Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Messy Clinic

Yesterday Mr. Thakur ,a very senior Medical Representative from Solvay Pharma , with his Manager , visited my clinic on their usual round. After detailing about their products , they presented me with a table calendar for the New Year saying " With best compliments for the New Year ! Please put this on your desk as it also has a daily planner on the reverse ". Every year at this time I look forward to these representatives who lovingly give wall calendars , diaries and table calendars.

I looked at them in an embarrassed way and said " Thank you very much but I am truly ashamed at the sight of my desk and surroundings " . It is so messy that even if I plan to come and clear it up it is impossible in the time that I spend in the clinic and have to plan to come on a Sunday to clear things up . No such Sunday has arrived to this day and it is disorganised as usual.

They both looked at each other , smiled and asked for my permission to say a few words . I never realised at that time that listening to them made me 'proud ' of myself . Mr.Thakur said
" In our company we always have meetings to update on the sales and gear up to promote some new things to the doctors .This has been going on for a long time and as the top marketing people have realised that there is nothing new that the company has to offer , they have taken up various other programmes . In one of such events they showed us how to judge a person's nature , particularly doctors , by observing their clinics and surroundings ".

I was listening to them intently and awaiting in anticipation what they had to say about me . He continued " Your clinic is clean but disorganised with papers and books lying around . You are not meticulous but shows your warm nature. You are a peoples doctor as compared to those doctors who have a spic and span clinics . They are good administrators but not warm doctors".

He further gave an example of a patient who would complain to the doctor that the medicine he gave was very bitter . A meticulous doctor would say " Take the same medicine as it is bound to be bitter , it is good for you ". You being a peoples doctor will say " Is it so ? Wait a sec ! I will prescribe something that you will like and then you will not have any problem .Try this one --- "

Well I was quite thrilled with this analysis coming from the other side of the table and then when I reflected on what I had heard I realised that it is indeed what happens when interacting with my patients . I am always with them and do feel for them .

I think that planning to visit my clinic on a Sunday or finding time in my work time to clear up the trash lying on my table and surroundings is going to be a distant dream !!

Cheers then !!! Long live my clean but messy clinic !!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Chhatri !!!!!!

Literally Chhatri in Hindi would mean an umbrella . Well this blog is dedicated to our Anatomy teacher Dr. Chhatriwala , whom we lovingly , as well as out of fear and spite , used to address as just ' Chhatri ' . Last evening we felicitated him in our Grant Medical Alumni Club , Thane . The function was held at Yeoor hills on the beautifully maintained farm house of Dr. Pravin Gupte , a leading Pathologist and past student of our college

I reached the venue at 7.00 pm . A few doctors from the Managing Committee , the host Dr Gupte and the guest Dr Chhatriwala and his wife with their 2 grandchildren were relaxing in the bungalow of Dr. Gupte . I went up to introduce myself and was pleased when he got up to shake hands with me . Being from the 1971 batch , I asked him since when was he in our college Faculty to which he replied ' since 1963 to 1986 ' .
He was a demonstrator and an examiner for us in the Anatomy Dissection Hall and a professor of Surgery for post graduate students later on . His speciality was that of being a strict disciplinarian. He would expect all students to be clean shaven and in well polished shoes . He used to order students out of the hall if not shaven , at times paying 25 paise from his pocket to embarrass the student. Word used to spread like wildfire as soon as he was sighted climbing up the stairs. All used to say ' Chhatri aa raha hai ' or ' Ghengiz Khan is coming ' ---- he used to refer to himself as Ghengiz Khan . At times he used to move around with a toothed forceps , walking around the hall, his eyes inspecting the students faces and if found with a stubble held the skin at the elbow from behind and whisper in the ears ' Go shave and come '. Even with all this , he was respected and loved and as put by some speakers that day ' Sir has not only disciplined us but also taught us to be always presentable '.

I was told that when our committee members visited his house in Colaba to invite him for this felicitation , he was extremely happy and readily agreed to come. Anatomy is a subject which no undergraduate really likes --- it is dry and tedious , with all Latin terminology to mug up and recall----and so I presume that these teachers remain in the background memory of most of us. I was really pleased when I saw the invitation for this function and read that Dr Chhatriwala was to be felicitated . As clinicians we always remember teachers, who were part of our later years in college and dealing with patient oriented subjects .

' Sir , seeing you and interacting with you yesterday , was a very pleasing experience .We saw you after more than three decades . You have become so mild at this age of 75 years , you are totally different from those terror days . We will always remember you and we pray to God to give you a long and healthy life !!! '