Doctor's Day 2020: A day in the life of a Gynaecologist

Dr Suhasini Inamdar, Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist has shared how her typical day as a doctor is.
Health & Fitness,Doctor's Day 2020Doctor's Day 2020: A day in the life of a Gynaecologist
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These are unprecedented times as the entire world is grappling with the pandemic. This is particularly the toughest and the most challenging phase especially for the healthcare fraternity who are battling COVID-19 and are racing against time to provide the best of the treatments amidst the pandemic. With the world going through the COVID-19 crisis, people are dependent on their doctors now more than ever, not only for their physical well-being but also for mental and emotional support.

As a gynaecologist, my job is both difficult and exhilarating. It is a privilege to help my patients during these troubled times. To help so many women, who are feeling scared and vulnerable now, it is my duty to provide a ray of hope for all of them, who are giving birth to new lives every day. For a gynaecologist, there are no fixed hours of duty. After all, a big part of our jobs involves delivering babies and no baby is going to wait for a convenient time to be born. 

They will come into this world, whether there is a pandemic or not. Then there are also important gynae surgeries to be performed that are essential to save the lives of the patients. Seldom are we involved in situations where we are able to get a good night’s sleep because many times patients are admitted during the night time and we have to rush to treat them. On the other hand, the need to provide constant reassurance to all the expectant and delivering mothers is the first and foremost duty of every gynaecologist.

How my typical day starts:

I wake up early in the morning and take care of the chores at my own home, where I have to make sure that my children and family are looked after properly and have everything they need. Then I rush to the hospital, where I must tend to my extended family- the patients. As I enter, I notice the numerous disturbances and humdrum in the OPD. I encounter a variety of patients every day.

Some are extremely co-operative, while others may be stubborn and haughty. Also, a few refuse to understand the situation of other patients who are going through labour or delivery. While dealing with all of this, I have to attend to my patients, half of whom are pregnant or hoping to be soon. The rest have come in for their gynaecological exams. 

These are scary times to visit a hospital, especially if you are pregnant. Not only are you experiencing the anxieties of carrying a child, but you also have the added fear of contracting the virus, if you visit a hospital. Expecting mothers are going through a rough time, it is my duty as their treating doctor to reassure them and ensure that I will be there at any time they need me. 

They are in a state of panic at the drop of a hat and then I tell them that they must have faith and confidence in their doctors, as we understand the sweet pain and joy of becoming a mother. I want to help make their journey to motherhood as smooth as possible. It gives me great joy when I notice them calming down after they have had a talk with me. At a time like this, the mental health of the patients is of utmost importance to us.

Delivering babies, I believe, is nothing short of a miracle but also a beautiful experience of creating and bringing their bundle of joy after 9 months of toil and it also takes an emotional toll on the couple as well as the treating doctor. I must guide the mother through the anxious moments and the tension of the normal gestation and provide them with the assurance that both she and the baby will be healthy and safe post-delivery. 

Some are high-risk pregnancies, where we have to be extremely careful with the procedures. The process can be tough and exhausting, but the joy that you see in the parents’ eyes when they see their child, is something to behold and makes it all worth it.

There are also some extremely tough days in my field of work. While there are the extreme rush and joy of successful deliveries, there are also times where I have to deliver the news of a miscarriage. Those moments are the most heartbreaking of all. 

How I need a strong family support system:

Doing a job as stressful as mine, especially in the current times, I am very glad to have an extremely strong family support system. My children are very proud that their mother is a doctor and is helping people at this hour of need. Of course, they are worried and tense, as I have to go to the hospital during the pandemic, where there is a risk of me contracting the infection, but they understand, for me, patients are the priority and I have to answer the tough call of my duty amidst COVID-19. 

They understand situations where I get calls in the middle of the night or have to rush to the hospital abandoning my lunch, because they know, that their mother is a duty-bound professional who has taken an oath to be in service of her patients.

How I take care of myself while managing everything:

Managing work and family at a time like this has not been easy, to say the least. Going to work has become riskier than usual. No matter what precautions you take, the fear of the virus is always there at the back of your mind. However, as health professionals, we cannot let the fear win and we certainly cannot leave our patients behind. We convince them that we would be there for them and all the gynaecologists are firm on keeping that promise.

Therefore, when times are tough, I remind myself to take care of my own mental and physical health. Doctors should develop some hobbies that they can pursue during their free time, it is the simplest way of diverting your mind to something good instead of thinking of something terrible. Spending quality time with your family also helps a lot. Practicing exercises in the form of a simple morning walk, yoga, deep breathing or meditation can help us in relieving stress. It is important to remember to be mentally strong so that you can provide that strength to your patients.

At the end of the day I believe that if you love your job as I do, there is nothing that can stop you from doing it. As I strongly believe that “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”, so when the situation becomes difficult, the strong will work harder to meet the challenge. Helping so many families, making their wishes come true, bringing new lives into this world, has truly enriched my experience of being a doctor. I am extremely lucky to have a family that understands my line of work. Trust me, there are days when it is all too overwhelming, but then I remember there is nothing else in this world that I would rather be doing. Each day is a challenge but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.

By Dr Suhasini Inamdar, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Indiranagar, Bangalore.

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