Years from now, if anyone raises a doubt about the relevance of medical education, they can be fairly reminded of the COVID-19 pandemic, a period when the line between sickness and death got blurred to terrifying proportions.
The ones entrusted with the job of not letting us cross that line were the community of doctors whose job was to give us the best possible treatment that they could and help us beat COVID at all costs. Unfortunately, many didn’t make it, but the ones who did have got no one but the doctors to thank. They are the heroes we need.
This is why this year’s National Doctors’ Day is a special occasion to express our gratitude to them. As the country and its medical warriors prepare for a potential third wave, we got in touch with one of these heroes, who also happens to be the father of 10th standard BYJU’S student, Krish Goel. Meet Dr Nitin Goel, a Consultant Ophthalmologist at Aditya Hospital and Sharda Eye Clinic in Hyderabad.
In a candid conversation with Team Storyweavers, Dr Nitin spoke at length about the effect of the pandemic on medical professionals like him while presenting an assessment about the future of the pandemic and resolved some common doubts that people may have about the COVID-19 virus. Read on.
Speaking about the need for transparency, Dr Nitin (MBBS, DNB, DO, MNAMS) underlined the importance of being as forthcoming as possible when explaining the pandemic to children. In his case, there was no choice of filtering the gravity of the situation, as his son has gotten used to seeing him do his duty daily during the pandemic. “Even if we don’t explain the situation to them, they will find out from social media, anyway. So, we’d rather share authentic information about the pandemic rather than risk them coming across fake sources,” he explained.
Even Krish agrees and tells us that he is ready to help his dad in any way possible. “I see him serving patients and come home tired only to continue with his free online consultations. I have not decided yet, but I wouldn’t mind pursuing medicine and becoming a good doctor like my father,” he said.
When we asked about his decision to offer free services, Dr Nitin said that he considered it as an ideal way to serve society during these troubling times. But perhaps the biggest change that he has noticed because of the pandemic is the positive way in which the general public has started looking at medical practitioners. “Our profession is supposed to be one of the noblest ones, but even then, we were not given the kind of respect that we are getting now. Our services are being recognised by everyone, including our own families, where they can play an important role in taking care of multiple people in the family and giving them emotional support,” he said.
This positive attitude towards doctors can do a world of good for the field of medical education, a fact reiterated by Dr Nitin, who expects to see more parents open up to the idea of encouraging their children to pursue medicine as a career. This, despite the possibility of doctors being continually exposed to dangerous diseases such as COVID-19. “That is when we must remember that there are a lot of people who are emotionally dependent on us, especially during times like these,” he said.
Take, for instance, Dr Nitin’s case itself – even though he continued to meet his core ophthalmology patients at his clinic, he still made time for COVID patients, and suggested necessary medication only for mild cases. “The moment I realise that a case is a serious one, I immediately recommend hospital treatment,” he assured. This simple act ensured that patients got timely medical assistance and enabled an effective and faster road to recovery.
(The views expressed in this article are the sole opinion of the interviewee – Dr Nitin Goel)
With a curious mind always looking for answers, Karan loves to pen his thoughts down whenever possible. This is why his first book, Road to Absolution, turned out to be a dreamy reflection of his mind at work. When not writing, he is either engrossed in reading up on world news or checking out the latest developments in pop culture, sports and space!
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