What To Do Next? Part -I


“The best time to plant a tree is always twenty years ago. If for some reason, you did not plant it then, the next best time to plant a tree is now”.

I had involuntarily shared my interest to become a doctor to Kitty. She was a replica of Anne Frank diary. Most people obtain habits from influences with human relationships; I made my influences limited to books and novels. I tried to be regular at it, but often had to apologize to Kitty when I exceed a week or two.

This winter break when I got the opportunity to flip through those pages again, I realized that at 16, I had decided what my next 20 years would be like. At 16, I was locked in the boundaries of Saudi Arabia. Inspirations were showered through the Indian system of knowledge and I thought I would attain the highest attainable degree in the world like most of my friends, who discussed and shared their higher level of thinking in the lunch hour.

Two years after I departed from Saudi Arabia to finish my junior school, I was lost. I was not sure what I wanted in life. My dreams were fading and I was drifting. My dreams were not nurtured and motivated to that level. Then by the grace of the Nepalese Government, we decided to move to Dhaka. “Med school is cheap in Dhaka”, is what they said. People around me motivated me after that, they helped me to map out my dreams and they enhanced it with “pride” and called it a “great respect for our family” if I decided to go to a med school.

Plans are meant to be thought, processed, assimilated, digested and beaten up until something new emerges. That’s called life. You can’t map out your life like a building block but, you should have the courage to dream big, no matter what people have to say to you. Dreaming is your right and no one should rob you of that.

Turning into a general physician was my goal and after nearly two decades of unknowingly what life direction I would go, I completed it. But even after completing one goal, I am hungry for more. Life right now seems so undirected. I need a goal and a new direction. Where would I go, what would I do?

I cannot limit myself to just a “general physician.” I want more! Most people decide to choose London or Canada for under graduation. But I choose Bangladesh with full cooperation and with hundred percent certainty that my life would be different, if I choose to stay in a third world country. I would turn out to be humble and I would stay ground to earth if I choose to feel the pain and suffering of the normal people. I still remember how I had to convince my parents that leaving me in Bangladesh would one day make them proud parents. “Let me suffer today” I said and later on, I can get all the happiness in the world. Plant your dream today, who knows ?,it, might come true. I don’t write to Kitty anymore but she played a very crucial role in my life.


Overrated junior doctors!

There was no hesitation when I decided to do MBBS, nearly five and half years back. I just left what normal kids do during my age, giving SATs, applying colleges abroad but “No” I was so fixated to one and only goal to get a better GPA and proceed to a med school. Little did I know that life would change forever after finishing that degree! Professional wise, I am still a needle in haystack, a junior, a learner but yet the society gives it a highest accord available. Society overrates junior doctors!

No, I am not an almighty! If prescribing simple over the counter medicines makes me get the same status as of a god then I decline to get that decree. I am as normal as most people, at least, I try to show that I am normal. There are days when I am painstaking waiting for the clock to strike to two thirty and leave from work.

Education wise, I may have proved myself but the professionalism attached to being a doctor has still not gotten in my veins. Being a doctor is pretty similar to business men of any kind. The only difference is that businessmen would sell merchandise of any sort and doctors sell medicine and treatment to save lives.

Things like what it means to be a doctor aren’t taught in med school. Factors like how you treat patients are not taught in med school, which makes us come to the conclusion that the personality that you had or developed over the years becomes the highlight of your career. Since med school caters less to what most med students are like, those that have the objectively unsuitable personlaity do not get filtered in the process.

Personality is cumulative of what parents teach at home and how they confidently project it to the society. There were several days, when I struggled to be people friendly. It was not a smooth teenage hood, cracking out of the self made delusion of being the superior individual was the first step. The following steps involved, engaging with everyone in an event, including those people that you always thought were mean to you and the last is the art of pleasing people instantly.

So how did a people pleasing person have doubts about being perfect for the job?  Every day is an event, every minute is a gala event now-and-then there are moments, when I completely want to forget that I can be an instant charmer. It’s stressful as it is and communication is another factor which detaches me from making a connection.

Five and half years of med school has made us to excel at collecting information and storing  them in our memory but it fails to produce quality doctors. Med schools cannot make there student’s realize what it means to be “practicing”. The power to execute a decision, actual duty hours, and endless patients to please are not as easy as they show in television sitcoms.

Med school should filter student’s worth of the job of empathy and should introduce actual internship related job earlier than the course offers (for this, my organization Health Nepal Foundation, will be focusing in the upcoming years), otherwise countries will produce doctors with the highest record of burnout physicians!

Who monopolies the world of Vaginas?

It was 5:30 hrs in the morning, you know the anticipation that you get before traveling to another country? I almost felt that. The special preparation that I did for my departure was a clean apron that I washed the night before. I love to be punctual, so I was half an hour early and was all ready to enter into the world of vaginas or aka the GYN and OBS department.

Working in Ramadan is fun to a certain extent; you get extra hours of sleep and well, if you get lucky you can get some free ifftari as well and It does seem extremely rude to go out for tea breaks deliberately announcing that you are a Non-Muslim, so, according to my plan, I snuck out before entering the GYN department. People who know me also know that I am very punctual with my meals as well!

Who monopolies the world of Vagians? The entire time, when my senior was asking me to make discharge papers, I was wondering why the most successful Gynecologists in Nepal and Bangladesh were Men? Men come to Men doctors when they want to get checked and vice versa but people who can afford, especially those who want to get checked according to rankings, will always prefer male gynecologists.

