TRENDING GENERATIONS APART

~Geeta Sundar

Dr. Kotnis Ki Amar Kahani. Anand. Bemisal. Dil Ek Mandir. The Doctor. Patch Adams.
Awakenings. Something the Lord Made. Article 99.
Munnabhai M.B.B.S. House M.D. Scrubs. ER.
Grey’s Anatomy. The Good Doctor. Chicago Med. Udta Punjab. Dear Zindagi. Kabir Singh.
The aforementioned labels illustrate a shift in the timeline from the 1900’s to the present and depict a major difference in the world of the doctor actors. Thick rimmed glasses. Clean shaven. Smooth faced. Salt-pepper hair, neatly combed back. Mid height. Rounded abdomen. Scrubs loosely fitted. Full sleeved white coat till the knees. Clipboard on his arm. Thick strapped watch adorning his left arm. Kind eyes. Simple smile. Those days, the doctor actor played the role of a benevolent friend, one who laid his life and
his practice to treat his patient and treated him with the utmost affection, endured the worst, withered himself in the storm, just so he could find the cure for him as a one-man army. He stood tall, unabashed with his perseverance and spirit, and did what was needed to produce
results, even if it meant starting off an emotional rollercoaster. He was the saviour. He was the hero. He deserved and wore the crown almighty with gusto. He was the friendly neighbour, he was the humanitarian, he was grace, wisdom and power personified. That image sold in the market…for the doctor stood for exactly that. He was a figure that shaped the wellness of the society, he was the form of health and physiology, he was an icon
of generosity, compassion and empathy. He understood the pain. He relieved the agony. He tirelessly aimed at alleviating the ailment. He chose his field because it showed his passion and his interest in making the world a better place. And the mistakes he made, he diffidently
accepted and tried to fix. But since then, decades have gone by…
People have changed. Evolution has worked its wonder. Science and technology have created magic. Life, as we had read about or heard about, also has altered. The good ol’ days are nowhere to be found, and we are constantly adapting to newer routines and habits. See, that change, has also changed things for the doctor…
Tall. Well built. Three-day old beard – French cut. Square jawed. Hair gelled up. Stethoscope stylishly wrapped around his neck. Latest smartphone. Ipad on while he types in a jiff. Body hugging scrubs. Short sleeved lab coat. Thin, dapper spectacles hanging from the front pocket. De Blanc perfume wafting. Now, the present day doctor is still compassionate, but contemporary in his approach. He respects his patients, but he decides where to draw the line between an all-too-personal-life
and his professional life. He still sustains bad days and does his very best in saving a life or fixing his wrongdoings, but he employs and requests help from his colleagues in capacities where he is not fully adept. He demonstrates calibre, valor and is tough enough to have
weathered the bureaucracy, red tape that surrounds his clinical practice. He protects life. He is one among many who trod this path with visions to serve humanity, make people healthier and enhance medicine. He is confident, frank and doesn’t bat an eyelid when he claims he likes the monetary aspect of his job. He is still the Samaritan. He is a celebration, pleasant
and clout personified. This doctor enjoys his life, his employment. He represents the new era, with a character built on modern beliefs, shaping up treatment systems for the years to follow. He sculpts new
structures, spins out new ideas and tries new procedures to fix the broken. He is not predictable. He is hardworking, sincere and ready to go down in a fight to prove his commitment. And while these extremes show the stark imageries by epitomizing individuals who tailored to a harboured definition of who and how a doctor should be; the times need to comprehend and allow for the difference, with which comes the good and the bad. We are ever adjusting and conforming, and any ripple is only bound to make its presence felt. While all the good the doctor stands for is understood and attributed to the adage of his erected memories from
the past, he is only as worthwhile as his work, as his care and as his quality.
There are exceptions to every normal curve and here, it is no different. There are bad apples and bad conditions that push one to create errors. In the wake of the bad, the good goes forgotten and abandoned. In the aftermath of the oversight, the tremendous thoughtful efforts go futile. And the media bandwagon just loves to jump onto these instances, unleash their
commentary and slay the worth of the doctor.
Media has liquidated the work ethic and professionalism of a doctor. Silver screen dramas, to high end cinemas or short documentaries on doctors has sullied their lives and made it a ridicule that one may easily look down upon. There is way more than meets the eye.
We, as doctors go through trials, retributions, doubts, scare, pain, grief, indulgence, greed, epiphanies, triumph, love, torture, hate, politics, need, desire, stress, hurt, pride, bullying, and an encompass of all the emotions any other soul would experience. But what meets the eye? What is the focus on, when these so-called realistic movies are made? What is the only message given to the public? The white coat. The stethoscope. The flirty frivolous mind. The drugs. The over-the-top-humble-superhero-doctor who tries random, bizarre treatment options and cures an incurable disease. The doctor who only cares about the commercial aspect of his innings, who deliberately attempts to charge the patient an expensive procedure, just to make his pocket richer. The doctor who would operate on his own family. The doctor who would let rivalry come between him and his patient care. The doctor who would take law into his hands and unjustly do the unthinkable. The doctor who stands trial facing neglect for his patient.
However, what these producers and directors don’t understand is the image they build in the public’s mind. They don’t understand the skewed viewing, the prior presumed assumptions the public makes up about their doctors before they visit them. They don’t understand the honor, collaboration and dignity in a doctor-patient’s relationship; and their portrayal of the profession only leads to deceit and lies which ultimately leads to a strained relationship and even costs the patient his/her life. And, even if the public are well-read and can delineate between their screen and the live human being in front of them, there are subtle expectations and minor demeanours that often press out, which damage the intricate relationship of trust.
And it gets worse when the public, armed with all the negativity fed by the media, with all the falsified information rammed into their heads, opens fire, assaults and harasses the doctor.
They can’t possibly discern the magnitude of the patience, energy and the determination it takes to make a doctor. Entertainment can be fun, when used in the right way. Entertainment connects dots, fantasizes theories and enacts stories worth sharing and it can give you a chance at an idea, a
concept, and even show you a future graph at how some thoughts form and twirl. Entertainment is not reality, even if inspired from true stories, for there is a galaxy of distinction between the real and the perceived real. And just like no two oranges are the same, or no individuals are the same, no two doctors are the same. It takes years of experience, technique, skill and intuition to be able to master his craft. And it would be completely unwise to judge one doctor based on another’s actions.
Old or new. Bold or bright. Wise or shrewd. You decide…carefully.
Pic credits – Google images

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