Who cares about medical students?
I spent the last two months in the oral surgery post-trauma ward and there is this one kid with a tube running through his throat in order to feed him. Yes, he tries not to cry or show any pain, Yet pain does he suffer and for his parents, I can say it is the most difficult thing they have faced.
Being a doctor, this scenario is something which we are expected to get used to. We are made to learn empathy. We are taught to see, listen and feel the patient and not internalize the pain he or she suffers. We should keep our heart and mind open to their problems, but closed to their feelings.
How does one cope up with? How do we learn to care and not to care at the same time? As a medical student, we are trained to help others, but are we given little, if any, support?
We have the best and worst experience of the hospitals rooms and trauma wards. We are delighted when a patient appreciated the treatment we perform and we also have to put up with the angst of the patient when anything goes wrong.
Not all experience in the medical college is bad, some have their plus points. However the incidence of suicide, mental illness and substance abuse are much higher among the medical fraternity.
Looking at current scenario and what my batch is going through- be it internships, experiences with patients, preparing for PG entrance exams or finding time for family, I really feel it’s important to promote a feeling of well-being in medical fraternity.
I feel that as a student and as a dentist in making we need a place where it is ok to talk about on our daily experiences and some pent up feelings without being judged. A place where it is ok to feel bad or to cry for the patients we lose.
A module can be created to look into our professional as well as personal development, so that all of the young doctors out there can take care of themselves as well.
Doctors, it is ok if you can walk down home in the rain and let your tears be hidden by monsoon rains.
It is ok to be little affected by patients. It is ok to talk about this and be emotional.
It is ok to take a break from patients, from studies and let you down a bit.
So take care.
By Aakriti Raj