Monday, October 11, 2021

A Hippocratic Odyssey: Lessons From a Doctor Couple on Life, In Medicine, Challenges and Doctorpreneurship by Dr Suresh K Pandey SuVi Eye Institute Lasik Laser Center Kota

 Dear All Pleased to share a post (Let Us Pay Tribute To Our Doctors Who Sacrificed Their Lives to Save Us From COVID-19) published on Docplexus on the occasion of Doctors Day. Here is the link:

Let Us Pay Tribute To Our Doctors Who Sacrificed Their Lives to Save Us From COVID-19
July 1st is celebrated each year as National Doctor’s Day in India. This day has been chosen as a mark of respect to the contributions made by the freedom fighter, physician, and social worker late Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, who left an indelible mark on the history of the medical profession in India. July 1st was his birthday as well as the day of his demise in the year 1882 and 1962 respectively. Dr. B C Roy was not only a physician par excellence but also a freedom fighter (who worked together with Mahatma Gandhi), a mass leader, and Chief Minister of West Bengal for 14 years.[1]
For the past 18 months, the entire world is fighting the deadly COVID-19 virus, and doctors and healthcare workers have been risking their lives to save everyone Doctors are working as front-line corona warriors and also risking the lives of their family members, which indeed is a huge sacrifice. On top of that, doctors & healthcare workers are facing several challenges as the shortage of face masks, shields, protective gear, lack of hospital bed, oxygen supply, antiviral medications as seen during the second deadly wave COVID-19 pandemic. All this makes the efforts of the doctors and medical workers even more extraordinary.
On the occasion of National Doctors' Day (July 1, 2021 ), the stories of the medical heroes putting themselves at the forefront to fight the virus are inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. They deserve all the appreciation and support. More than 1,500 doctors and healthcare workers lost their lives while treating COVID-19 cases in India alone during the past 18 months. There are reports of few doctors committed suicide during the challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic as they were extremely stressed and feeling helpless due to the unavailability of hospital beds and oxygen supply. This brings into focus the tremendous mental and emotional strain while managing the COVID-19 crisis. The death of resident doctors is due to frustration against the 'system' with a heavy workload and shortage of basic healthcare facilities.
The sacrifice of doctors and healthcare workers should not go to waste. The government of India should allocate more budget (3 percent of GDP) for healthcare infrastructure. It is time the government and healthcare authorities should take hygiene, health, healthcare professionals, and hospitals more seriously. More work is expected to be done for health, hospitals, intensive care units (ICUs), oxygen supply, medications, mass vaccination as well as public awareness to take all precautions to overcome the third wave during such pandemic.
There have been several reported incidences of violence against doctors during the COVID-19 pandemic in India.[2-4] Although the exact numbers of such cases cannot be determined, there are a few glaring examples: on 8th April 2020, two trainee doctors in New Delhi were allegedly assaulted by a neighbor who accused them of spreading the COVID-19 disease. On 19th April 2020, the burial of a neurosurgeon who had died after contracting COVID-19 in Chennai was disrupted by a mob who attacked the undertakers. The citizens’ opposition was due to a misconception that the contagion may spread in the neighborhood if the surgeon was buried there. A group of public health workers in Indore, a city in Madhya Pradesh, India, who were trying to ‘contact trace’ a person, were descended upon by a group of 100 people pelting stones and drove them away. Increasingly, reports pour in of doctors being spat on, hurled abuses at, and driven away.
Several incidences like this represent the mindset of today’s society during the COVID-19 pandemic and reveal that in today's world, sadly doctors do not hold the same place of respect as they did during the time of late Dr. Bidhan Chand Roy and there is a steadily declining mutual trust, and erosion of the doctor-patient relationship.
Society, medical practice pattern, the cost of medical treatment, and laws to govern medical practice are changing and as doctors, we should be aware of how to respond to these changes and take measures to reinforce and strengthen the unique relationship between the doctor and patient. In addition to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, doctors are facing several challenges in this era of consumerism in health care such as growing population, poor facilities provided by the Govt. run hospital, less GDP/budget for health, the rising cost of treatment, and low health insurance coverage, etc.
