I remember the times when we learnt clinical medicine,we spoke to our patients, examined them, treated them and operated on them with the assistance of our seniors. With the advent of both science and technology riding at a speed unknown before, it has been possible for teachers to reach students millions of miles away! Distance learning is quickly catching up with many courses being offered online, with live surgeries being demonstrated through an App, with the latest developments in the field of medicine being just a click away, and with surgeries being practiced on simulators just as pilots do when they learn to fly. Is this the end of the road for our traditional means of medical training?
I agree such learning is safer for the patients, but the personal touch is missing!What we learnt through personally talking and examining millions of patients over decades, can never be replaced by reports or observed surgeries, it can only be supplemented by these additional inputs.
Whilst we as doctors, are constantly updating our medical knowledge, women too are updating their digital skills! In the past,way back in the seventies, whilst we trained at Government hospitals, we came across thousands of uneducated women, accompanied by their husbands, in the outdoor patient’s clinics of the hospital. When we routinely went through their medical histories, which believe me took a very long time, sometimes it would not be possible to even know their age of the woman! She did not have a birth certificate, we had to calculate her age based on when she got her first periods, how soon after that she got married, and then the husband could add on the number of years of marriage!
Every question was diverted to her husband, by her looking at him when we asked the question. So much so, that we asked her when was her last menstrual period, the husband gave us the exact dates! It was probably because he had a mental tracker of when he had to stay away from his wife!
Let’s come back to 2016 from 1971, and what do you think happens today? Instead of the woman looking at her husband or her partner, she looks at her mobile and gets on to the menstrual period tracker! What is the difference between the two women? In the first instance the lady could not count her dates because she did know how to, whilst 45 years later the lady knows extremely well, but has better things to do than remember her dates! The husband or her partner is replaced by the app on her phone!
This is the Era of apps! There are over a hundred apps on the net which help women track their menstrual periods, which tells them when to have sex if they want toplan a pregnancy and when not to have sex, if they are preventing a pregnancy! After all, many working couples in today’s world, live in distance relationships, and plan their togetherness as per the demands of their Apps!
It is true, it is more practical to have a baby quickly by timing sexual activity at the most appropriate time, but whatever happened to the personal touch!