Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Game Of Care And Cure

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“It is the last place I would step into” fortunately or so I am one of those who will never wish to say this unlike many others while speaking about a hospital, thanks to all the medicine I know and I am in the process of learning. It is the first place I look forward to be in and do what I am best at. Every morning when I make it to my work place I see people queuing up to get an appointment, people waiting outside the laboratory to get their reports, people getting their prescription of medicines at the pharmacy, people in the ward running behind the nurses and ward boys, people in the operation theatre, people in the casualty, people in the outpatient department, people getting their radiographs done people near the blood bank, people who make it and people who do not. A sea of them and I am not exaggerating. Everything on each of their faces, the relief and the pain, the joy and the suffering well that answers this question ‘How does modern heath care touch lives?’ It is something we must acknowledge, more than we do right now.

Modern day medicine is more demanding than it is often debated about. Like all other systems, health care is not spared of issues, in fact it is targeted first and that kind of talk would make an another post. I would be deviating from this one necessary question which needs to be answered. Thanks to Indiblogger for letting me beat a drum about it here ;) Being a doctor at the least what  I can do is make the world aware of the good that we get to do and are bound to do :) 

The sheer difference an investigation or an intervention brings in somebody’s life, and the way a medical professional looks at a disease or a disorder because of it is just incredible. They therefore can give you a hope to fight, to live better and survive because they know there are these amazing inventions and discoveries in their hand and knowledge in their head to help you out. Diagnosis is better compared to what the situation was like a few decades ago. Hole in the heart? It can be fixed. No more heart??? Well that can be fixed too.

Transplants and resections, minimally invasive and robotic surgeries, drugs and vaccines, tests and markers, molecular studies and research. You ask for it, you have it. This was on one of my night duties , the Vitek, an automated blood culture system beeped within 8 hours of loading the blood culture bottle to the machine, which meant there was some microorganism growing in the blood culture, we did the staining and identified it as cocci in chains and reported immediately to the clinician so that he could start the right antibiotic, the patient was later diagnosed of Group A Streptococcal sepsis and thankfully he recovered. On an another occasion we had a patient diagnosed of dengue, not responding to treatment for almost a month in the hospital and on more elaborate investigations we found her to have profound bone marrow suppression due to a rare complication of the infection. She recovered too with chemotherapy. It is in instances such as these, which are beyond all this talk about advancements and technology which make doctors like me believe that we can deliver what we should. 

Every new drug, every new test, every new machine, every new tool, every new procedure and every new doctor in fact is accepted into the medical camaraderie after crossing a hundred hurdles. Trials and phases as we call it in pharmacological terms ;) This surely is the case in many other professional set ups as well, but in health care the glitch is this, there is no room for a mistake. You do it and you are done. Then is when the world talks about healthcare, not otherwise. In such a critical scenario, what medicine has achieved is commendable, nothing can match up to that.

Fleming did find penicillin, but he had warned about resistance. Now we have carbapenems, well resistance to them too. Modern medicine has not just touched lives, it has radically changed the way we approach health and disease. If you were to hear the commencement speech of Dr.Atul Gawande at Stanford School of Medicine  in 2010 you will understand what I am trying to put across. The field is large, the goal is big, the crowd is huge and the players are less. But the game, if you are allowed to call it so, is definitely interesting. Only those who play and cheer will agree :) I am more than glad for having chosen to be a part of it for all my life :)

Only Bill Watterson can make Calvin Hobbes play Doctor-Doctor this way ;)

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 PS: This post is written as a part of Indiblogger's How does Modern Health care touch lives? in association with Apollo Hospitals


Unknown said...

Hilarious Cartoon, Oh god! Its been sometime since I laughed so hard.

Thank you

Kajal Majhi said...

Loved reading it... Good lines from a doctor /m\
All the best for the contest :)

Raksha Bhat said...

@Rupertt : Calvin and Hobbes any day ;) glad you liked it!

@Kajal: Thanks much!

Being_Alife said...

Being a doctor, you are one of the ambassadors of modern medicine. Hope to see enlightening posts from you, even beyond the contest :)

Raksha Bhat said...

@Vikas: Thanks much!:)