What is the colour of a doctor’s money??

It can be anything but black! It is basically made of two layers of sodium chloride. The first layer was prepared by the sweat of the medical school. The second was formed slowly after obtaining the so called degree. The denomination of this money is determined by the degree one obtains, slogging it out in a rat race, sometimes also missing out on how their kids grow up. If you are on the surgical side, it has some blood red patches here and there. A physicians’ money may have grey (matter) color sprinkled about. A colleague working in anesthesiology, intervention cardiology or emegency medicine have it soaked in adrenaline. There might be a few dots of yellow on some money. Believe me, no pathologist spills the sample intentionally! Also don’t blame any body if E. Coli grows on some money. So, my friends, a doctor’s money can never be black. And the most amazing thing is that he can keep it minting till Alzeihmer’s or Parkinson’s!

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Post shared from Dr. Deepak Arora – a motivational speaker and a dear friend.

 

 

Why do we need a Mentor?

Years ago a school teacher saw a child playing games in the bushes. The child was no extraordinary, he was a simple child, playing games that kids of his age did. But it was that teacher who recognised the extraordinary and nurtured him to become one of the greatest Kings this land ever saw. It was the under the mentor ship of Chanakya that Chandragupta Maurya was able to establish the Kingdom of Magadha. Without the mentor, the king would have been nothing.

A mentor is a term derived from an old Greek legend in which a king who was heading for a war had to leave his son in the care of his very close friend, instead of leaving him to his wife and Mentor grew up to be a very wise and noble king.

You don’t need a mentor to gain knowledge. You have books and online sources for that. You need a mentor to learn the practical details and proper implementation of knowledge. These intricacies and working knowledge can only and only be taught by a guru or a mentor.

So why do we need a Mentor?
1) Recognising and achieving your potential: Had it not been for Chanakya, Chandragupta would have never realised his potential as a king. It was only after his mentor recognised his true potential, he became what he was. Similarly in life we can achieve what we want by perseverance and hard work, but we need a mentor to know our potential and bring out the best in us.

2) They know the right doors:
Dipa Karmakar made our country proud with her Produnova vault, had it not been for her mentor she would have never known what a Produnova vault is and the intricacies of landing it. She had the talent, but it was her mentor who shaped it and guided her on the path to reach the Olympics.
A teacher knows whats important and what are the shenanigans. They can show you correct ways and the right doors. This makes our journey to success more efficient and easy.

3) Use their pool of experience:
Your mentor knows more than you. They have been around longer and have seen things that you have’t. This means their experiences can tell you the mistakes that have been committed before and guide you towards the correct direction. Our life is too short to make all the mistakes ourselves and learn, it’s better to learn from the past and make a better future. They have walked the walk that you are walking, learn from them.

In the end I would like to quote the famous couplets by Kabir,
Guru govind dono khade, kaake lagu paaye. Balihari guru aapno, govind diyo bataye
“Teacher and Lord are both there, whom to be adore. but teacher you are great, who told us that god is greater”

DEAD POETS SOCIETY, Robin Williams, 1989

Image Source: Firstpost.in

This article was written in collaboration with Dr Prerna Motwani, Medical Content Manager, Curofy- India’s largest community of verified doctors and Dr Rohan Khandelwal.

5 Ways To Step Up Your Patient Interaction

Communication between a patient and a doctor is a key factor in determining the course, duration and outcome of a medical treatment. When a patient approaches a doctor for help, it immediately places the physician in a position of power. Patients are supposed to open up with their most intimate details and shed their inhibitions for the physical examination. While this position of power and complete surrender of patient helps a lot of times in diagnosing the diseases and comprehensive examination, it also leaves the patient feeling exposed with a developed mistrust for the doctor.

When the doctor patient interaction is only one sided with the patient asking the questions and the doctor answering them, it leads to miscommunications and substandard treatment with unwanted outcomes.

Take for example MDR TB. On talking to doctors in government hospitals it was found out that due to insufficient time patients were not counselled properly. This led to an increase in defaulters who wouldn’t complete their course of medication. This has ultimately led to an epidemic of sorts of MDR TB.

So how can we improve patient interaction? Read through to find out.

  1. Listening rather than asking:
    A patient comes with a lot of apprehensions and more often than not they have a lot to tell the doctor about their problems. This leads to doctor dismissing a lot of these as unnecessary talks. A streamlined approach towards a problem is undoubtedly required but a patient is not a problem to be solved. Listen to them instead of cutting them off mid way.
  2. Addressing patient query rather than dismissing them off as trivial:
    Patients come to you for help and have a lot of doubts. Let them ask their questions and be content. Disregarding their questions would make them feel inferior and you might shut them up from asking any more questions in the future.
  3. Giving ample time:
    Give time to the patient you are examining. Yes there is rush and you are busy, but the patients are exposing their vulnerabilities to you. Let them feel wanted and not just another problem on your conveyor of patients.
  4. Dress to impress not intimidate:
    Dress according to the patient population you are catering to. If working in a modest neighbourhood, dressing up demurely would help to build confidence. Also it’s time to ask ourselves if the white coat is enhancing doctor patient interaction or intimidating it.
  5. Use simplified language:
    Chuck the jargon of medical science in front of patient. Don’t use scientific terms, patients are more comfortable with laymen language. They have a red patch not erythema, swelling and not oedema. The big words make the patients feel like they are on their deathbed. Please don’t tell a patient he has pharyngitis, just say it’s common cold. And of course don’t forget the Smile Language!

