The moment he walked into the room, all eyes were on him.

 

Dressed in a tucked out checked shirt, jeans, and rubber slippers. A water bottle in one hand, a pink and white flowered cloth bag in another. His hair unkempt, the moustache and beard appeared as if he didn’t shave in months.

 

…..could he be? No, no way. No effin’ way.

 

“Everyone, this is Dr. Chandra Gowli. He’s a cardiothoracic surgeon. He used to be my PG student in St. John’s.”

 

Come again?

 

10 minutes into the lecture and we were hooked. Disbelief turned into admiration. Our judgement were in shambles.

How could someone so great be so humble?

 

I must say, after being here for almost 5 years, that’s the one thing I’ve been reminded over and over again. It’s to not be above the others, but to walk with them, guide them, be them.

And each time I came across one as such, I never ceased to feel amazed, masyaAllah.

 

I’ve been raised in a society which taught me a profession as a doctor is one worthy of recognition. More than just a job, it probably has one of the highest rung on the social ladder.

 

Because let’s face it, what’s more important that saving people’s lives?

 

The doctors, while this might not apply to each and every of them, know it. And they act it. While I can’t say this attitude is favourable, I can’t condemned it either- for they have worked hard for it, and they’ve definitely earned it.

 

But when one doesn’t let his position go to his head, when one bows down from their hard-earned status; especially when there’s no reason to do so- just because they can, and because they want to, these people have my respect.

 

Being here, I’ve met countless of such doctors. And by doctors I don’t mean medical officers (for in India there’s little value in being MOs) but consultants, super-specialists.

People who, if you happen to bump into them on the street, the word consultant won’t even crossed your mind. Fact is, these are probably among the greatest minds in the medical field.

 

I’ve heard an intern grumbling about a doctor who took the bus to the hospital. How he, as a consultant, should maintain his status as one.

And I found myself thinking, so he took the bus. So? It doesn’t, in any way, compromise his skills as a medical practitioner, nor his dignity.

Why is it even an issue?

 

Because it’s not common, that’s why. It’s not a norm for a doctor, who probably earns a 6-figure salary monthly to do so. What’s normal is this; when you have it, you flaunt it.

 

To maintain one’s appearance as a doctor- that, I have to agree. Why should we spend that extra 10 minutes to iron our clothes? Because our patients are humans, and it’s human instincts to place their trust based on physical judgement.

But status is nothing if not human made hierarchy.

 

I have to admit, I’m still a far cry from my doctors. I’m still learning, and slowly, slowly, I might be able to pick a thing or two, insyaAllah.

 

While it’s important to be a good doctor, it’s even more crucial to be a better person. For whatever we are, at the very core of it, we are first humans.

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