(This article is mainly for medical personnel)
At an instance you might be wondering why do I come up with a
topic like this. But even as a Christian Doctor, this question must
have flashed across our minds at one time or the other especially
when we are faced with difficulties in our profession.
Generally there are few reasons why most of us go into
STATUS: You might recall your struggle, zeal and enthusiasm to
fulfill your dream or your parents’ dream to wear that white coat.
On our interview on entering a med school; we might deny that
status has anything to do with our career choice, but you might
recall a quiet pride in saying that you were studying medicine and
not other subjects. At the back of your mind you might recall
how many applied for that seat.
We cannot deny that we doctors enjoy a relatively high social
status. Although our status and nobility of this profession is
continually questioned by patients, staffs and media, there
remains for some reason an aura around us.
We have to be very careful, otherwise we can begin to think that
we are really superior to others while we are not. Moreover, it
leads to the problem of identifying ourselves with our patients/
fellow human beings.
MONEY: You might deny this too. But it is well known that Doctors
enjoy a relatively higher pay comparing to other officers of the
same grade. But we soon realize that a higher government pay
alone does not provide the motivation to give a better service.
Because money never leave us satisfied, no matter how much we
earn. With each pay raise, we tend to look forward for the next
There remains the inherent danger that we may come to value
money more highly than our patients. One sour truth is that
some of the general population thinks that our signing of the
medical certificate, true or false; can be bought with a meagre 50
bucks. Shameful, but we are to blame.
INTELLECTUAL STIMULATION: A chance to study and look at
God’s greatest creation, a challenge to tackle different clinical
situations is one good motive. But this alone might lead us to think
that patients are just ‘cases’ rather than our fellow human beings.
For us it does not end in knowing a case and treat, but to care
SERVING OTHERS : This is what most of us must have uttered to
our professors and others who have asked us, “Why do you
want to become a doctor?”. This is definitely the best motive and
this is what makes this profession so noble. But ask yourself
truthfully ‘has my motivation to serve others dies down in
Some of us might actually laugh at a fresh graduate with all the
zeal and enthusiasm to serve people in the village. Not many of us
might actually think that it is uncool to care, to live among the
most backward people with a Dr. put before your name with so
much opportunity ahead of you.
Lets face a ground reality in our state. One
general observation is ‘More than half of the general practitioners
in a government set up are frustrated due to poor promotional
avenues, entitlements and facilities etc. on comparing with officers
of the same level ’. You will realize that the people in villages do not
look up to you/ngaisang like they look at BDO or SDO etc who
have financial powers. You begin to question your Status in the
society and the government. This leads to poor motivation to do
the job at our best.
Once we have worked for 10-20 years in a PHC, and when our
counterparts in other services are reaching JAG or selection grade,
we will realize that status, money and intellectual stimulation does
not provide motivations anymore. And we are all Christian
doctors ….and we keep comparing ourselves with other
professions. I’m not saying that we should not try to improve our
service conditions. (No offence intended).
‘Hospitals grew out of the Christian emphasis on the need to care
for the sick, and medicine was dominated by doctors, who had
inherited the Christian service ideals ’
With all the ground realities, let us take a moment to think why
ever did we take up this profession.
I’m sure being poor is much better than forever lying sick on a
hospital bed. Every morning when we attend patients on our
rounds, let us remind ourselves that we too could be lying on that
bed; what a privilege and a blessing to be in a position to serve
and care for our fellow human beings.
“Is this medical profession simply my career or my calling?” It’s
between you and God to settle the matter.So think carefully and weigh your motives before entering this profession.