Health Watch
  • Doctor's Day is celebrated to recognize the contributions of doctors towards the lives of people and society at large
  • In India, National Doctor's Day is celebrated to honor the well known physician Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy.
  • Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy was the second Chief Minister of West Bengal and he received the highest civilian award, The Bharat Ratna on February 4th 1961

History of National Doctors' Day
National Doctor’s Day

Honor a physician with the honor due unto him for the uses which ye may have of him: for the Lord hath created him. - Ecclesiasticus 38:1

Bidhan Chandra Roy is a legendary doctor who attained a lot of fame for his sincere passion towards serving the society. He was the son of a deputy collector and was born on 1st July 1882.

His Humble Beginning

He joined Calcutta Medical College but during his second year in college, his father retired which forced him to lead a very frugal life. This period in his life saw him struggle through college, saving money wherever he could by learning from library books rather than buying copies of his own.

At the Time of Partition of Bengal

During his period of study, there was a lot of contention about partitioning Bengal with Lal Lajpat Rai, Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal delivering speeches to inspire the youth However, Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy persisted with his academics believing in earnest that studying would let him serve his country better.

After Graduation

Dr. Bidhan Chandra Pal joined the Provincial Health Services soon after he graduated and earned admiration from people around with the hard-work that he put into saving the life of patients.

This phase in his life also showed his commitment to improving the health of people as he practiced privately in the evening, charging a very small fee of Rs 8.

Setting Sail to England

His thirst for knowledge led Dr. Bidhan to apply to Dr. Barthelomew's hospital to pursue higher studies. However, the dean of the hospital rejected his application. Another inspiring nature displayed by Dr. Bidhan was that he persisted with his application, applying 30 times till the Dean finally relented and accepted him.

Within a short span of two and a half years, Dr. Bidhan Chandra completed M.R.C.P and F.R.C.S and returned to India soon after.

Contributions and beliefs of Dr. Bidhan Chandra that inspired a generation and continue to do so.
  • Dr. Bidhan believed that people should be physically strong and healthy if they have to be effective in the fight for Independence.
  • He established numerous institutions that included Nehru hospital, Chittaranjan Cancer Hospital, among others.
  • He actively encouraged the entry of women into the field of health sciences by starting an institution that trained women to work as nurses and to carry out social work.
  • He built air shelters for college and school students to study during Japanese attack on Rangoon. He was conferred the Doctorate degree to commemorate his efforts during this time.
  • He spoke strongly against strikes or any other method of disrupting studies.
Most Important Patient

Gandhiji was Dr. Bidhan Chandra's patient and the doctor was responsible for convincing Gandhiji to eat a 'foreign medicine' when he fell ill during the Quit India Movement.

Chief Minister of West Bengal

Dr. Bidhan Chandra was the second Chief Minister of West Bengal, he stayed away from conflicts and controversies. The doctor brought in unity within the state, which had just faced partition, restoring law and order within a span of 3 years.

His famous lines at that time were 'We have the ability and if, with faith in our future, we exert ourselves with determination, nothing, I am sure, no obstacles, however formidable or insurmountable they may appear at present, can stop our progress... (if) all work unitedly, keeping our vision clear and with a firm grasp of our problems."

Dr. Bidhan continued to treat patients till the last day, his one true calling that he devoted his life to.

The life of Dr. Bidhan Chandra and many doctors who similarly share the spirit to heal people and improve health of society at large, need to be honored for their relentless effort. A doctor's life isn't easy and is riddled with obstacles that they make light of in order to work towards a healthier society.
  • Doctors have irregular timings, leaving them completely committed to their work and giving them very little time of their own or for their family. There have been reports of doctor's attending to patients even during difficult times like an earthquake.
  • People list BPO employees as shift workers, unmindful of the many doctors who stay up all night often to treat patients.
  • Poor dietary habits as surgeries and constant monitoring of ailing patients leave very little time for a relaxed meal on many days.
  • A heightened risk of infection, which was noticed even recently during the EBOLA outbreak, resulted in many doctors falling ill themselves.
"Who will treat doctors?" is a resounding statement that evokes strong emotions from society at large. In honor of the benevolent nature of their profession, the celebration of the National Doctor's Day with enthusiasm and spirit is a befitting response. Let us thank every doctor we know for another year of treating people and getting everybody back on their healthy feet.

Source: Medindia

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