This is a story of lack of compassion and simple human instincts that is missing in the government medical colleges in the country. Story of an Indian PG student that will open your eyes to the atrocities that is making our doctors leave government set ups. Its time to take notice.
I am Dr. Kalpesh Harjibhai Kalsariya,I was a resident doctor at anesthesia department, GMC, Surat. I joined the department as a first year PG student on 30 September 2013.
I worked for regular hours, i.e, 36 hours of continued duty bi-weekly, 12 hours daily and 6-7 hrs on Saturday as first year resident. One day I accidentally got a retinal detachment in my right eye while I was on duty. I was on a 26 hour shift.
I had to get operated for the same on 18 October 2013. The procedure is called retinal buckle surgery. As per my ophthalmologist’s advice I had to take a two and half month leave and I submitted my sickness certificate at GMC,Surat. When I thought I would get my leave sanctioned due to valid medical reasons I got call from my HOD,Dr.Neeta Kavishwar saying that if I didn’t join right away I won’t be granted second term. So I rejoined my duties as a resident and worked as much as humanly possible but my department did not show any humanity towards me. After being overworked for about one and a half months fates took a cruel turn and I got a retinal detachment in my left eye also.I got operated again and this time my operation also included photo coagulation. My ophthalmologist advised me strictly to take 3 months rest but knowing what had happened earlier I wasn’t sure of getting cooperation from my department.
Knowing that being an anaesthesiologist requires hard work and given my health I wasn’t able to do justice to my course, I requested the Dean of our college to change my branch from clinical to a non-clinical one if possible but my plea was rejected there also.
Dejected from everywhere I rejoined my study and requested them to at least give me some liberty in my duty. My parents came to my college and appealed for it too but the result was same,Rejection.
I continued doing my duties as much as I could even after all this including night shifts working for hours at a stretch till my body would allow me. But my HOD was not done with me yet. She forced me to do full duty saying that otherwise I won’t be granted my term, or allowed to do any procedures and stipend wouldn’t be paid to me either.
It has been 2 years since the ordeal started. All my pleas, requests and complaints have fell on deaf ears. To add to that insult they have now terminated me.
My HOD ordered my senior to write a complaint against me and give it to the Dean.
I did my duties as per the rules and regulation and never left a patient alone, tending to their sufferings even when I was denied lunch breaks and not allowed to go and have food for long durations. I was also not allowed to attend the conference that took place in our own college, instead I was sent to causality duty even when it wasn’t my turn.I did my best but my college blames me and says that I didn’t. As per the order of supreme court order a resident doctor can’t be on duty for more than 12 hours so why are residents still made to do inhuman hours of work even when they are sick?
After going through this mental harassment and torture my future hangs in a balance. I have no-where to turn to and my termination feels like a dead end. I just wanted to put my story out in the open for everyone to see the harassment residents go through to get their degrees.
All the views and opinions expressed in this article are of Dr Kalpesh Kalsariya.