Starting with this title, everyday or alternate day I will share a story or two surrounding the life and work of healthcare workers.

Today’s story is about loss.

On one evening while attending my ICU patients I received a call from ER, one patient is being shifted from emergency to ICU for observation. As per history, pt is 68y/male, chronic alcoholic, known hypertensive and diabetic and known case of cardiac problem (dilated cardiomyopathy). He is on binge drinking for past 3 days, apparently to get rid of his boredom during COVID 19 lockdown. On receiving in ER all supportive treatments started, patient is now stable and now on the way to ICU for observation.

On receiving patient in ICU, nurse Informed “Doctor, patient is gasping and no carotid pulse”. I called for crash cart, ordered to start CARDIOPULMONARY RESUSCITATION (CPR). Immediately did endotracheal intubation. Informed patient’s relatives about the sudden cardiac arrest. By looking at their face I can understand their dumbstruck frightening situation and I also know that this fright may turn into frustration if not done something immediately. So we tried everything possible from shock to syringe. And finally after 15 mins of our efforts, we got pulse (sinus rhythm). Still after this much effort, chances of his survival is grim as the resuscitation took 15 mins and the same conveyed to family. Patient kept on ventilator and continued.

After 2 days, one of our nurses looked morbid, I asked “what happened? You are not looking dull today. Not in your usual cheerfulness”. She shrugged her shoulder and said nothing. My duty got finished, I went inside to collect my belongings. Inside, she was sitting and sobbing. I rushed to her, asked what happened? Is everything okay? She looked at me and said I had miscarriage today. I was not shocked as spontaneous miscarriages my happen considering the amount of stress we have to undergo at workplace. She continued “ Do you remember the patient we gave CPR day before yesterday? I didn’t know I was pregnant then. I checked for pregnancy yesterday since I missed my periods for 2 weeks. And today morning I started bleeding, went for obstetrician consultation. She said it’s a miscarriage”. Now I was numb. I stayed back, held her hands but said nothing, I don’t have words to console her. No words can console her situation, I cannot even say try next time because who knows next time this may again happen not for a binge drunkard but may be for a reckless driver. We sat in silence for sometime and parted our ways for the day.

Later that day I realised everyone is interconnected, we are not the sole bearers of our actions, others may get affected too. Being responsible in our action will save a lot including lives.

Ignored Healthcare

In the midst of corona crisis, we realized the importance of a good healthcare system. Today all religious sanctum have closed their doors for the ailing devotees, just in the name of corona. But, hospitals, doctors and nursing staff are working day in and day out in this crisis. In some institutions doctors holidays have been cancelled and obviously there is no work from home policy.

In my lifespan of 30 yrs, I have never witnessed a shutdown at this scale. Corona has been declared as pandemic, but still there are people who are questioning the healthcare facilities and their efficiency.

US govt. spends 18% of their GDP annually for healthcare development and it’s the highest among all other countries and spends 2% on religion and culture. Plus religious institutions get regular donations and offerings which sometimes equal the budget of a small state. But how often we have heard about donations for research and healthcare development.

May be this pandemic disaster want us to introspect on our thought process and beliefs and direct our attention towards the development of solid healthcare, which has become the essence of time.

MEDICAL: Passion or Profession

Medical: Passion or Profession, is often raised either as a question or a statement. And I believe every doctor or professionals who are into this field have asked themselves this question that why they are in this profession, is it because of their passion or is it just a profession for them. Being a doctor and into this profession for past 13 yrs, I believe I am legible enough to assess both the aspects of this profession.

In this busyife of ours, none had the patience of analysing both aspects of this field and had always reached on a conclusion either in the favor of passion (most doctors) or profession ( non-medicos). So let’s take out some time, look into this question once and for always and put a (.) in front of this statement instead of putting (?/!).

Medical: A profession

1. Yes, 100 percent it’s a profession, from where people earn their livelihood. So yes if some doctors don’t subsidise their fees for patients (who are affordable), don’t blame them because this fees will be 5 other people(assistants, subordinates). This is neither a noble profession nor dacoits, but a group of skilled labors.

2. Money making profession. Yes. I know few may be shocked, but truth is blunt. Most doctors and allied professionals enter this field because of it’s evergreen nature, not liable to be affected by dwindling economy of a country and ever increasing demand. But as I said, this holds true for “ENTRY LEVEL”.

3. Fraudulent, Corrupted, Murderer. Eye-catcher headlines, isn’t it? These are the headlines which are published in newspaper once in a while, describing doctors. Are these headlines often enough to tarnish the image of this profession? If calculated, percentage of these “headline making reports” is less than 0.01% of people getting treated daily in hospitals.

4. Doctors are biased. Prescribed drugs are biased, favoring one or other pharmaceutical company. Doctor’s don’t get any personal perks for favoring a certain pharmaceutical company. Every company assign some funds which are being used to support the academic/skill growth of doctors like conferences, meetings, workshops etc. These are perks for the whole department not for an individual. As for drugs,  they prescribe the best brand of drug among the lot ( which may cost few extra rupee). The liability of good or bad treatment falls on the doctor not on the company, so they prescribe drugs to the best of their knowledge.

There might be innumerable other points which need to be discussed in this category, but the above mentioned one are widely discussed or can say alleged.

Medical: A Passion

1. Passion develops over time. Certainly, there are few professionals who are motivated since beginning of their career and hence take up this profession. But survival takes toll. Few survive, many strive and few leave. This profession demands more of compassion rather than passion, which takes time and interaction with people.

2. Earning monthly 7 figure salary and working 14 hrs every day for 6 days in a week, no holidays except national holidays. Alternate sundays on call. Is this profession worth to choose or better say, dare to choose? Mind you,  I am mentioning life of consultant not residents. What drives these doctors to choose such kind of life? Passion, but I suggest obsession. Obsession of not giving up till the last.

3. Among the epidemic or mass outbreak of diseases, this is the only profession which never shut down. I know this is our duty, but who wants to keep their life and life of their near and dear at stake, for handful of money.

There are innumerable instances which can exemplify the passion which drives the life of medical professionals.

Instead, why can’t we quote that medical profession consist of passionate professionals. I long for the time when aspiring students will value the quality of this profession rather than the quantity of sum associated with this profession.

Being mature

First day of joining back to hospital after my marriage. As i was entering the gate, felt an air of familiarity and took a deep breath of confidence. Known faces passed my with smile and few of them congratulated. Unknown faces kept gazing at me and few greeted. Greeting from unknown faces is uncommon, may be my white apron is the reason behind it. My seniors and my consultants wished me for a healthy and happy married life and few of them blessed me with “maturity”.

At the end of the day, one of my colleague stopped by my side. Aghast on looking at my face. He told me ” you are looking like a senior consultant” and made me realise, somehow that the big bindi on my forehead could be the culprit. He again suggested me to behave with maturity and i expressed my intense irritation on using this word “maturity” on me.

In evening, me, mom and my dad were discussing family issues over coffee. During this conversation I expressed my views which made me realize that I am quite mature enough in my thought process. Lack of smile and bit of vanity in attitude is maturity for my colleague.