COVID-19 pandemic put a lot of stress on doctors and healthcare workers, who are working as front-line Corona warriors. Doctors and healthcare workers are putting their best efforts to help patients during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. However, poor healthcare infrastructure, lack of availability of hospital beds, lack of oxygen supply, lack of antiviral/anti-fungal drugs, etc. during the deadly second wave of COVID-19 pandemic are contributing to poor patient satisfaction, eroding doctor-patient trust, and increasing incidence of violence against doctors.
Even before the COVID-19 era, patients often complain that doctors are proud, indifferent, do not give them expected to care, take hefty fees, are dominating, and confuse them with a lot of medical jargon. Doctors are also bitter about the increasingly aggressive attitude of patients, who are willing to fight at the drop of a hat, do not respect doctors or their work, always blame doctors for everything without understanding the disease and its consequences. Sometimes these accusations may go to the extreme with patients accusing doctors of willful misconduct or perform unwarranted surgery etc. and doctors accusing patients and attendants of roughing up doctors only because of medical complications, which sadly are an integral part of medical practice. This scenario is not good for society at all as hospitals and clinics are supposed to be safe havens for the treatment and care of the sick and diseased, and we can't afford to let them turn into battlegrounds. Every effort must be done to reverse this trend of blame game and efforts must be done by the medical societies and doctors to educate patients and to enhance trust by publishing articles in print media or by sharing positive stories on social media.
There is increasing frustration and psycho-social health problems among doctors/healthcare professionals who are treating COVID-19 patients. The stress of working long hours, inadequate sleep, poor eating, inadequate protection, the fear of contaminating loved ones, the fear of dying and seeing patients die no matter what you do, the disrespect by hospital administrators, and the fear of being fired, all remain the reality for all doctors and healthcare workers treating the COVID-19 cases.
COVID-19 pandemic has been a challenge for all of humanity, but it has been nothing less than a war for doctors. The doctors risked their lives every single day as fighting the war against this invisible enemy, most doctors were pushed into physical and mental exhaustion. Incidence of burnout and depression rose as doctors across India fought to keep their patients alive. During the COVID-19 era, there is an emotional disconnect with patients due to the digital shift (virtual consultation) and the covering of faces by masks. The doctors can see the patients via WhatsApp video or Zoom calls, but they cannot examine them. Doctors are treating symptoms that patients reveal, but he/she can’t use stethoscope or measure vitals ourselves. The doctors need to rely on whatever the patients say. This also led to poor patient satisfaction.
On the occasion of Doctor's Day, let us pay tribute to all our doctors/healthcare workers who sacrificed their lives to save us from COVID-19. We have discussed the challenges faced by the doctors during the COVID-19 era and also shared pearls to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship in our three recently published books: Entrepreneurship for Doctors: How to Build Your Own Successful Medical Practice, Secrets of Successful Doctor: The Complete Guide to a Fulfilling Medical Career, and A Hippocratic Odyssey: Lessons From a Doctor Couple on Life, In Medicine, Challenges, and Doctorpreneurship.(5-7)
1. Pandey, Suresh K; Sharma, Vidushi July 1 is National Doctors’ Day, Indian Journal of Ophthalmology: July 2018 - Volume 66 - Issue 7 - p 1045-1046 doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_976_18
2. Iyengar KP, Jain VK, Vaishya R. Current situation with doctors and healthcare workers during COVID-19 pandemic in India. Postgraduate Medical Journal Published Online First: 19 August 2020. doi: 10.1136/postgradmedj-2020-138496
3. Health workers become unexpected targets during covid-19. Editorial. Economist. Available (accessed 23 June 2021)
4. Violence mars COVID-19 doctor-victim’s burial editorial. Times of India. Available (accessed 23 June 2021)
5. Entrepreneurship for Doctors: How to Build Your Own Successful Medical Practice. Dr Suresh K. Pandey, Maple Press, Publishing, New Delhi, India. 2021.
6. Secrets of Successful Doctor : The Complete Guide to a Fulfilling Medical Career. Dr Suresh K Pandey, Maple Press, Pblishing, New Delhi.

7. A Hippocratic Odyssey: Lessons From a Doctor Couple on Life, In Medicine, Challenges,

and Doctorpreneurship. Dr. Suresh K. Pandey, Dr. Vidushi Sharma, Bloomsbury, New Delhi, India, August 2020. Link:
8. Entrepreneurship for Doctors: How to Build Your Own Successful Medical Practice. Dr Suresh K Pandey, Dr Vidushi Sharma, Maple Press (Pblishing), Noida, India.

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