These future surgeons, dentists and nurses are renewing their commitment to serve society
“Health is not valued till sickness comes,” wrote the 17th century clergyman and historian Thomas Fuller. Four centuries on, as the entire world grapples with the Coronavirus scourge, his words ring eerily true.
Every year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) celebrates World Health Day on April 7 to spread awareness about global health issues.
This year, the day pays a tribute to doctors, nurses and other health workers who are relentlessly battling the pandemic in their bid to “building a fairer, healthier world”.
We caught up with eight medical students -- aspiring physicians, surgeons, dentists and nurses -- about the most vital lesson that the pandemic has taught them and how it redefined their commitment to their profession.
“When the pandemic hit, I was in my last year of MBBS, doing internships. Being in a Covid hospital as an intern, I have had interactions with thousands of affected patients. I did not give up on my commitment to treating them as I believe doctors are the rays of hope in these trying times.”
-- DIPTARUP DAS, graduate in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), College of Medicine & Sagore Dutta Hospital, Kolkata
“Being a medical student has been especially difficult during the Covid-19 pandemic. We are already stressed due to the lack of practicals. But being a student of nursing and facing the pandemic situation every day, I did not for once think of giving up on my job or changing my course.”
-- SHARON CHARLES, first year, BSc in Nursing, Bombay Hospital College of Nursing, Mumbai
“The most vital lesson the Covid situation has taught us is that health is the most important thing. It is something we tend to forget in our busy lives. I felt proud to be able to help people directly. The pandemic has made me more sensitive towards people I don’t even know and more responsible for the community as a whole.”
-- NIVEDITA NANDAN, second year, MBBS, Moti Lal Nehru Medical College, Allahabad
“We need to be more careful about our personal hygiene since the Coronavirus is transmitted through saliva as well. As an aspiring dentist, this pandemic has made me more aware of the examination procedure and personal hygiene that a dentist should maintain regarding their patients.”
-- PRADIPTA KUMAR BASU, second year, Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), Guru Nanak Institute of Dental Sciences and Research, Kolkata
“Our courses have been affected for sure and, as a medical aspirant, the lockdown has proved to be quite a challenge. But what keeps me going is the ambitious role I need to play as a future doctor. The pandemic has really taught us to be brave and lead the society towards a better life.”
-- RAYNA VIKRANT PARDHE, first year, BSc in Nursing, Bombay Hospital College of Nursing, Mumbai
“Growing up, I’ve seen doctors among my friends and family. During this pandemic, the way the people in the medical profession put their lives at stake, without once bothering about their safety or their personal life, has made me more and more determined to serve society.”
-- KUNAL PAL, first year, MBBS, ESI-PGIMSR, Joka
“I feel there is a lack of healthcare facilities in the country as well as societal prejudice against a particular disease. The pandemic has shown the importance of doctors in society, highlighting how people have mistreated them at times. But I am proud that we are serving as frontline workers and we hope people start caring about society by taking safety precautions themselves.”
-- SAYANDEEP PAN, fourth year, MBBS, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal
“The pandemic has affected us the most in our medical practice and education. But it has also taught us to adapt to better safety measures for the patients we cater to. Despite several hindrances, my will to become a nurse has not been shaken one bit.”
-- PRACHI CHOUDHARY, first year, BSc in Nursing, Bombay Hospital College of Nursing, Mumbai
Haichai Nandy is a first-year undergraduate student of Journalism and Mass Communication at Asutosh College.
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