Importance of Language – 85% Assessment is through patients history
Language plays the most important part in a Doctors career. The Doctors understanding of the patients dialect, the discussion revolving around the history of a patient, the problems being faced, the explanation of the diagnosis and finally prescription and prescription plan, are all communicated well, when the Doctor understands what his patient is saying or trying to say and vice versa.
The above statement was communicated to us when we were delving into the practice of Neurology, while interviewing Dr. Aakash Shetty – a young Medical practitioner who has made a name for himself in the Udaipur circle. Dr. Shetty is currently with GBH American Hospital and seeks to hone his skills be taking up fellowship programs under globally renowned practitioners in Movement Disability, especially Parkinson’s Disease.
How we came across Dr. Shetty
One of our patrons (name withheld on request) had taken up treatment at GBH, under Dr. Shetty. The patient in their family was diagnosed by Dr. Shetty of having been hit by a virus resulting in muscle problems – a condition called GB Syndrome (Gullaine – Barré Syndrome), which is one systemic rare disease, affecting one in a hundred thousand people per year.
During treatment, our reader found Dr. Shetty to be extremely knowledgeable on the disease, very forthcoming in explaining the problem, the prescription and finally treatment and followup. This led us, out of curiosity to know more about this gentleman, eventually leading up to an interview.
About Dr Shetty
Dr. Shetty is a Parkinson’s specialist, keen to conduct his practice in issues relating to Movement Disorders – something that he wanted to do since taking up Medicine, as he had watched from early age his grandmother suffering from the disease.
With a MBBS from Maharashtra and MD from Manipal, he began his career as a practitioner cum lecturer at Manipal, in Neurology specific to Movement Disorder. This practice led him to excel in this filed and get accolades from his seniors who have been champions to the cause.
Dr. Shety, on being asked what made him choose to come to Udaipur all the way up from Karnataka, explained that he loves talking to people and preferred an independent practice, which is why he chose to move from Jaslok in Mumbai, where he worked as a Junior Consultant and move to an independent position. Being in Karnataka, he faced numerous language difficulties and though he learnt communicating in the local dialect, he still found it to deter him from proper dialog with his patients and come to consensus with his seniors or peer group.
Aware that in Rajasthan, almost everybody communicated in Hindi apart from the local dialect, he chose Udaipur over Hyderabad, other factors not withstanding. Dr. Shetty says that 85% of the diagnosis is understood by conversations with patients leading to the patients history. The remaining 15% is tests and prescription, what he says and stands by. He further adds, that though translation helps, history and communication are lost in translation.
Dr. Shetty has worked as a fellow under Dr. Pettarusp Wadia at Jaslok and has participated in 5 research papers on Parkinson’s Disease, while under Dr. Wadia. His Research papers were accepted in Movement Disorder Workshop at Berlin and this is where he chanced upon taking the next step, doing fellowship in Movement Disorder from Canada.
It is ironical, the as a young boy, Dr. Shetty, while watching his father, Dr. Shantaram Shetty (General Practitioner) always deep into books, was slightly skeptical about Medicine as it involved regular study even while practicing. He says that being an average student till 10th, he was never keen on studying much, but took up Science, and while he was a slowcoach with Maths, chose to take up Biology as he felt it came naturally to him – the signs of becoming a good doctor?
Cracking the Maharashtra Common Entrance test in the very first attempt, Dr. Shetty consummated his MBBS and took up MD from Manipal and practiced as DM and lecturer at Karnataka. Moving on to Jaslok in Mumbai, where he worked as a Junior Consultant, he felt that being independent was a more natural requirement for his practice. He chose to move to another employer and came to Udaipur, choosing it over Hyderabad – again an outcome of his understanding that language needed to be comprehensively understood. Before his delving into Neuro, Dr. Shetty studied Nephrology, but was asked to practice under a Neuro specialist – which drove him to crack various examinations in Neuro with flying colors, and imbibing the love for this domain.
Dr. Shetty now moves on to do a Fellowship in Movement Disorder with Parkinson’s as a specialization, from Canada, and chooses to return to India as there is a dearth of Parkinson’s specialists in the Country (only 20 odd specialists).
On being asked of where he wants to be 10 years from now or what he wants to be looked up as, Dr. Shetty gives an example, that of one of his teachers – Dr. Radhakrishnan, who is a name to be reckoned with in Epilepsy, globally. Dr Shetty says that one cannot talk about Epilepsy in Medical circles, without mentioning Dr. Radhakrishnan or his work – this is how he wants to be looked upon and is his benchmark.
We wish him all the best in the future and hope that his humility and deeper understanding of the phenomenon of Movement Disorder coupled with his learning on the global platform brings back to India, a master to the cause and a champion in Parkinson’s.