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Tuesday, July 01, 2003

A day for our healers

A very Happy Doctor's Day to all you wonderful healers!

As in every profession, I have come across both the caring passionate doctors who are forever conscious of the very sensitive role they play and also the cold-blooded greenback focussed individuals for whom the Hippocratic oath was a mere formality and photo-op. With growing public-awareness and improved teaching methodologies, I hope more of the latter are converted to honour the oath and trust that is bestowed on them. Laid bare to their scalpels is the society.

In times when we read of a few who leave their patients on the operating table while they stop at their banks or accept bribes for preferential care, a couple quotes come to mind, from a must-read book for doctors, "The Lost Art of Healing" by renowned cardiologist Dr. Bernard Lown whose organization, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985:

"May I never forget that the patient is a fellow creature in pain. May I never consider him merely a vessel of disease." - Twelfth-century philosopher-physician Maimonides.

"I wouldn't demand a lot of my doctor's time. I just wish he would brood on my situation for perhaps five minutes, that he would give me his whole mind just once, be bonded with me for a brief space, survey my soul as well as my flesh to get at my illness, for each man is ill in his own way...Just as he orders blood tests and bone scans of my body, I'd like my doctor to scan me, to grope for my spirit as well as my prostate. Without some such recognition, I am nothing but my illness." - Anatole Broyard, NYT magazine, Aug 26, 1990.

To the caring individuals, who put aside their personal lives for this very demanding profession; hats off and sincere thanks! A very Happy Doctor's Day to you!

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