Doctor-Patient relationship

Dr Kirandeep Kour
It has been almost a year and a half to this pandemic but still the anxious voice of the news anchor reading “first case of COVID is finally here” echoes in my ears. That was probably the worst statement, my ears caught during this lifetime, seeing the damage, the devastation, the agony and the helplessness that came thereafter, not only to my country but to entire “Mankind”.
The pandemic brought with it all kinds of vulnerabilities, the uncertainties, of being able to be back with the loved ones again, during the lifetime and especially the reality check whether what all we had been doing so far, was even worth it!
Doctor -Patient relationship has been hailed as mutual trust, confidence and shared sense of goodwill. Doctors have been considered as God’s apprentice and divine healers in the past but over the last few years, due to Big Bang in the world of TV, the internet and the telecommunications, “Sensationality” has become the new “Motto” and we the “Doctors” have taken the brunt of this demon. This so called “Second wave” took a huge toll on the doctors – both emotionally and mentally. The physical one, we never considered a burden.
The virus came this time, more equipped, changing its forms – superseding any other creature, each time bringing its worst side forward, deadlier than the previous one.The so called “Mutant Strain” one of its kind, exploded and burnt many lives, the dreams with it and the hopes too. Young or old; all were succumbing to it, despite us giving our blood, sweat and everything we had!
The most worrisome and disheartening sequelae which came with it was the “MISTRUST” – amongst the patients – regarding the doctors and the healthcare system, which of course was nothing new, but the magnitude to which this rose this time was too much. The medical litigation cases snowballed and showed the emerging intolerance to the healthcare system.
We, at our end, as Doctors were struggling between – saving our patient’s lives and saving our families too, because many doctors lost their loved ones during this, the worst thing being that they (Doctors) were the source of the “virus” for their families. What worse a human could be subject to? If not this?
The relationship between a doctor and a patient is about mutual trust and not just a business transaction as the people make it out to be. Doctors are over wrought by the mistrust and the violence against them. But what still kept us going, was our belief that God has sent us to relieve the agony and unite the families again. We are still standing day and night drenching in sweat, in PPE suit which no normal human can stand in for more than a few seconds, because losing a patient is the worst nightmare of a doctor. A doctor can never stop working or treating a patient till his last breath.
To complete it “As long as life exists, despite all the short-comings, this will be the best profession in the history of mankind”.
“To save life, is my sole motto of being!”
(The author is Assistant Professor Medicine GMC Kathua)