A good Doctor!

This article was originally posted on Curofy — India’s largest community for doctors!

When I was asked to write on Curofy, I was obviously delighted because it’s one of the most popular platform among doctors in India but then a real mind-boggling began – I didn’t know how to start? Writing here meant reaching a hundreds and thousands of other doctors who are far on their journey of medicine and while I am just starting but last week, on one of the social media platform, I was asked a very basic question which inspired me to write this article:

Why do you think you can be a good doctor?

Now this is a question with many possible answers because every doctor have their own unique reason, so I came up with a few genuine ones – I can be a good doctor because :

  • I intend to become one. Intention matters. Period.
  • I am ready to work for > 80 hours per week. Most residents and starting doctors go up to >105 hours per week. This is an important consideration because if you don’t enjoy your work, you can’t be good at it. Investing so much of yourself has to come from something bigger than ‘just a job’.
  • I am passionate about medicine.
  • Being there for my patients is above everything else – Family/Friends and sometimes even my own kids.
  • And I don’t mind being a student for rest of my life.

These few reasons are invariably a part of every (good) doctor’s life. But as I dug deeper I found that there’s more to becoming a good doctor. Yes, there are few sacrifices that almost every doctors make, some more than other but it’s not just that. Becoming a professional care giver requires you to completely change yourself in the process.

It requires you to become more aware of the pain and suffering and not let that affect your decision-making. Most of the time we are a completely different person when we enter the hospital gate than we are with our family and friends. Having to deal with death becomes a routine and no matter what goes on in your personal life, you learn to show up and be there for those who need you.

Yes, the preliminary criteria will always be – your academic score and money (medicine is an expensive business now a days) but those are not the only things to consider. It’s not about what you want to become but more about what this journey turns you into.

So after some soul-searching I came up with an answer of my own and that is -

I think I can be a good doctor because I know that at times, even after doing everything right and giving my 100%, I will inevitably lose patients, I won’t be able to reduce the amount of suffering and pain that exists in the world but I will learn to live with it.

Once you consider the burden of living with this thought - you will always find yourself looking for answers, learning every single day of your life and constantly improving as a professional and that my friend will make you ‘a good doctor’.

Dr. Supriya Tiwari is a young doctor who graduated med school in 2015, an aspiring physician who passionately believes in preventive medicine and started an awareness programme- fightpcosinitiative for PCOS awareness in India. She writes on various health care platforms in India and you can get in touch with her on awareness@fightpcosinitiative.in!

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