It’s National Doctor’s Day. Find out what keeps a doctor going

Of course, other than the commemoration of Dr. B.C. Roy’s life, it does hold a lot of significance amongst our fraternity albeit in a metaphorical sense. It is generally considered that most of us doctors spend our lives amidst pain, anxiety, death and woes. This assumption is not absolutely false but we do have our share of thrills be it complete recovery, pain alleviation, happiness at the birth of a healthy baby, successful operations and the thankful patient at the end of the treatment.

Our fraternity has a lot to contend with. Starting from the level of government expectations, laws to abide by, summons for duty, suboptimal GDP allocations to healthcare and the ever-changing and long medical training system. The society which has unworldly expectations beyond the human strength and sustenance, an oft impossible need for immediate relief and gratification, a certain attitude of counterproductive procrastination, and an omnipresent sense of all-is-well-with-me or that-will-not-happen-to-me. Home responsibilities do not cease and commitments often get overwhelmingly difficult to fulfil. Individually, there is an occasional rife within oneself about the judgement about a case, constant need for updating and changing practice according to the ever-so-expanding evidence base and recent advances and overpowering guilt with defaulting on some responsibilities. Some inevitable mishaps despite best possible care take a long time to heal. Long and indecent hours of intense focus and work, following guidelines and protocols and safety checklists at the oddest of hours, being a 100% at work 24/7/365, has a toll on both physical, mental, emotional and social quality of lives. Professional burnout has started lifting its ugly hood amongst many doctors due to various reasons. The longstanding myth that doctors earn humungous amounts of money also needs to be immediately busted.

However, the job satisfaction and the highs of successful treatment and gratitude keep us going.

I would not do justice if I did not eulogise all the wonderful colleagues in my fraternity who have driven the wheel of health through the centuries and kept our society safe, happy, health and productive. Our daily sacrifices and constant dedication to our profession and the underlying motto of primum non nocere, empathetic and non-judgemental counselling, dexterous and skillful operations, safe and happy deliveries, alleviation of pain, depression, anxiety etc and many more holistic efforts, keep our society at large healthy.

The COVID times have added a significant burden on our work and psyche and has called for more resolute and strong efforts by our fraternity.

I wish to sign off by thanking every one for their wishes on this day and implore all to continue to support our fraternity till the end of time. Stay safe.

Dr. Aruna Muralidhar
July 1st 2020