Thursday, August 3, 2017

Straight from the Heart: I am proud of being a "Doctor with a Stethoscope"

During my MBBS at MGIMS, Wardha, I was exposed to Vedantic medicine. Later, I also began to write and speak on Vedantic medicine, the science behind vedas. Because, most of my talks include a vedic prescription, I started wearing a stethoscope so that I was not mistaken to be a non-allopathic doctor.

I have now been wearing the stethoscope around my neck over the last several years. And, people have often asked me the reason for doing so.

I can recall having saved at least 20 unknown lives, just because I was wearing a stethoscope. There are ‘n’ number of instances, where I have done CPR outside the sanctuary of hospitals. I have also handled first aid during air travel dozens of time.

I would like to share with you some stories of my experience of wearing the stethoscope.

This Monday, I was traveling from Trivandrum to Delhi via Kochi. At Kochi airport, while the aircraft was on the runway and taking off, a lady passenger became breathless. She had a history of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and had taken heparin one hour before. I checked her oxygen saturation (I always carry a home pulse oximeter with me), which was normal. She was unfit medically to undertake the 3-hour journey and needed medical assistance. The crew saw that I was wearing a stethoscope and they approached me for help. She was off loaded from the flight at the airport under medical care.

In March this year, I was in Cyprus to attend the Bioethics 12th World Conference. A car ahead of us had met with an accident. One of the lady passengers was trapped in that car. We stopped and approached the car to offer medical help. We were allowed to intervene only because I was wearing a stethoscope.  

Once, while we were traveling to Dubai, my wife, suddenly developed air hunger. She almost collapsed but managed to say “Call my doctor, he is the one wearing a stethoscope”. The crew could immediately recognize me.

Titles of distinction and honor like Diwan, Raja, Maharaja, Rai Bahadur, etc. were abolished under Article 18 of the Constitution of India as being against the principle of equal status of all. However, we are still allowed  the privilege to write ‘Dr’ before our names. But, simply adding the prefix ‘Dr’ before your name does not confer status. Being a doctor means being available 24x7 and ready to help in all emergencies. Use the new emblem when writing a prescription or sport a stethoscope always.

There is a Good Samaritan law to protect those who voluntarily come forward to help victims of accidents. It applies to us doctors also. In April 2016, the Govt. notified guidelines regarding protection and examination of “good Samaritans” i.e. bystanders and passers-by who render help to the victims of road accidents. 

I love being a doctor. It is extremely satisfying and rewarding. All the hard work and long hours put in are worth the effort.

Wearing a stethoscope reminds me of my medical dharma, which is to treat and save the life of a person at any cost. This is why we chose to become doctors. We know medicine to be a noble profession.

Sporting a stethoscope has now become my signature style. People now identify me as “a Doctor with Stethoscope”. 

I always wear a stethoscope, will you consider it?

Dr KK Aggarwal
National President IMA & HCFI

Recipient of Padma Shri, Dr BC Roy National Award, Vishwa Hindi Samman, National Science Communication Award & FICCI Health Care Personality of the Year Award
Vice President Confederation of Medical Associations of Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Past Honorary Secretary General IMA
Past Senior National Vice President IMA  
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Gold Medalist Nagpur University
Limca Book of Record Holder in CPR 10
Honorary Professor of Bioethics SRM Medical College Hospital & Research Centre  
Sr. Consultant Medicine & Cardiology, Dean Board of Medical Education, Moolchand
Editor in Chief IJCP Group of Publications & eMedinewS
Member Ethics Committee Medical Council of India (2013-14)  
Chairman Ethics Committee Delhi Medical Council (2009-15)
Elected Member Delhi Medical Council (2004-2009)
Chairman IMSA Delhi Chapter (March 10- March 13)
Director IMA AKN Sinha Institute (08-09)
Finance Secretary IMA (07-08)
Chairman IMAAMS (06-07)
President Delhi Medical Association (05-06)

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