“Every life is precious. This calls for a huge responsibility”

Dr. Anil Mehndiratta speaks on the challenges of his profession and the dreaded third wave of Covid

Dr Anil Mehndiratta was born in Delhi, and has been living in Goa since 1977. He completed his MBBS and MD from Goa Medical College. The zeal to do something for humanity is what inspired Dr Mehndiratta to get into medicine and become a doctor.

Dr Mehndiratta is a senior pulmonologist and has made an exceptional name for himself, in the State. Although he practices in Vasco, Dr Mehndiratta has managed to draw patients from all over Goa. Known to possess an impressive amount of knowledge, Dr Mehndiratta constantly keeps updated with advancements made in the field.

In the early years in the profession, Dr Mehndiratta faced many struggles but being a person who does well when the going gets tough, he persevered. He had a strong support system of his teachers, family and friends who helped him achieve his life’s ambition of serving the public; and shaped him into the kind of person that he is today. Dr Mehndiratta says the most challenging part of his profession is when patients come to meet him armed with information that they have received over the internet and contest the treatment advised by him.

“As any doctor, I too lay my decisions based on my knowledge and experience. However, if any patient errs in following the advised course of action, it’s a challenge to rectify it. Ultimately, every life is precious and if the life and well being of a patient is in your hands, it calls for a huge responsibility. Nevertheless, that is a part of this profession. We cannot afford to make mistakes. There is too much at stake,” he adds.

Dr Mehndiratta is the former President of the Indian Medical Association (Goa Branch) and spent his tenure restoring Doctor to Doctor relationships. “Doctor jousting is the unfortunate practice wherein one health professional makes critical comments about another provider’s standard of care, directly or indirectly, either to the patient or in the medical record. Doctor jousting is becoming an increasingly complicated issue because it corrupts a patient’s trust in the profession as well as his or her healthcare experience. Keeping the deteriorating atmosphere in the inter personal relationships among the doctors in mind, we selected the theme for the IMA Goa State for the year 2019 as ‘Restoring Doctor to Doctor Relationships’. With the theme in mind, we had multiple workshops and skits by our local doctors on the same topic”. Dr Mehndiratta was applauded for his idea of coming with a unique theme for his term as President which helped many doctors in their interpersonal relationships with one another as well as their patients.

As a chest physician, Dr Mehndiratta speaks on the covid situation, the dreaded third wave, which has hit a number of countries, herd immunity and precautions needeed to be taken by society. “Experts have warned that during India’s third wave, youngsters may face a higher risk of acquiring covid-19. This is assumed largely because youngsters were not included in the vaccine campaign, which would have provided them with antibodies to combat the viral illness. Herd immunity is not feasible for covid-19 as even one unprotected individual allows virus mutation and a potential surge. Hence, adherence to covid appropriate behaviour and vaccination is needed to reduce transmission of infection. Covid appropriate behaviour should be inculcated in our day-to-day routine in such a way that it becomes a habit. It should come to us as naturally as brushing teeth does.”

Further, he says that the vaccines protect against the severity of the virus and fatality. “Covid is not over as yet, and is likely to be around us for some more time”. Dr Mehndiratta keeps himself updated regularly on medical advancements and focuses on education while creating awareness programs for the public on the latest medical developments. He takes each day as it comes and maintains a balance between his professional and family life.

Dr Mehndiratta concludes by saying, “My aim is always to keep giving the best health care to the society.”

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