Spare a thought for the Physician in the Covid clinic. Dermatologists are the lucky ones.
Dr. Rajan T.D.
Doctor deaths in India upto July 1, 2020
After a 1 ½ month break due to lockdown, I have been attending the clinic since the past 6 weeks. The consulting practice of about 6 hours per day was drastically curtailed to less than two hours a day. The bustling OPD of BC (Before Covid) days were deliberately reduced to 4-6 patients seen at a 15-minute interval who were booked by advanced appointment. The receptionist takes special care to interrogate (harsh word, no?) the patient, rechecking that the patient is not coming from a Covid family or a Containment zone etc.
It took me and my staff about a week to get used to our new fashion: mask, goggles / face shield, long aprons and double gloves. This was sufficient for just skin consultation from a 3’ distance using illuminated magnifying glass and torches. Being a dermatologist I was lucky to postpone all skin procedures on the head, face, neck and other body parts due to which donning the cumbersome PPE could be avoided. Even wearing this was a huge task with the face shield or goggles getting foggy under the N95 mask and the unclear vision in an AC-switched off clinic. Seeing 4 patients in an hour, the head starts aching and it feels that it has been a whole day’s work.
The driver is paid salary but is asked to stay at home as he may be coming from a less than comfortable surroundings which scares everyone ranging from the clinic watchman to my residential neighborhood. Reaching home, the endless task begins… of telling family members to stay away as the door gets opened and the shoe gets sanitized, one darts straight to the bathroom where the ritual of spraying sanitizer on the wallet, comb, keys etc begins and ends with a scrub bath.
A quick meal and then, like never before, off to bed to relieve the stress of seeing less than a dozen patients – mind you, without any back breaking surgery. Aha, that is a great deal of work for the dermatologist.
The Real Workers
Now just imagine what must be happening to the chest physician, the ICU staff, the nurse and the wardboys who actually handle Covid-19 patients! Oh, one cannot thank them enough. I pray for their continued good physical and mental health. We all must say a small prayer for the silent Paramedical staff: the cooks, ward boys, laboratory technicians, ayahs, nurses, mortuary attendants, ambulance drivers etc. whose efforts ensure that the doctors are actually able to help their patients.
Also you all should be aware that over a hundred doctors all over India have lost the Covid battle themselves and are no longer with us. Let us also pray for the sustained good health of the families of each of the martyrs who gave up their life in order to save ours.
Let this post be a reminder to disbelieve all those news items which make a mockery of the medical profession as there are more angels around us than black sheep. May God give you all the courage to face this Covid challenge and emerge victorious both physically and emotionally.
About Dr Rajan TD
Dr. Rajan T.D. is an alumnus of Mumbai University and practices as a Specialist in Skin & STD at Andheri (Mumbai) since 1991. He had been a Lecturer at K.B.Bhabha Hospital before venturing into private practice. He has been practising in the north-west suburbs of Mumbai and is now busy running two clinics in Andheri.
He is an expert in all skin diseases, diseases of hair, nails and sexually transmitted diseases. He is a keen listener and allows his patients to communicate. Most skin diseases require Counselling as they are chronic and sometimes, disfiguring causing tremendous anxiety. Dr. Rajan takes his responsibility very seriously and explains in detail to his patients about how to cope with them even if cure is slow to come.
Dr. Rajan regularly writes in various websites and periodicals on several social issues as well as those relating to the pharmaceutical industry. He was the Souvenir Editor for Asian Dermatology Congress 2016. He has authored a chapter in the Textbook of Cosmetic Dermatology: A Practical and Evidence-Based Approach and has several publications in numerous websites, newspapers and periodicals. He simplifies complex skin disorders into simple language making it easy for the reader to understand their disease.
He regularly lectures doctors on skin and sexually transmitted diseases. In addition he advises Pharmaceutical industries on drug development, promotion and marketing strategies. He believes, education of the general public is the key to successful treatment of skin disorders.
The social worker
Dr. Rajan is a Hon. Consultant to Larsen & Toubro Ltd, Air India and ONGC. It would surprise many to know that Dr Rajan TD has been running a skin OPD run by Larsen & Toubro Ltd. at Andheri for two hours every Tuesday since 1991. He has treated over 60,000 patients free of charge at the centre.
He is associated with various charitable institutions which treat physically and mentally disabled children.