I've been at the Christian Medical College, Vellore since the last 2 days. Was part of a process which is unique to CMC, Vellore where medical students visit secondary hospitals such as ours. Similar to last year, a batch of 2nd year medical students will spend one week with us.
A major learning experience for these budding doctors. And we're excited about it.
The ultimate outcomes of the program being to encourage these students to be part of institutions such as ours for at least some part of their lives if not the whole part. Only time will tell if this program achieved this outcome.
Today evening, few of the consultants from the participating hospitals sat discussing about the big need for more people to come over to hospitals such as NJH. The refrain from each one of them was the same . . . of doctors getting exhausted . . . and nobody to share the workload.
We shared stories of our colleagues who had gone off for a break . . . gone off abroad . . . got frustrated . . . left with quite a lot of bitterness . . . and the work load only increasing. No sign of any respite.
I had just got a phone call from back home at NJH that there were 2 maternal deaths in the last 24 hours.
The need for more people to help us was very much evident.
I thought of the place where we sat. I wondered if CMC, Vellore has lived up to the expectation of sending more doctors to rural areas of the country.
Nowadays, when we talk to our colleagues on going to poorly served areas of the country, the conversation changes to the problems associated with such a posting. The lack of schooling, poorer salaries, needs of parents, crude living conditions . . . the list goes on and on.
Yeah . . . all of them genuine reasons. And that is when we appreciate the contribution that medical missionaries from abroad has made to the country . . . where they left their homes far far away to serve a land quite alien to them.
There is a paradigm shift in the approach of healthcare professionals towards sickness and the sick. It has not done good for the poor and the marginalised.
I hope and pray that as the students from Vellore come to have their one week of posting with us, we would be able to make some amount of impact in their lives and the choices that they make in the future.