I am Dr Mohammed Ramzan, a paediatric oncologist from Jodhpur, living in New Delhi for the last three-and-a-half years. I opted for paediatric hematology and oncology because I wanted to work for cancer patients after I lost my grandfather. He was suffering from laryngeal cancer. I got a good rank in the general category in the All India Pre-Medical Test and studied at Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Medical College, Pune. Medical college meant a drastic transition from the cozy and comfortable life at home to managing everything on my own. Studies and exams would pop up every month. But with time I learnt to manage these things. Later, I completed my MD in paediatrics from Aligarh Muslim University.
I work with Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi. My day starts at around 7.30am. I begin my hospital routine by taking a round, meeting my patients, which goes on till 9.30am. We review the treatment of the patients and make necessary changes. This is followed by the OPD where we see new and old patients. This can go on till 3pm, depending on the patient load. We then take a short break of around 10-15 minutes for lunch, during which we also discuss our patients with colleagues. After working out a detailed treatment plan for admitted patients we then take teaching classes for juniors, in which we discuss challenging as well as recent advances in various fields of medicine. If we are on emergency duty, we are expected to stay in hospital for the entire night and attend all the emergency cases coming to the hospital casualty. I leave the hospital the next day after handing over charge to a colleague in the next shift. We have such emergency duties twice or thrice a week. Since I am a paediatrician dealing with children who are sometimes just a few days old, it is a challenging task to understand their problems and relieve them of suffering.
The most important quality that a doctor should have is an empathetic approach towards his patient. He/she should also be a careful listener, giving time to the patients to express their problems and counselling them. Sound knowledge of medical subjects and and being updated on all the recent advances is necessary.
A doctor has to save the life of a patient at any cost. In life-threatening conditions, relatives of the patient tend to become anxious and sometimes aggressive. Counselling sessions with relatives are more important at this stage.
After becoming a doctor, your life is very busy with fixed working hours. There is stress too. Sometimes we work for 36 hours at a stretch. The curriculum for our entire course is very lengthy. For MBBS it is five-and-a-half years, for MD/MS it’s another three years, and super specialisation takes three more years. This is when you are through in first attempt without taking any drop. You must be willing to work extremely hard and be compassionate to be able to succeed. Remember, you can give a new lease of life to someone.
As told to Gauri Kohli