The biggest challenge for a fresh pass out-doctor in India is that we are suddenly exposed to the variety of fields, unlimited opportunities and a chaotic mind with most of us seeing PG entrance exam as ‘the one’. Sure, an important criterion is your rank in entrance exam but the bigger challenge I think is to decide – Which is that one field that excites you the most? What genuinely makes you happy? What is it that interests you in learning about it? Because no matter what you do, with or without PG, you have to be very clear about this one question in your head! We are rarely mentally prepared for one particular field back from medical college.
So after I finished writing entrance I started contemplating my options. For me, the answer wasn’t as complicated because I have always been interested in diagnostic medicine or at least something that helps me keep my options open later in future but past couple of weeks I have realised that I also enjoy preventive and lifestyle medicine. So I started looking up and doing my own research for the certification/courses available for that but I couldn’t find a lot of institutions that provide a separate course for lifestyle medicine which led me to one of the most important questions – How often do we really practice lifestyle medicine? In general? What I have seen during my intern year and working in a hospital setup is that most of the time people are only bothered about their respective treatments. Of course, there are physicians who look at improving the whole quality of care provided to the patient but they are very few so what exactly is the reason for that? Why don’t we prioritise quality care?
One of the biggest reason is – our population and the lack of doctors available to provide primary care. Also, that limits the amount of time we get to spend with each patient. Where is the time to teach about lifestyle? And how many are anyway going to take it seriously, right?
But (as someone with less experience and fresh perspective) I think it’s important that we at least talked about it and make it a habit of talking about it. You know why? Because the Hypertension, Diabetes, Cancers, conditions like PCOS are not going to get cured only by medications. We need to incorporate an active lifestyle into our population and soon, preferably from the young age, so people can even if slowly adapt to these changes. It’s important that we talked about it as doctors because there are still a group of people who take what we say seriously. Do we want to become the diabetic capital of the world by 2020?
Here are the reasons I think every doctor in their respective fields should practice lifestyle medicine:-
- Because it’s an answer to most of the NCDs (non-communicable diseases) like diabetes, Dyslipidaemia, Cancers related to smoking, obesity etc. which is responsible for the maximum of our health burden.
- Because changing lifestyle not only reduces the risks for various diseases but improves the overall quality of life.
- Because it’s not such a complex process, just some simple life changes that can lead to a huge positive change in health.
- Because it doesn’t take a lot to spend one extra minute with your patient and make them aware of these things.
- Because even a 10-minute walk 3-4 times a week can improve overall heart health and reduce the chances of cardiovascular complications.
- And because you really can!
Disclaimer – With this post, I am not trying to offend any professional in any way. I realise me and everyone on this journey with me has a long way to go. The beauty of medicine is that it is ever-evolving and one can never stop learning. With my writing, I just hope to bring a fresh perspective and something useful on the table. I will be glad if you think about this article the next time you are with a patient. To all the inspiring, wonderful and great doctors serving every minute of their life – here’s to you and everything you do!! 🙂
Disclaimer :The author is a guest author. The opinion of the Writer is her own and has no relevance to what the view of anybody at Curofy.
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