsel the patients’ relatives and loved ones, as and when required.

On the other hand, there is indeed a constant satisfaction and exhilaration that you get, when you realise that you have helped somebody in the most vulnerable moments of their lives; and perhaps prevented /treated them from severe discomfort, pain and perhaps even death. There is no retiring from this profession. Neither is there ever a true vacation for a doctor. You are always on a look-out when somebody asks ‘is there a doctor here’ whether it be an aeroplane, cruise ship or a museum or when you are on the streets of Rome or London or trekking in the Himalayas.

Dr. Harsh Jain, Senior Consultant Neurosurgeon and Spine Surgeon, Medica Superspecialty Hospital, “With the changing dynamics of doctor-patient relationship, the fundamental features of what it means to be a good doctor will never change, and that means taking full accountability for the patient. The doctors have to listen to people/patients, and be sympathetic, empathetic, and care about them, at the same time. It is imperative to develop and maintain the necessary skills, so you need to be technically good as a physician and stay that way forever. In the current times, it’s not just being excellent as an individual practitioner, but it’s also conveying to the patient that we are all working together as a team to provide them superior patient care in a transparent manner within a safe environment.”

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