By Salil Gewali
The gentle words of a doctor are worth a life of a patient many times over. If that is again accompanied with a “soft smile” than he/she could be a messiah. The shortcoming of NEIGRIHMS (Shillong) apart, I have personally observed a few of the doctors in this medical institute who are genuinely sympathetic and concerned. They usually spread the vibes of healing feelings. Dr. Manish Kapoor, cardiologist and Dr. Bhashkar Borgohain, the head of the department of orthopedic, Dr. Abhijeet Bhatia of ENT, are those doctors who have earned the loving admiration of a great many patients and their relatives. So, needless to say, the kind-hearted doctors are always a boon to any medical institutions.
However, there are many instances where the doctors’ “attitude” towards the patient become a cause of worry. It is very usual cases that the persons who attend to a patient cannot even approach the doctors in the hospital. They are uncommunicative with puffed-up ego. If the attendants of the patient are illiterate than the situation could be still worse. Doesn’t this make the patient lose all hope? Here laments a depressed wife, a vegetable vendor — “My husband would not have died if the doctors who were treating him were communicative and caring. The doctors never cared to share the reports with us, or else we could have taken him to better hospitals. For the doctor’s sheer negligence my husband condition had deteriorated and he could not survive”. Such cases are very common in the government hospitals. One feels, if a doctor cannot exude a sense of positivity and hope with a smile of “compassion” then he could only be a liability. The medical qualification will not always be helpful in curing the emotional wound of sick persons.
In contrast, a serious cardio patient Mr. Vikram heaped praises upon NEIGRIHMS — “I survived due to a team of good doctors of the hospital who all were very caring and kind. I am certain that my heart responded too well to the healing kindness of those doctors than the prescribed capsules and injections. I am a healthy man now with happy family, thank you my loving doctors!” Let’s assume that this man had a bad luck of meeting with uncaring doctors? Then, definitely there would have been less chance of his living. Just imagine what would happen to a family whose main earning member has died in the hospital due to the inadequate treatment? Would not that family go to pieces? Let’s evaluate objectively how important the role of a doctor, also the hospital, in the society.
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Given the increasing number of doctors who are cold and unfriendly, one wishes there was a “compulsory” subject as “Life’s values” in the studies of medical science. The teachings of “values of a human life” and accountability towards the sick are more important to the doctor than to any others. Because, unlike the experts in other area of studies, a doctor is meant to treat a “human being” who instantly response to the language of “humanity” apart from the chemical tablets.
Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali.