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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 117-118

Discovering true happiness and leadership through medical practice

Division of HPB, GI Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Sri Ramakrishna Hospital, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission15-Jul-2022
Date of Decision16-Aug-2022
Date of Acceptance18-Jul-2022
Date of Web Publication29-Aug-2022

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Anand Bharathan
66, Sreevatsa Hill View, Kovaipudur, Coimbatore - 641 042, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JME.JME_93_22

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How to cite this article:
Bharathan A. Discovering true happiness and leadership through medical practice. J Med Evid 2022;3:117-8

How to cite this URL:
Bharathan A. Discovering true happiness and leadership through medical practice. J Med Evid [serial online] 2022 [cited 2023 Jun 3];3:117-8. Available from: http://www.journaljme.org/text.asp?2022/3/2/117/354999

Heaven is a place where there is understanding and compassion.

-Thich Nhat Hanh.

The practice of medicine is a 'calling' and has a much higher purpose than being a professional activity that ensures a comfortable livelihood and a high social status. It is a profound daily opportunity to show compassion to suffering fellow human beings, true leadership and experience massive amounts of joy and peace if we make the right career choices.

It is heart-warming to know that the drive for Prof. S.K Mathur's exemplary service in public hospitals emanated from his unpretentious childhood experiences in rural India and his heroes were people like Dr. Raina who was able to make rural physicians, armed only with their MBBS degrees, highly efficient, selfless and contented. It is equally inspiring to see a current generation surgeon, Dr. Royson D'Souza describes his experience of working in rural India which allowed him to discover a selfless mentor there, become a competent 'all-rounder' doctor, enjoying the often ignored simple, but blissful rural life, achieving success in preparing for a postgraduate entrance test and in the process, blossoming into a wholesome human being. Dr. Vasu Bansal's concerns about rural service after an MBBS degree such as a lack of confidence in treating common conditions and an absence of ongoing mentorship, basic amenities for living and resources to provide care for patients are real. Our medical education system is failing to create doctors who feel confident to practice after their MBBS and not every young doctor will be lucky to find rural hospitals established by highly competent yet selfless doctors like Dr. Nandakumar Menon of the Adivasi Hospital, Gudalur. However, if Dr. Vasu and his generation of doctors are enabled to think that these lacunae provide them the perfect opportunity to prove themselves by starting something from scratch in rural India, solve problems themselves rather than seek help from the government or someone else to come and provide a solution, they could be the next leaders in rural health care who the government would look up to and go to for advice. With 70% of our population living in rural India, simple and inexpensive health-care innovations that address common problems could happen there and show the way for urban doctors to follow.

The urban medical rat race and soullessness brought in by the commercialisation of medical education and practice can be countered to a large extent by introducing our young doctors, irrespective of whether they trained in government medical colleges or the less lucky ones from private colleges (who unfortunately had to spend insane amounts of money for education) to vast swathes of unutilised opportunities in rural and semi-urban India of pursuing a happy and meaningful professional life. These young women and men could learn to face uncertainties, identify patterns of problems, team up across the country and find solutions and try them systematically, learn to face the fact that failure is as equally glorious as success and in the process, become leaders themselves. Such leaders could come together and sensitise our governments to take action that would truly promote people's health rather than support profit-hungry private health enterprises through unfair public–private partnerships.

Even in urban healthcare, one could achieve true happiness in an ethical practice by specialising and acquiring skills keeping the patients' interest as the central focus. Scientific pursuit, technology and money could be used as a means to relieve human suffering than to attain professional glory.

There is no urgency to change this situation. Human consciousness evolves over thousands of years and nature ensures that what is truly good for the universe ultimately will survive. However, it is important to be aware of the present imbalance in Indian medical practice which is not just due to government's abdication of its role, but more due to our ignorant collective choices and actions. Far more potential exists and could reduce human suffering, rural or urban if the right choices are made. This will ensure that we doctors live our lives meaningfully, responsibly and happily.


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