The Association stressed on the importance of doctors as teachers/educators and their role in imparting health education to the masses
New Delhi, 05 September 2017: As a mark of respect to the noble profession and for their distinguished service in the field of education, the IMA and HCFI honored 32 principals from schools in Delhi/NCR on Teacher’s Day. The awards were presented by Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon –Honorary Secretary General IMA. Among the 32 school principals awarded included those from Air Force Bal Bharti School, Maharaja Agrasen Public School, DAV Public School, and Saraswati Bal Mandir, and many others.
The IMA also organized its second Aao School Chalen programme on the same day in different schools in and around Delhi. The theme for the month is ‘fighting obesity at a young age’. This campaign stands testimony to the fact that doctors are also educators. The medical fraternity has the dual role of ensuring good health for people of all ages and that of imparting health education at all levels – in schools and among the general public.
Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “The word ‘doctor’ is derived from the Latin ‘docere, which means ‘to teach’ and ‘to point out’.A doctor is next to God. A teacher is next to the ‘Guru’. Combination of the two, doctor and teacher, that is, a medical-teacher is above all and hence all medical teachers should prove themselves. They have a larger role to play in the community and in creating public health awareness. With the massive amount of knowledge that doctors possess, it is possible to bring about a sea change and educate the young and old alike on matters concerning health. The doctor-patient relationship is akin to that of a student and teacher. We have a huge responsibility on our shoulders and on this Teacher’s Day, it is time to revisit what we stand for and abide by it.”
Doctors as teachers can help in disseminating positive and timely information about health, quash misconceptions, and prevent high rates of NCDs through mass education, especially in the lower strata of the society.
Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “Two cornerstones of a doctor’s therapeutic alliance and duty are: simplifying technical jargon and effectively communicating with patients. Thus, a part of medical education should focus on training doctors to be competent and effective as educators. The Aao School Chalen campaign can lead the way when it comes to doctors become public health educators.”
The word “teaching” is generally used in the context of medical students and residents. However, teaching patients should be just as important an obligation and expectation for doctors. The best doctors are those who remember that their calling is not only to teach practitioners of medicine but also their patients and the masses.