Can You Really Heal People?

Author: Dr. Ali Khwaja

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Can You Really Heal People?

You have chosen to become Doctors – to serve human beings who need help at their most vulnerable times, for the status and respect that a doctor gets, to make big money – or for a combination of the above.

It is no doubt a tough job: irregular hours, tremendous pressure, overload of work, and the responsibility of having human lives in your hands. Before you qualify there are years and years of study, of books that are heavy enough to do weight-lifting with. Eventually you will settle down into your vocation – and disease, ailments, suffering will become an everyday affair. But I hope and wish that you will never ever allow yourself to become so insensitive that you forget the person behind the disease. Every time you push a needle into human skin, please spend a moment to think – not only about the physical pain to the patient, but also the emotional upheaval that he and his loved ones may be going through.

Medical science has taken such tremendous strides that most ailments of earlier years have become curable. Technology will assist you tremendously – from diagnostics to robotic surgery. Hospitals and operation theatres will resemble high-tech factories more than places of healing. But the patient will still come with his fears, anxieties, desperation. He will put his whole trust in you, thinking that you are super-human. At that juncture, will you retain the humility to acknowledge that life and death are not in your hands? My old family doctor had a sign on his table reading: “I treat, He cures.” If you can always remember that you are the Treater and not the Healer, you will be a very efficient doctor throughout your life.

The human mind is perhaps the last frontier of medical science. We have begun to understand a little more about the brain than we did earlier. But the brain is not the mind. As a person who works with human minds, with no knowledge of the brain, I focus on their emotions, I try to feel what they must be feeling. As a person who has had immense exposure to medical and hospital environment, I have also been witness to the tremendous power of the mind over the body. I have seen patients who have “willed” themselves to heal, defying medical logic. I have also seen with immense sadness people who have given up wanting to live, and have passed away without any mortal ailment.

Never under-estimate the power of the mind. Never neglect the significance of human emotions – for it is emotions that drive every action of the human. Never forget that you have been conferred with a very heavy responsibility of human lives. Let the overall well-being of the patient be your prime motivator. Whether he can pay for his treatment, whether he will respond to it, and whether he will live or die is not in your hands. But if you can come back home with a clear conscience that you did the best in the interest of the patient, you will sleep peacefully!

Hearty congratulations on being selected to serve such a significant and humane role in society. Unlike most other professions, you will be serving a great cause to humanity. On this momentous occasion, please do introspect, make your resolutions, and set the direction you will take to shape your future.

My best wishes and blessings are with you!

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