IMA creates spiritual sub-committee for Doctors
More than 200 doctors attended the five- hour long conference that focused on the holistic well-being of doctors.
The Maharashtra arm of The Indian Medical Association (IMA), on Sunday, organised a first-of-its-kind spiritual conference for doctors and their families to help them cope with the strain of a medical profession, especially in consideration of the on-going pandemic. More than 200 doctors attended the five- hour long conference that focused on the holistic well-being of doctors.
The IMA’s state chapter has also formed a spiritual subcommittee, which is Dr Suhas Pingle’s brainchild and is headed by Dr Meena Pruthi.
Dr Suhas Pingle, president, IMA- Maharashtra, whose idea it was to form the spiritual subcommittee quoted the definition of health by the World Health Organisation (WHO) which states ‘health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity’.
“Doctors are also stressed out. We are also human beings and have problems. We therefore thought of establishing this committee which will work closely with all the doctors in Maharashtra to make them understand what is spirituality and different ways to achieve it,” said Pingle.
“There will be monthly programmes for both doctors and their family members. We have psychiatrists with special interest and trained in spirituality who are part of the committee and will be giving talks,” he said.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has been hectic and stressful for us as doctors. While we advise our patients on holistic well-being, we never get time to think of the same for ourselves. The concept of introducing spirituality to doctors by IMA has been unique. We had breathing exercises, and talks by psychiatrists on ways to de-stress. It has given us a platform to detoxify ourselves and inculcate positive lifestyles” said Dr Vijayalaxmi Shinde, consultant clinical microbiologist and infection prevention adviser, Mumbai-Thane area, who was present at the event with her family.
Dr Ravi Wankhedkar, treasurer, World Medical Association said that the stress on doctors after the pandemic set in was multifold. “The virus was not known. We did not know the cure. While the entire society was affected with Covid-19 fear, the medical fraternity had to save the lives of their patients and at the same time worry about the safety of their family and themselves,” he said.
He added in the covid-19 pandemic, many doctors experienced helplessness on seeing their patient die, and violence against doctors and financial loss also added to the stress. “Similar to the general public, doctors too suffered financially due to the absence of holding normal practice. There was a rise in violence against doctors too in the pandemic. All these factors led to a very unhealthy stressful combination,” he said.