How the journey started –
I spent most of my childhood in Liluah, in the outskirts of Kolkata. I clearly recall the numerous Good morning Doctor babu directed at my father on our way to school every morning. After 16 strenuous hours of duty, when he returned home tired, he was happy. It was his dream job after all. Growing up seeing my father serve people everyday with the same enthusiasm filled me with the urge of following his foot steps. That’s how my journey started.
I was always an average student, although I’ve performed really bad at times (and even continue to do so). But I was very good in memorizing stuffs. This helped me get through the pre-medical exams.
Most of my friends took Humanities or Commerce in high school. But I was adherent to my resolution. My parents wanted me to take mathematics as a subject along with biology, because getting into a medical school was difficult. So they wanted me to have a back-up, i.e., Engineering. Despite their countless attempts, I concentrated only on biology.
I desperately wanted to be a doctor. How could I think of doing anything else ? And I am glad that I didn’t.
Everyone will agree that being a doctor means great money, even greater designation, permission to play god and a lot of respect. But nothing worth having comes easy. Or does it ?
The four hour surgery dates back to ten years of uphill battle and countless sacrifices. Doctors do not have a personal life. There are no festivals for us. Even during Durga Puja when the whole of Bengal was feasting, my seniors and many doctors like them were having a 24 hour on call duty !
Picture by my pretty senior, Sana Siddiqui
One of my dearest seniors in med school, Bidisa Sarkar, has beautifully described the feeling of working on Nabami, the 9th day of Durga Puja- click here to read.
Apart from being hard working, we are great (attentive) listeners. Taking history from a patient is like watching a thriller. You blink for a second and you can go all wrong with your diagnosis.
The psychological drain is real. Seeing someone die is awfully painful ! It is soul stirring, especially when you have been trying to save them. It is like a scar that doesn’t go away. No amount of training will make delivering a bad news or coping with one easy.
But why do I complain when I signed up for this ?
The recent incidents where doctors were beaten up ruthlessly by the patient’s family is disturbing ! We can treat someone. But healing comes from above. We can only give words of hope when there is little chance of survival, after everything we have done. We can not prolong lives. Sitting outside the Intensive Care Unit is not as demanding as the responsibility that lies on our shoulders when we have to save a person whose body has stopped responding.
NOTE– BEATING A DOCTOR ON CALL IS AN UNBAILABLE OFFENCE PLUS FINE.
The ERs are places where humanity converges overlooking the differences and putting aside the pride, the anger and the sadness!
The reward ?
It has helped me have a different perspective towards life. It has made me value time, if nothing else. Seeing someone overcoming his illness because I could make a challenging diagnosis on time and treat him well is relieving ! The look on the faces of the family members when they take their relatives home cannot be described on paper.
Despite the challenges, it is a powerful human experience. No profession has such a profound sense of fulfilment.
Will I chose medicine if I were given an option ? Over and over again !
This profession gave me memories that I’ll cherish all my life. The only thing which kept us sane during this grinding, nerve-racking course was our crazy friendship! From 8 a.m lectures to mass bunking to eating in between classes to promising to study harder after every semester ( although the results were always the same in every exam or even worse), college life came to an end !
THANK YOU DOCTORS
There are so many doctors who go through a lot of struggle to serve humanity and save lives. We should thank the doctors without borders, those who treat their patients for free and those who work under terrible infrastructural facilities, we should be thankful to them for their dedication and contribution. They make the world a better and safer place.
I want to use this opportunity to appreciate all doctors worldwide who are making a difference in our world. It’s an honor to be a part of you guys.
This post is a part of collaboration with a purpose- the second instalment. You can read my previous collab posts here.
This super cool cover picture is designed by my talented sister and friend, Nicolle 😍
The other Super amazing bloggers participating in this collab and the links to their posts are below-