~Chaitalee Ghosalkar, Business Analyst, Sun Pharma

I see things at the beginning of a fork right now. One path could be that we get saturated with the number of unqualified doctors- the lot comprising people who buy their way into the education system and those who then buy their degrees.

Another path would be the advent of robotics. We are at the brink of Artificial Interference takeover. Now 10 years might be a bit too early, but if we can 3D print organs, machine led operations are not far away.

Let me begin by clarifying one thing. I may be related to the medical profession, but I am not a doctor, studying or otherwise. My thoughts on this subject are purely from the point of view of an outsider.

There was a time when I had studied and applied to become a doctor. When the prospect of wielding a stethoscope or maybe even a scalpel was what dreams were made of. Some of us did get to live it; others like me didn’t.

Today, it’s more than a decade since I changed paths. I am happily settled into my job, able to run a livelihood and support my family. And when I look around, I see some of my friends from medical background studying. If I shrug subtlety, ‘still studying’.

We all live in a rat race. Ever since we join school, it is all about the next milestone. There was a time when the standard 10+2+3/4 regimen was sufficient. Then Masters came in and everyone rushed to have that feather in their cap. For medical students, it is even more difficult. With a year of internship and then another of rural service, education seems like an endless nightmare. The years that go into educating a doctor makes one think- If wisdom comes with age, does the adage apply to a doctor too?

You are almost forty by the time you start settling into the role of a doctor- a specialist that is. And then, there’s always additional specialization that you may have to pick up on the way. The rat race, for a doctor, truly never stops.

 

Unless, of course, you pull the plug on it. The question is, should you?

The answer will depend from person to person. Medicine is indeed a noble profession and the years that are required to hone a doctor are essential. So, while the curriculum is going to stay, it is up to the individual to decide if he or she has the passion to keep up, not to mention the capability. Medicine field has been known to have the highest burnout rate. What good will it do if you finally become a doctor who has specialized in the field you wanted and end up requiring therapy because you cannot cope up with life? Your patients are going to suffer, thereby making you forefeet on the promise you made to yourself when you signed up for being a doctor.

It is a choice you have to make, because every person responds to it differently. Not everyone will burnout, and not everyone will be able to sustain the pressure.

More importantly, it is time we stop taking away importance from MBBS degree. The whole notion about MBBS not being sufficient should be wiped off. It is sad to see the degree being reduced to the stature of nothingness, when the first doctor you visit when you have any ailment is your family physician.

Once we understand this, the unnecessary pressure of chugging along will eventually lessen, if not disappear completely.

 

 

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