As the clock struck 11, I finally decided to bite the bullet by going to my 10AM “not so important” orthopedic ward just for the sake of attendance. When I reached there, I saw a very friendly, good looking brawny orthopedic surgeon teaching the two final year nerds in a very pleasant mood. As I was the only fourth year student there with none of my batch mates attending that class, I very boldly spoke up to that apparently very kind and sympathetic man,
“Sir, none of my batch mate is attending the class, I am all alone and as you know orthopedics is not for fourth year. Please mark my attendance and let me leave for hostel”
He replied with a smile, “Dr Sahiba, you are studying in a public sector medical college which is run by public taxes, you are sent to here by your father who has been struggling since year’s to make you a good doctor and you are wearing this white coat which itself binds you by a lifelong duty. I can mark your attendance right now and let you go but what about your responsibility to these taxes which public pays through blood, sweat and tears, the expectations that you father entrusted upon you and the white coat for which millions yearn but only a few like you achieve?
You condemn us; the doctors, you blame us, you beat us but we still continue to serve you compromising our own self respects.
My general perception of doctors based on my experience during hospital/clinic visits throughout my life was that of impolite, insensitive, arrogant and grabby people but after entering the medical school, I got to realize that doctors are more of the victims than assailants.
As soon as one enters medical school the torture starts: we study a course which is a Herculean task to do in 5 years, we definitely dodge a bullet every time we clear an exam, in our house jobs we work like mules with seniors scolding us in an inhumane way. Then starts the real struggle of going through the toughest and lifelong specialization process, handling a huge crowd of patients every day with extremely limited stuff and staff available, government denying us our wages and basic rights, patients beating us badly for not succeeding despite our tireless efforts, being declared an ultimate “Qasaab” and what not?
Have you ever thought that a cold and calculating man that you meet for just 15 to 20 minutes and conclude as an extremely rude and arrogant person woke up at 7 in the morning, rushed to the hospital where hundreds of patients attacked him all at once whom he had to handle and satisfy in the two hours duration of OPD (ideally a doctor should see a maximum of 19 patients per 24 hours, compare it with our 500+ extremely aggressive and uncooperative patients per doctor in just 2 hours) still as he finished and came out of his OPD room, he heard the two female patients cursing him as? “May Allah punish this arrogant, grabby man. He is not a doctor but a full-fledged Qasaab”.
Disappointed and annoyed, he still kept his spirit high and rushed to the ICU where a half-dead patient( and sometimes already expired patient) was brought to him to show his miracle and when he failed to do so despite all his stress, skills and struggle, he was criticized, slammed and beaten like an animal. He still didn’t give up and headed towards the college to teach troublesome students like us so that we can be your future “Masiha” but in that attempt, he himself had to tear his poor vocal cords, shouting to keep 300 energetic folks disciplined but still he assured his presence to you in his clinic and tried his best to satisfy the “too hard to satisfy” audience but again every patient got out of his clinic taking a too rude impression of him.
We aren’t Masihas for our success but for our service, our struggle and our efforts. We haven’t become Masihas today but we were the same and we will be.
Tired and irritated, he got back home with his children already slept and his wife waiting to have the dinner with her rarely available husband but as soon as he started his meal he got a call from emergency with no surety of when would the poor man return and get to sleep so that he could wake up at 7 again!
My dear readers, just as Mr orthopaedic surgeon said that we do all this in fulfilment of our responsibility to your taxes and our overalls, we expect nothing but a bit of respect in return. You condemn us, you blame us, you beat us but we still continue to serve you compromising our own self respects.
Today again even if you don’t sing, salute or wave a flag for us we will continue to compromise our lives for you as we are duty-bound. But if you really feel that the doctors serving you in this pandemic are ” Masihas”, please understand that we aren’t Masihas for our success but for our service, our struggle and our efforts. We haven’t become Masihas today but we were the same and we will be.
Although this pandemic is a battlefield for all of us, “we” also fight many other unappreciated battles every day. Many of us have lost their lives and loved ones to this profession, many commit suicide under the pressure of tough studies, many develop depression and anxiety during house job, many acquire serious infectious diseases and carcinomas while different diagnostic and treat met sessions, many couldn’t be there by the side of their own parents’ death bed so that they can save your parents’ lives and many are sent to jail for false negligence cases.
Sacrifice is another name for our profession, Coronavirus just did us a favor to highlight our sacrifices a bit. I wish I could hear you all singing tomorrow “Humain Tum Se Pyar Rahe Ga” (We will always love you) instead of “Humain Tum Se Pyar Hai” (We love you) as corona will soon leave but your “Masihas’ struggle and sacrifices” will persist and so should your love.