“Observation, reason, human understanding, courage; these make the physician.”
— Martin H. Fischer
These words of Martin H Fischer sum up what it takes to be a doctor. India celebrates its doctors and those associated with the profession, every year on July 1 as National Doctors’ Day. The day also honours the birth and death anniversary of Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, a great doctor, and statesman from West Bengal. He was born on July 1, 1882, and died on the same date in 1962.
National Doctors’ Day, celebrated by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) is a day dedicated to the doctors and health care workers serving the people at the risk of life.
PM Modi thanks the fraternity
In the recent, 78th Mann Ki Baat episode, Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his heartfelt gratitude towards doctors for serving without caring about their lives. This gives newer meaning and adds to the significance of the day.
“They are serving us with dedication during corona period and it is our duty to thank them with an equal affection,” he said.
PM Modi has before this on several occasions, showed appreciation to doctors, nurses, technicians, ward boys, and ambulance drivers who have done commendable work all this time.
Foundation stone in fight against covid
The pandemic put the country in a situation that it had not faced ever before. From the beginning, when there was little to no information or understanding on Covid-19, doctors, and healthcare workers have been putting to good use their knowledge and experience in treating the patients. Thousands of healthcare personnel have been working round the clock to confront it head-on.
During the peak seasons of the Coronavirus pandemic, and in the absence of a vaccine, the doctors risked their lives, with those of their family members too, had to stay away from their family, for the sake of humanity and not adding to the spread of the virus.
During this time, doctors were showered with flowers and claps in acknowledgment of their hard work, but some unfortunate ones also became the victim of people’s helplessness and frustration.
Impact of Covid-19 on doctors
According to studies, doctors, including counselors and psychologists experienced mental health issues during the pandemic. Apart from staying away from their family members, risking and exposing themselves to the virus and physical stress, doctors and healthcare workers experienced ‘burnout’. Burnout is a mental health issue that is described as a triad of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization (loss of one’s empathy, caring, and compassion), and a decreased sense of accomplishment.
According to the Department of Psychiatry, National Institute of Mental health & Neurosciences, steps need to be taken proactively to ensure the personnel’s mental health remains in control and they practise self-care.
How Psychiatrists helped in the fight against Covid-19
The pandemic had a huge impact on the mental wellbeing of people, mostly due to the unprecedented challenges it brought with itself, both on personal and professional fronts.
However, during this time, Psychologists, Psychiatric and counselors went a step forward to come to help those who needed their help, by offering online therapy services as and when required by their patients.
Needless to say, doctors, nurses, and people working in healthcare sectors are vulnerable to the highly infectious disease, but this did not stop them from leading from the front. During this time, all the doctors, nurses, ambulance drivers, and other healthcare workers have truly emerged real-life heroes and deserve to be celebrated.