“We cure a few, we relieve many, but we have to comfort everybody”March 6, 2020
There are a lot of advancements in technology, but unfortunately, what is happening in surgery these days is that ethics and values are going down, and commercialization is going up. There is only a small percentage of people who give importance to ethics and values. We have made a lot of progress. I think there is nothing we cannot do compared to what western countries are doing, at least as far as urology is considered. We are well advanced in this discipline, there is hardly anything for which we need to go abroad anymore. We are even getting robotic surgery done here. When I returned from Boston, there were very few private practitioners, perhaps 78 or so, in India. Now there are a lot of urologists, enough technology and knowledge, lots of presentations and scientific papers. We have everything. But where is that human touch in caregiving?
Always treat patients as if they are ourselves. If you are a patient, what would you like your doctor to do? Do the same thing to them. That should be the concept.
Do not always go after the money. It is now apathetically scaled: This much money you are giving, this much I will do. Whatever is that the patient needs, we should be able to give him. We cure a few, we relieve many, but we have to comfort everybody.
When we were in school, there were moral classes, drill and sports. Now the situation is changing. People are imprisoned in their ‘cell’ phones. Our thought processes are getting polluted. This pollution of the thought is responsible for our behaviour. Now, along with air pollution, noise pollution and other environmental pollution, more damage occurs with thought pollution which comes through the electronic media. So, what we have to do is, we have to emphasize that physicians and surgeons need to have values; they should take care.
Technologically, we are equal. As for training, if you have good imitators, you can copy and do things. We also have many good technicians. But the human touch should be there. Most of the physicians treat their patients like objects. Looking at their income and our teachers, my suggestion is that teachers should not teach for income, teachers should teach for outcomes: How their pupils can interact nicely (with the patient), what they can do to practice humanity.
— As told to Divya Choyikutty