-Written by Dr. Ninada, Tutor, AJ Institute Of Medical Sciences
As Albert Einstein rightly pointed out, you can not justifiably judge a fish by its ability to climb trees without establishing its stupidity. How then, could you expect an ayurvedic doctor to prescribe the right kind of allopathic medicines, much less perform allopathic surgeries? Why then did the question of integration even arise?
You may add all the pineapples you want in your pizza, but “pineapple pizza” will never be a thing!
While this is indeed the era of fusion clothing, fusion dances, fusion cuisines, we all know nobody really loves them. After a long day, all we crave is the authenticity, the unadulterated purity of a singular entity.
The pain of studying quite a lot of your subjects in Sanskrit, only to be judged for your illiteracy to the drugs christened in Greek or Latin. End result? Over prescription, mal prescription, medical misadventures and negligence.
At times where MBBS doctors are struggling for PG seats against a 64% reservation, do we really want to add AYUSH doctors into the equation?
Amidst the cacophony rising against Ayurveda, the Indian in me is well aware that Ayurveda is indeed the mother of medicine. An undocumented foundation, for Ayurveda has recorded “madhumeh (diabetes mellitus)(1)”, “arbudha (tumor)(1)”, “rakta vata (arthritis)(1)”, “grahani (malabsorption)(1)” etc, much before the modern medicine was birthed. She is also proud to boast of the Sushruta samhita, which documents haemorrhoidectomy, amputations, plastic, rhinoplastic, ophthalmic, lithotomic and obstetrical procedures, as stated by Menon and Haberman(2).
The treatment in ayurveda relies mainly on medicinal herbs, and every 2nd year MBBS student studies well and thoroughly that the word “drug” originated from “Drogue” in French, to mean dry herb. Does not take a genius to connect where I am going with this.
In summary, do I believe both/ all forms of medicine are at par? I certainly do!
Do I believe alternate forms of medicine and allopathy need to co-exist? Most definitely, I do!
Do I believe all these systems need to be integrated as one big happy family? Of course not!
With “mixopathy”, not only are we diluting the practice of modern medicine, but we are also taking away the essence of alternate forms of medicine. On the whole, we are taking away people’s faith from all forms of medicines.
The AYUSH doctors are neither trained adequately to prescribe English medicines nor are they taught the protocols of modern surgical procedures. And the ones paying the price of this “all inclusive” medical system are the patients, who are unnecessarily fed antibiotics or administered injections!
Integrating AYUSH with MBBS is subtly negating all the AYUSH practitioners into believing their systems are not good enough to stand alone and needs integration. Not to add to the impracticality of having two five years courses, only to be told “hey, now both of you can practice the same thing”.
What we need is for the alternate medicine systems and modern medicine to complement each other, to give patients diversified treatment approaches and the option to make informed decisions.
Contrary to popular belief and practices, one does not have to oppose a form of medicine just because he/ she practices a competing form. You can be a practitioner of modern medicine while still believing/ availing Ayurvedic treatments for your own ailments!
The need for a license to practice something other than what you signed up for, is but a lack of faith in your education model. If MBBS doctors can practice only modern medicine, and AYUSH doctors are also practicing modern medicine, who is practicing the alternate streams of medicine?!
Let the different medical systems co-exist in their well defined boundaries. We have evolved well past the days of slyly encroaching territories beyond our own, let us not delve into it now!
- Menon IA, Haberman HF (1969). “Dermatological writings of ancient India”. Med Hist. 13 (4): 387–392. doi:10.1017/s0025727300014824. PMC 1033984. PMID 4899819.
- Image source: Google images