Onus of the oath – Part 2


Steth

Read the rest of the story here – Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

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At Kumli, Ravi realized the nobility of his profession and how he could make a positive change in the lives of his patients. His mentor, Dr Tharakan inculcated values such as compassion, how to stay calm and focused even when faced with particularly stressful medical emergencies, how to keep a patient and his relatives calm even when the situation was not particularly favorable, and other traits which enabled Ravi to grow a lot as a doctor and more importantly as a human being. Three months into his tenure at the medical center in Kumli, Ravi Nair was a better doctor and an even better human being.

Being on the top of an ill-connected hillock meant that Ravi had a lot of time to introspect on his life so far and so he did. He developed a routine where he would take long walks through the picturesque tea gardens enjoying the misty splendor of the surroundings.

The experiences that he had during these walks were all the more enhanced whenever the genial and father-like Dr Tharakan joined him and they used to chat for hours together. The elderly doctor was well-travelled and his conversations were not restricted to medicine and ailments only, but included anecdotes from his past, incidents from his travels and old medical cases, all of which added to Ravi’s admiration of the man and his work.

Over the next few months, Ravi had developed a high degree of bonding with the doctor and in the process had also developed a new found respect for his own father, Dr Sudheesh Nair when he thought back of all the old stories about his father and how he had struggled to make ends meet as a medical student. All the incidents that his father had narrated to him about his own life, all the struggles that he had to face to become a doctor and slowly improve his financial condition were now clear to Ravi. It was only now that he understood and fully appreciated his father’s dedication and commitment, the sacrifices he had made and he now felt guilty for having taken it very lightly and trivially all these years.

During his childhood, teenage and years as a medical student, Ravi’s relationship with his father had been somewhat strained. While his father tried to inculcate habits such as commitment, financial discretion and motivation in him, Ravi didn’t quite see the point that his father was trying to make. As far as he was concerned, these habits were old-fashioned and completely unnecessary, more so because he had not faced a single instance in his life where he was denied anything he wanted due to lack of money, or lack of freedom.

All the efforts that his father put in to inculcate these habits in him had been undone by a doting mother for whom Ravi was an only child and therefore needed to be indulged in. This meant that he grew up as a ‘spoilt brat’. The only consolation that his father had was that Ravi was a ‘natural learner’ and had always been the class topper and he would enjoy the benefits of a good education.

Kumli was where Ravi realized that he had failed in his duties as a son and had never really fully understood his father. Speaking to Dr Tharakan and requesting him for a week’s leave, he packed his bags and started the long 8+ hour drive down from the hills to the Arabian coast, Kochi, to his parents’ home. He didn’t want to lose any more time in making amends for the lost years.

Although it was raining quite a bit, Ravi was not going to allow a bit of wet weather to dampen his enthusiasm in meeting his father again and asking him to forgive him for not being a good enough son all these years.

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Read the rest of the story here – Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Disclaimer: This novella is based on a popular movie, the name of which I am not going to disclose here. I have taken a couple of the plot elements from the movie, modified them, added some background of my own and penned down this novella. Advance apologies for any fans of the movie who might be reading this novella, the intention was not to dilute the movie in any form or fashion, but to reinterpret some plot points using my imagination.

Onus of the oath – Part 1


Steth

The outgoing batch of Bangalore Medical College said these words in unison –

At the time of being admitted as a member of the medical profession:

  •          I solemnly pledge to consecrate my life to the service of humanity;
  •          I will give to my teachers the respect and gratitude that is their due;
  •          I will practice my profession with conscience and dignity;
  •          The health of my patient will be my first consideration;
  •          I will respect the secrets that are confided in me, even after the patient has died;
  •          I will maintain by all the means in my power, the honour and the noble traditions of the medical profession;
  •          My colleagues will be my sisters and brothers;
  •          I will not permit considerations of age, disease or disability, creed, ethnic origin, gender, nationality, political affiliation, race, sexual orientation, social standing or any other factor to intervene between my duty and my patient;
  •          I will maintain the utmost respect for human life;
  •          I will not use my medical knowledge to violate human rights and civil liberties, even under threat;
  •          I make these promises solemnly, freely and upon my honour.

These were the words adopted by the World Medical Association in 1948 and were universally accepted as the modern equivalent of The Hippocrates Oath. It was a declaration of the physician’s dedication to the humanitarian goals of medicine.

Sitting in his room in the Nightingale Medical Center, Dr Ravi Nair looked up at the framed words in the oath and read and re-read all the bullet points slowly, carefully, so that the words seeped into his subconscious.

Although he had read the oath before and he knew it by-heart, the words took on an entirely new meaning given the situation he was in today. He had to force himself to take a decision and act accordingly.

The mental dilemma he faced was not an easy one.

It was a battle of his heart against his mind.

He had to make a choice between retribution for being a bad son versus his guilt of being a bad doctor. The choice was not an easy one.

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Ravi Nair was the topper in his batch, studying for exams and cracking question papers was something that came naturally to him. But he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and pretty much had things come to him without any real efforts. His impromptu biking trip from Bangalore to Sakleshpur and Hassan clashed with the dates announced for Campus Placements at college. But he didn’t care.

Ravi thoroughly enjoyed the trip, the nature trail, the company of fellow bikers and the overall experience, but it meant that none of the well-known hospitals recruited him. He was left to find a job on his own despite being the batch topper.

This situation didn’t disturb him much as he always had the St Mary’s Hospital in Kochi where his father, Dr Sudheesh Nair was the Chief Doctor and he had almost always taken it for granted that he would get a job there as soon as he completed his MBBS. Sudheesh however had different plans for Ravi. Since he had struggled with financial difficulties during his medical college days and believed in the benefits of hard work over ‘pushing favors’, he refused to recruit Ravi.

While this led to some bad blood between Sudheesh and his son, he stood his ground and asked Ravi to search for a job purely on the basis of his merit, refusing to support him in this regard.

Finally one of Ravi’s close friends managed to get him an internship at the Nightingale Medical Center located in the picturesque hill station of Kumli, situated on the border of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. For somebody like Ravi who was used to the big city, a large friend circle and frequent partying, this was a sea change of atmosphere, but at least he had a job which he got based on his own achievements.

He didn’t need his father’s reputation to back him up this time around.

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Read the rest of the story here – Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5 | Part 6

Disclaimer: This novella is based on a popular movie, the name of which I am not going to disclose here. I have taken a couple of the plot elements from the movie, modified them, added some background of my own and penned down this novella. Advance apologies for any fans of the movie who might be reading this novella, the intention was not to dilute the movie in any form or fashion, but to reinterpret some plot points using my imagination.