By Dr. M. Balasubramanyam
“Medicines treat diseases, but only doctors can treat patients — holistically. It’s you… Happy Doctors’ Day!”
July 1 is celebrated all across India as National Doctors’ Day to pay honour to the entire medical profession. This year the theme of the day is “Lessen the mortality of Covid-19”. Despite the upsurge in Covid-19 cases in various parts of our country, the mortality rates are low compared to other countries; this means, our doctors are already serving for the theme of the day and working hard to ensure that the mortality rate is minimum due to the pandemic.
Medical Profession is the Noblest Profession
Medical profession is the noblest profession. Doctors’ Day in India was started by the Government of India in 1991 — in memory of the legendary physician Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy as well as to pay honour to the entire medical profession.
National Doctors’ Day observance fulfills a need to demonstrate the role the doctors and physicians play in our lives; how important they are for our well-being and how invaluable their treatments are towards our disease management and cure.
Covid-19: A Significant Period for Doctors
This year, doctors’ day is particularly important. The role of a doctor is to remove the miseries and save the lives of people and that is the one reason most of us think that a medical doctor has been given designation equivalent to that of god or a messenger of God.
Amidst Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of doctors is undoubtedly at the forefront. The countless physicians work day and night in primary and secondary care facilities as well as in the specialty treatment centers and, therefore, Let’s Wish Best for our Well-being Assurers.”
For the Doctors, of the Doctors
Doctors’ day is an important reminder for doctors to take this opportunity to reflect on their career and remind them about practicing the “art and science of medicine’ in an ethical manner.
Doctors in India since Vedic times have been equated to god. This has continued even today even after modern medicine took over. No other profession — whether it is priest, lawyers, judges, politicians, etc. — occupies the same status as that of the medical doctors.
Majority of doctors in our country are sincere, honest and ethical. However, due to unethical practices by a small percentage of doctors, there is also a declining faith in the medical profession. It is precisely this loss of faith that has resulted in patients even ‘consulting a consultant’ in order to find an appropriate ‘consultant physician’. Although there is deterioration of ethics in just about every walk of life, medical ethics is mandatory for ever doctor.
Covid-19: Time to Reinforce Faith and Trust
Both patients and doctors need to work together to re-establish some of the lost trust. There could be no better day than doctors’ day; plus, there could be no better time than Covid-19 — to reinforce the unique relationship between the doctor and patient. Under the circumstances of ‘no vaccine’ for Covid-19 and amidst lots of confusions on treatments worldwide, it appears that our doctors and paramedical staff are doing their great job, using their standard operation procedures (SoPs) and integrating holistic medicine — the proof is the low rate of mortality and successful recovery of large proportions of Covid-19 patients.
Just a reminder for the doctors on the important component of Hippocratic Oath; and that is, to “keep the goodness of the patients as their highest priority”. It should be reinforced that doctors are a set of amazing human beings, who choose this profession selflessly to make a difference to the lives of fellow human beings with utmost medical care, accompanied by accountability in the medical ethics.
“Medicines treat diseases, but only doctors can treat patients — holistically”. It’s you……Happy Doctors’ Day!!!
Dr. M. Balasubramanyam is Disease-Biologist and Dean of Research at Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (ICMR- Centre for Advanced Research on Diabetes), Chennai.