To begin with, I would like to express my kind gratitude, pay a grand salute and acknowledge the dedication and commitment of doctors towards our society. The role of doctors in our lives is revolutionary and I believe being a doctor, it is more important to bring revolution in the life of patients. Doctors are the warriors, who are always making relentless efforts towards providing the highest level of healthcare to patients to the best of their knowledge, irrespective of facing many odds and challenges in daily life. During the challenging times of COVID-19 pandemic, our doctors stand brave in managing the crisis. We lost many of them in battle against COVID-19 virus. Let us pay a tribute to all of those noble souls.
Being a doctor by profession, I would say that patients are the most important visitors to us. We are literally dependent on them and I believe it is a mutual benefit between a doctor and a patient -- a doctor gets an opportunity to serve humanity and earn his livelihood by amusing his patients. Likewise a patient gets an opportunity to get himself treated and stay healthy and happy on visiting a doctor.
Besides diagnosing and treating a patient clinically, positive counselling of a patient by his doctor with immense care, concern and love during the course of treatment forms an important part in the line of management. Having said that, counselling a patient pragmatically forms an important part of managing his/her concerns and ensuring welfare. Getting into the shoes of a patient, developing empathy, sympathy, love, care and giving him/her hope in a state when he/she might be feeling hopeless/ emotionally down/ helpless while understanding his struggles-- is the best way to bring revolution and positively impact the life of a patient.
It will be worth mentioning here that every professional should have the prime motivation of creating a positive impact in the society and bring revolution in the lives of people. I would say that every profession is unique and dignified in itself and envisages with a core idea of service to humanity directly or indirectly through a unique way of professional approach, awareness and integrity.
Whatever profession you are in, your prime motivation should be to create an IMPACT (bring positive change/revolution in the life of someone). Suppose you are a doctor, a patient you received is bed-ridden, couldn't do things that he could have done while being in health normally, his life gets shattered for a moment of life being ill. A doctor comes to amuse the patient and with the cure of God the patient gets off -bed and starts again a healthy life. The doctor by amusing the patient brings change/revolution in his (patient's) life.
A patient is the best noble teacher for a doctor other than the teacher who taught him in a medical school. A patient gives a doctor an opportunity to serve humanity, to please Almighty Lord and to teach him morally, practically and ethically. More often, I use to invest time in counselling patients and give them enough motivation to live life with a disease. When patient gives a hopeful smile at the end, that becomes the moment of my great satisfaction.
I could remember Dr. M S Khuroo, one of the renowned medicos – in an interview saying that we should focus on three important things ‘being a doctor’. First we should give priority to effective patient care/management by keeping in focus the ‘clinical medicine’ while dealing with the patients, besides adopting labs and modern imaging modalities in establishing diagnosis. Secondly, we should always teach and pass on our gained knowledge to others. Thirdly, we should take interest in research to explore and gain more. Additionally, he said that we should revive the concept of ‘being a doctor’ while it was perceived decades back -- to strengthen trust in a doctor-patient relationship.
Having said that, I believe better communication skills and effective counselling acts as a strong pillar in developing trust in a doctor- patient relationship, besides improving the quality of life of the patient. A doctor should often question his conscience - to become more concerning, humanitarian and truthful towards his patient. Moreover, enlightening a patient through all dimensions of health is revolutionary to the life of a patient. Besides encouraging clinical, physical, social, mental, emotional, intellectual dimensions -- spiritual dimension is cornerstone. Most of the times I could realise a patient gets relief beyond words by enlightening him spiritually.
Lastly, I would say that to hold bond of strength -- mutual understanding and trust for each other is very important in a doctor-patient relationship. Whenever there happens any misunderstanding or distrust, disputes and conflict arises. Rising disputes, conflicts and violent acts are the result of distortion of this relationship. Therefore, we need to avoid any disputes by reposing trust on our doctors in order to strengthen this relationship.
(Author is a medical doctor, public speaker and columnist. He can be reached on: firstname.lastname@example.org)