This article is written by Dr Prerna Motwani. You can read more such articles here.

Shocking case – Mastectomy done for an 11 yr old girl!!

Every day brings a new surprise in the life of a doctor but there are some cases which just make you feel angry & helpless and today’s case was exactly the same. Our receptionist had fixed an appointment and when she told me that it is for a 11 year old girl, I probably thought that she is going to turn out be a case of juvenile hypertrophy (enlargement) of the breast but what I saw when I examined the patient left me in a state of shock.

This sweet looking 11 year old kid walked in with her parents and they started telling me the history that she underwent a surgery of the right breast to remove a benign lesion (fibroadenoma) 2 months back and they came to our unit because the girl had noticed another lesion on the left side. Breast surgery at 11 years is usually not recommended as it hampers with the development of the breast during puberty and I immediately knew that something will not be right when I examine the patient. Examination of the girl turned out to be quite shocking. The surgeon (who was actually a gynecologist in a rural set-up) removed not only the lump but also the entire breast tissue on the right side leaving behind just a long scar on the chest (image). It took me a couple of minutes to get in terms with what I was seeing and multiple thoughts started running through my head after that:

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1. My initial reaction was that of anger towards the doctor who had done such a surgery without properly examining the patient or documenting it. Her notes before surgery mentioned no examination findings and the only thing written was ”work-up for surgery”. She had fortunately not examined the other breast, which also had a small lump and I am sure had she examined it, she would have done the same thing on the left side as well.

2. I felt sad for the girl & her parents very well knowing that there is going to be no development of the breast of the right side and the patient will probably have to go for an implant later on in her life.

3. This case reinforced the fact that breast surgery needs to come up as a dedicated branch in India, in order to prevent such cases. Also more awareness needs to be created among people regarding this branch and the fact that it does not deal with only breast cancer. Benign breast diseases are often ignored by patients and they usually approach local doctors for their treatment.

4. This case also reinforced the point regarding proper notes & documentation in all patients. This patient can easily take the doctor who did such a surgery to court and that doctor will have nothing in her defense

5. This case was a real eye opener with regards to the lack of knowledge which general practitioners/ general surgeons / gynecologists have regarding breast disorders and this needs to be addressed by proper refresher courses for these doctors.

 

Sprinkle Joy & Happiness

“Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.”  – Thich Nhat Hanh

Sprinkling Joy

I clicked this picture during my visit to a resort. It was fascinating to capture the water sprinkler spreading drops of water (joy for the grass and plants) all over the place.

As a Breast Cancer Surgeon, I have realised that we might not be able to treat a patient’s problem always but a simple smile and some words of encouragement can go a long way in helping the patient tackle her problems.

Related posts:

Smile Language

Spreading Joy by Counselling Cancer Patients

Practice what you preach

How many doctors actually exercise regularly?? (Before you start judging whether I exercise or not, I want to highlight that I am uploading this post after finishing my daily exercise 😉  )

I often see doctors (me included) counselling patients and friends about regular exercise and a proper diet but I know for a fact that hardly any of them follow the advise themselves. In an informal survey I carried out at a hospital, I got to know that only 40% doctors exercise regularly (4-5 times a week). The number was shocking when it came to the resident doctors. Most of them blamed their hectic duty schedules and odd working hours for not exercising.

It is essential for doctors (specially surgeons – who need to stand in the OR for long periods of time) to exercise regularly not only to stay fit but also to de-stress and take their minds off work. It is a matter of habit and if one is determined, they can find time to exercise despite hectic working hours. I also manage to exercise (walk or swim) atleast 4-5 times a week and it is during my exercise time that I get more ideas to write on my blog ;-).

So doctors….get motivated and start exercising.

http://vardaan.net/news-detail-THE-ELEMENTS-OF-EXERCISE.php

Patience pays off

Rohan_046

Clicked this picture during a recent thunderstorm in Bangalore. Got a decent picture after multiple attempts but my patience (and continuous clicking 🙂 ) finally paid off. The incident reminded me of these words (golden worlds for a doctor) :

“Learn the art of patience. Apply discipline to your thoughts when they become anxious over the outcome of a goal. Impatience breeds anxiety, fear, discouragement and failure. Patience creates confidence, decisiveness, and a rational outlook, which eventually leads to success.” – Brian Adams

This picture has recently been published in one of the leading newspapers of India : http://www.deccanherald.com/photo.php?id=12994