A lapel on white coat

For some doctors, their profession is an aid to serve the needy.

A man’s real personality doesn’t show while shaking hands with someone at the best of times, but uncovers itself clearly while holding someone’s hand in a critical situation.
I was waiting in our family doctor’s clinic. The pin-drop silence is a testimony to his discipline, the waiting numbers, a testimony to his reputation as a fine doctor. Suddenly there was a loud wail and a woman came running in, carrying the bleeding child in her hands - it seems he had fallen off a tree. She looked shabby and unclean and the boy was in tattered clothes—an exact opposite picture to the opulent people sitting there, waiting for a long time for their turn to go in.

Breaking the stunned atmosphere, came out the doctor in a jiffy, took control of the situation—but not before pacifying the mother in a reassuring tone. After a good half hour, we saw the boy being wheeled out, with bandage around his head, and holding some chocolates in hand – both, he and the mother had smiles on their faces. She touched the doctor’s feet, in total gratitude and respect, who obviously had not taken any fees from her for his most timely medical intervention which gave back her son’s life.

Since I knew the doctor for a long time and had seen not only him, but his doctor sons and dutiful wife too, serve innumerable patients in a village on the outskirts of our city, I was not surprised by his  compassionate gesture. It comes very naturally to him. For him ‘to be’ is ‘to do’—do his professional work, putting his heart and soul into it. Not everybody knows the truth about what it is like, to be a doctor, whose heart is in the right place, with loads of empathy, love and concern, whose head has all the ingredients of knowledge, expertise and precision.

There is no economic necessity for him to spend almost all of his wakeful hours serving others, there is a soul-compulsion in him which makes him go the extra mile, extend his helping hand to those in need. It is another matter that he has the most wealthiest of people coming to him as patients, that he is most sought-after by the corporate hospitals – yet, his heart has a big soft corner for the under privileged, his hands have all the time it takes to help the poor.

For some doctors, medical profession is not just a career, but an aid to serve the needy, a mission to help the suffering.  Humanism shines as a lapel on their white coats. May their tribe grow and increase.

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