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Experts Talk
Dr Geeta Chadha
Senior Consultant, Obstetrics & Gynaecology,
Indraprastha Apollo Hospital,
New Delhi
DoctorNDTV: What, according to you, are the attributes of a good doctor?
Dr Geeta Chadha: According to me, a good doctor must have a good knowledge of the subject he is a specialist in. He/she must be empathetic, compassionate, accessible and communicative with his patients. It is important that he considers himself as a service provider and not talk from a position of authority to his patients. He must be honest and ethical in his way of handling patients.
DoctorNDTV: What is your opinion about medical training in India? Why are we not able to retain talent?
Dr Geeta Chadha: Medical training in India needs more hands on experience in surgical fields. Newer technologies are slow to reach government medical colleges.

In order to retain talent, it is important that we provide the right opportunities and working ambiance for the doctors to stay back. Considering the long and arduous journey that an individual travels in medical line, he is nearly forty years of age by the time he gets a consultants job. It is important that in such situations, the remuneration that is offered to medicos is in keeping with the inflation and the prevalent economic situation so that he is comfortable.

DoctorNDTV: Do you think health information websites are useful? What are your views about DoctorNDTV?
Dr Geeta Chadha: I strongly support the health information websites but also believe that one should always edge on the side of caution and not be dismissive of  so called frivolous symptoms as there are times when an ominous ailment may come without any major symptom. So, an examination by a clinician can never be replaced.

Also a qualified doctor or a panel should wet the information provided on such sites.
DoctorNDTV: Why did you choose your present job?
Dr Geeta Chadha: I have been exposed to medicine from my childhood as my father was a doctor. I silently also at times wished that I could be a police officer after interacting with Ms. Kiran Bedi, who was my father’s patient. But as I grew, my passion for medicine grew and I fortunately managed to get into the prestigious All India Institute of Medical sciences and it is in this place and the kind of involved teaching that the faculty indulged in, I knew I would have not been happy if I had chosen to do anything else.
DoctorNDTV: Could you describe your typical working day?
Dr Geeta Chadha: My working day includes morning rounds of admitted patients, who are either awaiting surgery or are post operative cases. There is Out patient department, where I see patients everyday. I operate whenever I have surgeries posted. I attend the clinical meetings of the department and also at times other specialties, which are regularly held as CMEs .

DoctorNDTV: Does the Indian health care system have any problems? If yes, how would you tackle these?
Dr Geeta Chadha: I have often voiced at various platforms that there is a disconnect between the private and the public set ups. What I mean by this is that the government hospitals are inundated by numbers, which is not the scenario in private organisations.

I, as a doctor with practical experience of nearly twenty five years in my field, am more than willing to give back to the society what I got from it in the form of very subsidised education. If the government hospitals have a long waiting queue of patients awaiting surgery,I am willing (and am sure so would many doctors at my level in private organisation) to go in my free time and even if it is late evening or night hours and clear part of the backlog and not charge the surgeons fee. This kind of an arrangement could be worked out by mutual consent of our colleagues in the government hospitals.
DoctorNDTV: Is there anything you think must be done for the better health for all?
Dr Geeta Chadha: Education for all at the school level, so that they are empowered to access and comprehend the basic information that is now freely flowing through various channels of communication.

Till such time that one can access this on his own, active dissemination of simplified take home messages through TV, Radio, newspapers  and movies would certainly make a difference.
DoctorNDTV: What would you have been if not a doctor?
Dr Geeta Chadha: I think, a police officer...
DoctorNDTV: Who is the person you admire the most or are most influenced by?
Dr Geeta Chadha: From my childhood, I have admired and been influenced by my elder sister - Mrs. Kitty Kumaramangalam. I belong to a very modest background and was always told by my sister that we all have to grow in life and the only way is through slogging and working honestly. I was very influenced by her sheer energy and her dynamism.

From my parents, I learnt that one has to value qualities like compassion, warmth and service with a smile. Material strength / money power, which is considered so important these days, was not that high on the list of important attributes that a person had to have, in the days when I was growing up.

From my husband I learnt patience and humility. I have been influenced by many people and have always tried to imbibe the good I see in others and don’t have. As I am growing, I am also learning to introspect and see my negatives in an objective manner and try my best to weed them out of my system.
DoctorNDTV: What has been the professional achievement that has made you most proud?
Dr Geeta Chadha: I have been happy that my enthusiasm to learn new things is still very strong.

I am also proud of the fact that I am growing as a professional in the sense of continuing to learn newer techniques and using them on my patients so that they can derive maximum benefit.
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