May 23, 2010

Doctors must possess six virtues, says Abdul Kalam

Former President A. P. J. Abdul Kalam on Thursday highlighted the six virtues that doctors have to possess since a doctor is expected to work with compassion.

The six virtues, he said, are — generosity, ethics, tolerance, perseverance, concentration and being intelligent.

Dr. Kalam was speaking at a function held at the Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre (MMHRC) here to commemorate the ‘10 years of operations of Smile Train in India' doing corrective surgeries for persons affected by cleft lip/palate.

The function also marked the completion of 5,000 corrective surgeries at the MMHRC in partnership with Smile Train, USA.

Citing from a book titled ‘Medicine and Compassion,' the former President said that these six virtues are expected of medical practitioners. “The virtues will empower the health providers with a humane heart. The doctors have to put these virtues in to action,” Dr. Kalam stressed.

Seeing the children who underwent corrective surgeries for cleft lip and palate, he said that “the work done by Smile Train doctors proves how the suffering and distortion can be rectified and how the lost smiles could be brought back on the faces of affected children and their parents.” Dr. Kalam lauded the good work done at the MMHRC through Smile Train initiative.

“By doing free surgeries, the hospital in Madurai was able to instil a sense of confidence among the affected families in southern districts. Good hearts have to become partners in this mission,” he observed.


Sathish Kalra, Regional Director, Smile Train, said that two lakh reconstructive surgeries were done in India so far in the last 10 years. “This year alone, 50,000 cleft lip/palate surgeries are planned and the coverage will be all over the country,” he said.

Mr. Kalra said that Smile Train initiative in India was started in year 2000 and totally 170 treatment partnerships were set up with 250 surgeons participating in the cause. Subodh Kumar Singh, a Varanasi-based plastic surgeon associated with the Smile Train project, said that free surgeries were able to bring a positive change in the lives of cleft lip children. “This is a successful mission/model which can be used for other ailments,” he said.

S. Gurushankar, vice-chairman, Meenakshi Mission Hospital and Research Centre, said that the hospital has been participating in a good social cause through Smile Train by taking it as an opportunity to reach out to thousands of cleft-lipped children waiting for corrective surgeries.

N. Panchavarnam, Project Director, The Smile Train Regional Centre, MMHRC, Sam C. Bose, honorary consultant and an eight-year old girl from Chennai, Indumathi, who had a successful surgery for cleft lip, were among those who spoke.

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