National Doctor’s Day 2020: Doctors Speak; therapy, motivation and work- family balance

National Doctor’s Day 2020: Doctors Speak; therapy, motivation and work- family balance

The medical profession is considered one of the noblest of all and history is embossed
with stories of doctors giving a new lease of life to crores of people. If anyone was
unaware of the contribution that doctors make in the society with their service, the
pandemic cleared it all up.
India celebrates its National Doctor’s Day every year on 1 st July in the honour of the
birth and death anniversary of the great physician and the second Chief Minister of West
Bengal, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy. While a lot gets spoken about maintaining physical and
mental health of patients, it is of utmost importance that doctors feel the same relief as
well. Doctors from Fortis Hospital, Anandapur share how they keep their head
levelled as they give up a lot of their personal life for the greater good.
Given the dialogue that has opened up surrounding mental health Dr Sanjay Garg,
Consultant, Mental Health and Behavioural Science discusses how often doctors go
for therapy. He said, “Unfortunately, even today, the term therapy carries a negative
connotation and a whole lot of stigma. For doctors, I feel, it is an even greater
conundrum since they fear that if they go for therapy, it might make people perceive
them as somehow unfit for their profession. This could not be farther from the truth. For
most doctors, therapy may be an excellent choice since most of them have to deal with
highly stressful situations on a daily basis. It takes a while maybe to take the first step
since that stigma seems to have become so internalised. But, once you do, you realise
how helpful it is to have a safe space to vent your difficulties. For me, I would not
hesitate to seek the help if needed.”
Dr Joydeep Ghosh Consultant, Internal Medicine at Fortis Anandapur said,
“Usually in western countries we see doctors visiting psychiatrists whenever they are
bogged down by the stress and responsibility. In India with low doctor to population
ratio, working at all times becomes a part of life. It is challenging in the beginning but
eventually we become used to it. However, during extreme cases we seek the help of
Speaking about motivating factors Dr Garg said, “Motivating factors are very
individualised and varied. But what most doctors have in common, I believe, is the
desire to help others. Admittedly it is a very heavy responsibility and not all outcomes
are positive, but without a doubt, it is extremely satisfying when your hard work puts a
smile of relief on another person’s face. There may be tangible perks to this profession,
but those I feel are not enough to keep you trudging along such a difficult path.”
“The frontline health workers are now even more prominent during this Covid era. What
motivates us is the patient care itself. The disease and the destruction that comes
around the doctors is the biggest motivator to heal the patients”, said Dr K.M
Mandana, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Fortis Hospital Anandapur.
Doctors are humans and resort to very similar stress relieving techniques as other
people do. Unfortunately, for most doctors, the boundary between working and non-
working hours often get blurred. Trying to fit in a little bit of physical exercise every day,
trying to eat as healthy and in a timely manner as possible, and building a strong social
circle of people who understand the demands of the profession help doctors combat
The most difficult areas for a doctor is balancing family and work. Doctors at Fortis said
that since illnesses and ailments don’t take time off, most doctors feel they shouldn’t
either. It takes a while to work through that guilt and realise that they are not doing

anyone any favours by working themselves to a potential burnout. This specially
happens at the beginning phases of their careers. However, this can sometimes become
a bit harmful since the first rule for caregivers is to care for themselves first. At the end
of the day they have to realised, as clichéd as it may sound, that this profession is a
marathon, not a sprint. The focus needs to be on sustenance and wellbeing.

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