Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Thirty versus Forty

This year I turned 40.
A milestone in many aspects.
10 years ago when I turned 30 where was I?
It would be interesting to study the contrast.

At 30, I was out of medical college after my postgraduate degree and had just started my career. I was raring to go and was flushed with the initial success of my practise. As I had only few patients to see,I spent considerable amount of time talking to patients, making them understand the disease and how to cope with it. I wondered why the senior doctors in my area are not communicating well with the patients. I was happy to see patients 24hrs a day.

Each difficult case was a challenge to me and I researched and referred books and net till late hours to find a solution to each diagnostic problem. Each new issue of my favourite medical journal was awaited eagerly. I wanted to practise medicine the way it is given in Text Books. I hated when the patient or the relatives said that they are going to a higher medical centre for further evaluation. I looked down in other doctors who referred cases without any reason. My belief in Science was immense. Also I believed very much in my patients and their relative's loyalty to me. I never could imagine one of them going for a malpractice litigation against me. I was ready to teach the staff nurses the finer points of patient care at any time.

I had umpteen number of dreams about my future. Researching and finding out a new breakthrough methodology of treatment for an important disease was one of them. Presenting papers after papers in National and International conferences and publishing them was another.

At medical conferences, I was the baby among the audience. I was up to date in knowledge and was proud about it. I was bombarded with advise from seniors to do that,to do this, and not to do this etc. I was also an early product of technology generation. So, I was the one who showed the senior doctors how to use the Internet and the possibilities of cell phones.

At 40, I am in the middle of my career in practising clinical medicine.The sight of crowded waiting room in my clinic do not excite me, rather it makes me feel tired. I stick to my working hours. Any patient coming outside it, is shown an angry face. Finishing the patient appointments in time is the priority now. Time given for each patient became limited.

I am slow to accept changes in treatment methods. Text Books and journals pile up untouched.

A difficult case is easily referred. Any wish expressed by the patient to go elsewhere, brings up a reference letter from me in a jiffy. My belief in the unknown increased. Each person who enter my clinic is viewed as a possible litigant.

The dream of researching and presenting papers still remain a dream. At medical conferences, I am somewhat a veteran. Young faces are seen all around. Many come to me for advice. I try not to show youngsters my lack of up to date knowledge.

Still I try to maintain the spirit and my standard of practise, may be for another decade.

Read the next part of Thirty versus Forty here


kochuthresiamma P J said...

you r a very honest person.
does this type of 'evolution ' happen to all in your profession?

really enjoyed reading ur post-think am going 2 enjoy all ur posts

Charakan said...

Thank you. Many [may be not all] go thru this 'evolution' during the course of their career. Some evolve fast while others evolve slowly

atticusfinch said...

Reminds me of Joe Pearson, the chief pathologist in Arthur Hailey's 'The Final Diagnosis' who tells his assistant while leaving the hospital to shut himself if he has to, but read all that you need to not to lose touch with the latest in the field .Medical Science is everchanging. Something is added everyday and something we swore by just goes into oblivion. What we learn in Med school is outdated by the time we step out of it. But just like keeping in touch with the latest is important, experience you have gained in your practice, is something that will stay on with you . So, while you lose your grip on somethings, you maintain a stronghold in others. Its the balance that matters.You only live once. Live it to the fullest. You are compassionate and that should not change,whatever else may...

Happy Kitten said...

May your tribe increase!

This world is better only because of few souls like you..

Charakan said...

Thank you Happy Kitten