Saturday, May 09, 2009

Who wants to become a doctor?
Evidently, not too many people, as this ToI report notes.

It takes ten years of sustained, punishing, high-risk training of the finest minds to make a trained specialist (obstetrician, surgeon, pathologist); fourteen if you want a 'super' specialist (cardiologist, brain surgeon). The results these days, despite the risk, can be quite impressive.
The only known 'de-risker' we know? The calibre and training of the mind-hand holding the scalpel.

About 15 years ago, Maharashtra created a new 'super-risk': a line of mantris and babus of the command-and-control dispensation, for whom doctors were slave labour.
Clever policies and incentives ensued: mandatory rural postings, endless exams, shifting universities, disappearance of teaching seats, and, of course, increasing reservations.

The finest minds have voted with their feet. Should we be surprised?