Don’t restrict yourself to ‘dotcom’ era

Don’t restrict yourself to ‘dotcom’ era

One of the serious concerns about the new generation in our profession is obviously the increasing tendency to blindly follow modern clinical procedures. And, when it occurs at the cost of patient safety and comfort, it is all the more worrying.

Completely ignoring time-tested conventional methods, which are often much safer and better in given circumstances, is not a good practice even in the ‘dotcom’ era: A small peep into the past is always rewarding.

It is a general trend of late that many clinical procedures get over-mechanised in the name of sophistication and technological “advancements”. As we all know, many such trends do not often contribute to a better clinical outcome, but merely satisfy the of the promotion of the so-called sophistication.

For instance, in gynaecological surgeries, the latest trend is to do every procedure endoscopically; rather, the young doctors learn it that way. Endoscopy is certainly a big boon to clinicians as it has made many surgical procedures easy and less invasive. In certain cases, it is necessary too. But the flip side is often an unnecessary cost escalation, and sometimes, the risks associated with electric powered scissors and other accessories.

Many conventional procedures, like vaginal surgeries and bikini line incision etc., are proven to be much safer and less expensive. These procedures have been in practice for a very long time and often proved more comfortable for patients too.

So, it is always good to put the patient at the centre by giving them the choice. Be wise enough to admit the good and bad of both the old and the new, and try to adopt a complementary approach, looking at what is ultimately good for the patient. And, don’t just be a ‘dotcom’ doctor.

Author is Professor, Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynaecology at University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg

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