Edited by – Dr. Chetana & Dr. Sadiya

About Dr. Vibhuti


She is a Senior resident , in Gastroenterology and hepatology and currently working at Fortis hospital, Mohali. She has 7 years of experience with a special interest in advanced endoscopies and pancreatology.

You can reach out to her at

1. The theme of our edition is- “The medicine of our dreams”, we feel that we are obviously taught to be good at diagnosing and treating our patients during our medical education but we all know that being a doctor is so much more than that, so much that we are never really taught about, so, as a medical student, did you ever feel like- “I wish someone had taught me about this…?

Definitely, I wish someone had taught me about clinical diplomacy including behaviour towards fellow nurses, ward boys and technicians especially with the experienced ones which teaches a lot. I also wish we were taught how to manage the volume of information during medical school. Subjects like pathology, general surgery and medicine are very vast. One needs to stick to a single textbook and not tremble due to the heaps of information in reference books. We need to know what to learn and what to skip.

Management of finances is another topic I wish we learnt more of in medical school. Once we graduate with an Mbbs degree, there is a great deal of investment needed to establish a practise and it’s something that’s not touched upon at all during the course.

2. What’s your opinion about the ways our medical curriculum has evolved over the years?

Medical curriculum is ever evolving. It always needs to stay updated to reflect the latest advances in technology and medical research. I think students these days have more accessible knowledge because of their iPads and online coaching lectures. They are more clinically oriented than we were at our times. However I still feel there is a lack of medical ethics and critical thinking. I also think there should be more emphasis on preventive health and patient education which is something our nursing colleagues do actively.

 3. As a physician, what advice would you like to give to all those medical students who might have phobias from medical procedures or perhaps, needles etc.? Do you think that’s something professors at medical college should address, because that’s something we rarely talk about and most of the time, medical students are expected to not have such phobias and even if someone opens up, they are often told that they shouldn’t be a medical practitioner?

I think most people commonly have a fear of getting injections, other procedures like finger prick, administering injectables or sampling have a very simple learning curve and one can master it within 15 days of their internship. Exposure to more clinical procedures is required among medical students. However, intense phobias do need professional psychiatric intervention like cognitive therapy or exposure therapy as it can affect your profession at later stages in life.

4. Being a medico comes with a certain expectation to be able to work and, dare we say, thrive in a high-stress environment. Interns don’t even have proper places to rest and sleep during their night duties! Do you think this should become a norm? If not, what do you think should be done?

Sadly interns are treated as the bottom of the hierarchy in a department. Often the residents exploit them as their chaiwalas. They are made to collect reports, complete paperwork which makes them less inclined towards actual learning. However I feel that since they have the least responsibility, they should not let it affect their mental health. Interns should take time to absorb the happenings of the ward or emergency unit and gain as much clinical knowledge as possible. Night duty rooms are traditionally claimed by the first year residents, but I feel that by proper respectful communication, everyone is able to buy themselves some off time to sleep. Night duties are important to build stamina because; considering the current dearth of healthcare facilities, our professionals would be overworked for years to come.

5. According to you, what is that one essential skill apart from clinical skills that every young doctor should be equipped with and what factors should they keep in mind while choosing their subject of specialisation ?

In short, emphasis on both verbal and non-verbal components.

Patient listening, empathy, disseminating proper information as well as breaking things down in away that layman can understand is someone if the things that I would emphasise on.

Identifying  “difficult patients” or attenders and making sure all their queries are answered to their satisfaction is also a difficult but an important asset with respect to communication that every young doctor should strive to possess.

That being said, each budding doctor  has a unique thought process in choosing their branch of specialization and this has a bearing on their overall conduct towards patients. Some decisions are made keeping in mind family priorities, monetary benefits or working but mostly in my experience I have seen people falling in love with the branch they choose to specialise in once they immerse themselves in the deep ocean of knowledge that each branch provides.

6. As we all know, even if we are talking about bringing a change in the curriculum, that change isn’t just going to happen immediately, so, until then, what’s your advice for all the medical students for being truly good doctors?

Our profession usually puts us at extremes of a spectrum that is doctors who are truly happy, content and love their profession and others who are frustrated and working just for the sake of it. We always admire people who are passionate about the subject like teachers who teach  with excitement, have the ability to empathise and are great at communication so long as we’re students. As students our curiosity allows us to see them as role models and having great role models and observing them would be the best way forward in becoming great doctors.

7. So far in your medical career, what’s the most important lesson you have learnt that you would like to share with our readers?

That “every patient is a possible litigator.”

Working in corporate areas I have seen patients who are known (eg distant relatives and neighbours) turn against doctors/ healthcare staff once their bills close to the limit of half a lakh. Their family members start taking 2nd and 3rd opinion from other hospitals or even quacks for that matter.

To solve this conundrum, one must make sure that everything to be discussed with the family is always discussed in full detail and documented in writing  with the signatures of witnesses .

One should start planning for professional identity insurance once in internship and it is a must during residency as they are full fledged medical doctors by this time.

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