You ask a child, "What do you want to be when you grow up?"
You will come across so many replies from the children when they are young. But it is subjective to age and changes as they gather more knowledge and realize their calling.
Being a doctor requires a powerful calling.
Because it takes many more years of studying than any other field. The basic graduation comes after 6 years, whereas many complete their post-graduation in that period.
After becoming a graduate MBBS, we spent another couple of years getting post-graduate qualifications. We doctors are almost 30 years of age when we start our practice, while many of our friends are way ahead in their professional lives earning and settled with families.
Being a doctor is not for the faint of the heart.
There is a lot of suffering that we see daily, and being objective without letting it affect our own mental and physical health is a challenge.
And yet, each new patient who walks into our care teaches us something new each day.
Their grace, belief in us when they surrender their well-being into our hands, and resilience make us get up each morning with renewed fervour.
They fuel our passion of serving them and doing more than we can to try and heal them.
Being a gynecologist by profession and a woman myself, I still get surprised by the length women are willing to go to bring a new life into this world or heal themselves of life-threatening diseases like cervical cancers, breast cancers, endometrial cancers, and so many more complex issues that impact their overall health.
On this doctor's day, I cannot celebrate the triumph of my being without a few special mentions and credits to some amazing women who have made me a better doctor today.
Last month I operated on a 77-year-old lady with endometrial cancer. An exemplary woman with overwhelming grace to fight the disease at this age and, smiling every day with the disease, had an unbeatable high pain threshold.
A woman around 30 years, who was so motivated for a natural birth, underwent 19 hours of agonizing and excruciating pain. Finally, she held her little princess in the world - again, a female child.
I met another woman who was carrying twins, obviously needed tremendous strength and came into labor at 7 months. I admitted her and decided to do my best for the babies and mother. I started her on medicines that could protect the babies' vital organs, lungs, and brains. Also, I gave the mother an injection to arrest the progression of labor till I cover the babies' vital organs with the recommended doses so that even in the worst scenarios, they deliver at the seventh month, and their NICU stay is shortened.
With all my efforts, the timing was so perfect that they delivered naturally (vaginally) after 48 hours of admission. Till that time, I had covered them with all the possible doses. Again, two beautiful angles of 1 kg each admitted to NICU for a month but didn't require any assisted ventilation were on breast milk from day one of birth, fought so fiercely, and were discharged from NICU after 4 weeks with weights of around 1.8 kg each. Warriors, in a true sense
I salute each of these and every woman whom I have treated for their indomitable spirit. I thank them for teaching me several things and bestowing me with their blessings and good wishes. They are my precious possessions.
These women motivate me to do my best in their interests and let God and the divine take care of the rest.
It's indeed said that with great power comes great responsibility, and with my power of knowledge and surgical skill, I take the responsibility of keeping up to the faith and trust these women show in me each day
My patients are my passion.
Dr. Shweta Shah – Gynecologist.