Where is the feminism? Where is the “we trust female gynecologist act”? Sorry sister, a male doctor’s opinion is worth a thousand then a female one! Then they ask the ultimate question like, when you get pregnant, which doctor would you prefer? You need to pause and think, marriage, babies, that road is far off, let’s just avoid that question. If I were to answer that question, hypothetically, I would always choose a doctor who would understand me, who could bear my personality, who I can trust professionally to do the job, knows when to pull the alert button. “Doctor, you sound diplomatic!” becomes a common response when people ask me stuff. Then I think, gens, why must you show off like that?

Patients are smart these days, with Google, WebMD, the online rankings for doctors, practicing must be a different experience in Western countries but in South East Asia, still patients suffer from minor problems of obtaining medications or being educated about a disease. Among all these difficulties that most of the majorities of the people suffer choosing a doctor for child birth is not a leisure that they enjoy.  The question of who gets to be their future child’s doctor is a futile question that people who enjoy better healthcare can fiddle about.


The Other Side Of The Computer

I have been in the other side of the computer for such a long time and I still will be for the next two years. It all started when I got a laptop for my 21st birthday. Well, I am not proud of the fact that I had my parents buy it for me.

There are several turns of events that happened afterwards. The side that I visualized from my computer was and is greener than the present that I have incorporated. So, before every break, I always kept looking forward to the place and people who were in the other side of the computer.

So eventually I slowly stared to understand my computer, I kept it clean, got mad when I could not connect with the other side and eventually it became my baby. One valentine’s days, I even declared that it was my true valentines after all. So things were so exciting, new laptop, new uses and new faces, news, stories, videos and more but at the end of it all it was always about how beautiful and wonderful the other side of the computer was.

I have been an habitual internet user for the past ten years and over the years, I have come to realize that the other side is always better than the life that I have created in the same location.

Why is that? Social media has changed the way that I had interpreted life.  There was a certain point in my life when I had to share every details of my life with friends and family, to create a buzz .I actually shared only the most happy or kind of happy moments of my life and I had no space for the sad and downtrodden moments of life. Friends who shared happy moments were someone to look forward. Also, friends who were not med students were more interesting than the counter parts.

So what happens when you do that is, you accumulate all the negative energy in your life and convert it to a conversation with a friend or you either burst in the middle of an event and you lose your balance in the social circuit.

“You don’t need friends, when you have social networking with 700 plus people.” Statements like that are randomly given by people who fail to understand the vicious cycle that social media does for one. What happens in reality, you will have a friend, best friend, and she is not in any social media sites at all.

So when does it start? Was it the initial stages of my computer use or after I got into the vicious cycle of social media. It’s an abnormal addiction; the thrill to post most amazing moments in one’s life is one of its kinds. At the same time, friends and family from different parts of the world, share their appreciation or dislike towards something that you post, has made social media more lucrative.

Med students in particular are the ones that are dominating the social media the most, from their mobiles at-least. It’s either the fact that studying all day and night for the next six months makes you the rightfully user of social media or they just like being in touch with their friends that often even when the exams are near ( nope, this aint happening).

So, you create a social propaganda. Random happy status updates or idiotic ones are just the ways of how one tries to justifying themselves in the crowd of social media. “Stay in it, with professionalism or personal details, but do make an appearance every single day for the rest of your lives”, that’s the tagline for social media users.

Use it or abuse it, it’s up to you but get it into senses that the other side of the computer, may not be the most beautiful thing that you have seen till now and the present that you create with the people who are there in your life are more valuable than the people who you constantly check upon (exception are parents).

Doctor and Patient Relationship

This is in response to the article that came out in My Repubilca Daily yesterday; junior doctors see patients referred by seniors. 

It is said that the ailing patients, who travel from different parts of Nepal are completely ignored by specialized doctors and henceforth the junior doctors are treating them. Here’s what I think:

First of all, let’s talk about the junior doctors. Most of the doctors that handle such patients are “specialized to be” individuals and they are under the guidance of specialized doctors. If they follow the treatment protocol of the senior doctors and proceed accordingly, I do not see why people would judge their credibility?

Secondly, why is there a shortage of treatment modalities outside Kathmandu? a)  Lack of coordination of the tertiary hospitals with the central hospitals, b) Patients decision: as most patients think that getting treated in the capital city will cure their aliment.  c) Lack of the healthcare to plan initiatives, the system should have assessed the quantity of doctors that are required in both rural and urban areas and have generated medical students accordingly, d) Failure of the government to meet the desired needs of the population.

Thirdly, why do doctors miss their clinic duties to work in the Nursing homes? Just giving an instance here, if you offer a child chocolate over vegetable, he is smart enough to choose chocolates.  What has the public sector done to attract doctors to their side? If Nursing homes provide security, where doctors are not beaten up randomly as they have done recently in the past few months, then why wouldn’t a sane normal human being discontinue or show displeasure over his government sector job?

Fourthly, Patients do create some unnecessary drama, some get satisfied with just few visits by specialized doctors and some expect their super busy doctor who probably handles fifty cases a day to be doing the normal vital parameter check up for them.

Fifth, I don’t think a doctor will prescribe the same drugs over and over again unless and until if the treatment protocol says so. Unless it was to correct a defect of some sort, which would mean that repeated intake of the drug is a must.

Sixth, it’s about time the healthcare sector was given to the private sector. Examples like these will keep on rising unless a permanent solution is brought.  What good has the public sector done so far? It has successfully driven of all doctors from the country till now.

Doctors and Patient relationship is very fragile which needs constant nurture from both the sides, if patients start contradicting the knowledge of doctors then, may god save them!