What We Miss in Medical School
Room No. 1104, Clinic Building P.D. Hinduja Hospital and M.R.C. and Hinduja Healthcare, Mumbai, Maharashtra
|How to cite this article:|
Abraham P. What We Miss in Medical School. Natl Med J India 2018;31:119
Anuradha Totey. Paras Medical Publisher, Hyderabad, 2018. 212pp, Ī195. ISBN 97881-8191-486-6.
You would expect from the title of this book to read a discourse on the good things in life that we missed out in medical school, being cooped up in secluded environments among serious mates whose only variety in life and entertainment is referring to new medical tomes, while the world outside moves on with its social life and a liberal helping of fun. Disappointment! This book is instead one more serious volume that tells us what should be added to our medical curriculum to prepare us for the complex world outside.
Anuradha Totey is a Diplomate of the National Board in Ophthalmology ; she then went on to complete her MBA in human resources. She became the first woman trainer to get a 5 -star status for Joint Commission International official courses, and is a director of Master Creators. She thus introduces herself (in that order) as an international life coach, a motivational speaker and an ophthalmologist. In the former capacities, she has rendered her services to various organizations, in academic and corporate circles, mainly in the Asia-Pacific region. This concise book is a result of demands on life skills for doctors.
This 14-chapter book can be broadly divided into sections that cover dealing with oneself (tap your potentials, set your goals, branding and marketing, reaching the zenith, time management and financial management), with patients (doctor-patient relationship, communication skills and violence against doctors), with fellow doctor and other colleagues and with the society at large (medicolegal issues and hospital management). The chapters are, of course, intermingled, and some are written by guest contributors.
The language is simple, almost conversational English and straight from the heart. There is no attempt to impress with deep philosophy and heavy vocabulary. Instead, in places, it appears the gentle author wants to hold the reader by the hand and lead. Messages are given in points with expansion, and there is liberal use of simple charts, cartoons, image fillers and acronyms. Being a pocket-sized edition and with medium-sized well-spaced fonts, it is easy to rush through the pages. Each chapter ends with a summary and an exercise questionnaire that encourages the reader to sit through as in a workshop. In fact, the author almost seems to plead with the reader to pay attention. What is appreciable is the author’s passion about her mission.
The difficulty is where to position this book. It is obviously not for the seasoned professional—the advices come too late (maybe it is never too late). Is it for the authorities who set the medical curriculum? The scope is too wide to incorporate into a tight medical scholastic calendar. Is it for the graduate just getting out of medical school, embarking on a career? Maybe the book will act as a primer, encouraging the youngster to get the points together and search elsewhere for detailed guidance. But, most of all, it is full of the stuff workshops are designed around (not surprising, considering the author’s forte). Yes, that is the niche the book best fills.
In an attempt to keep it brief but comprehensive, the author understandably leaves out much of the detail. But, each topic, or combinations of topics, mentioned here could be the subject of workshops that can intersperse the year’s schedules—a gainful break from medical texts and journals to get an insight into the world outside. The chapters provide a skeleton on which to build. That brings us full circle: a book written by an author who conducts workshops on life skills that we did not learn, and did not know we missed in medical school, and that forms the framework for such workshops. Logical.
PS: A polite note to the publisher: give a copy editor access to the text before the next edition goes to print.