Dr. Geeta Sundar

I was once asked what was the one thing is I could change about residency training in India. This is my most coveted answer.

Metamorphosis is an evolution. Evolution is a process, a transformation that brings an advantageous alteration, development into a pre-existing world that we know of.

From eggs, come larvae, through pupa, to adult.

Yes, although residency is a boot camp, a strenuous up-hill climb for reaching to a crest of clinical service, there is always scope for growth and revision. Residency trains doctors to become strong individuals, withstanding harsh hours, all the while gaining momentum to be public advocates for healthcare. The residency training in India has mutated with time; withstood many diversities since its conception; and the one cardinal change that it covets is: Acceptance.

Acceptance in and for all shapes, sizes, color and sentiment.

Acceptance of gender, creed, religion and caste – irrespective of the residents’ upbringing, values, culture, gender, to award an equal opportunity to all to learn and progress.

Acceptance of humanity and personalities – oh, each finger is of different length, and serves a different purpose; likewise, each resident is unique, they bring to the department and work their soul and character, which shouldn’t be mocked, shunned or flouted, but admitted.

Acceptance of mistakes, failures and shortcomings – to err is human; to learn from a mistake is the foundation of any discipline, and for residents, there are days of faults, blunders, especially more so with the stressful endless work hours and sparse sleep; and a little forgiveness, pardon, encouragement can boost morale and enhance workflow.

Acceptance of teamwork and inferiority – hierarchy is the crux on which all programs are built, and whilst respect is essential, it shouldn’t form the basis of dirty politics. Acceptance that residents and seniors work as team for the welfare of the patients is an adage; its value often undermined.

Acceptance of changing trends – as technology develops, so does the learning curve, the residency system curriculum appeals for adopting an openness to cultivating, applying new trends, with acknowledging that the common man is now well-informed, aware of his illness and portends to a change in clinical practice.   

Acceptance for tutoring and apprenticeship – each resident is here to learn, to gain knowledge and be a forerunner consultant. The educational program requires to accede a healthy working relationship between professor and teacher with an accessible environment for personal growth and critique.

Acceptance of each one, teach one – Halsteadian principle worked on the doctrine of “See one, do one, teach one”, but present generations have conditioned that principle into ‘the more I do, I’ll benefit’. This causes a constant friction, greed in training and escalates into unhealthy rat race competition between peers.

From acceptance, comes tolerance, through humble, and converges in to responsible and reputable.

Images – Google Images

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