Madhya Pradesh: Resident Doctors Navigate Toxic Environment at Gandhi Medical College

According to resident doctors, " Doctors are subjected to prolonged shifts exceeding 36 hours, and mental harassment from senior staff is rampant. Those who fall ill during duty are berated and belittled, labeled as weak, and subjected to verbal abuse. Despite complaints, there's a culture of silence, driven by the fear of repercussions and the necessity to complete our degrees."
Madhya Pradesh: Resident Doctors Navigate Toxic Environment at Gandhi Medical College

Bhopal- Recently, the administration of Bhopal's Gandhi Medical College has been grappling with a distressing revelation: a letter detailing the possibility of mass suicides among doctors surfaced. Despite the Dean's efforts to address the concerns raised in the letter by meeting with the Doctors Association, the five resident doctors who authored the letter remain untraceable.

Consequently, the college administration is now inclined to dismiss the letter as fake. Nonetheless, the grievances outlined in the letter shed light on the persistent harassment faced by resident and junior doctors within the institution.

Speaking anonymously, a resident doctor disclosed to The Mooknayak, "Doctors are subjected to prolonged shifts exceeding 36 hours, and mental harassment from senior staff is rampant. Those who fall ill during duty are berated and belittled, labeled as weak, and subjected to verbal abuse. Despite complaints, there's a culture of silence, driven by the fear of repercussions and the necessity to complete our degrees."

The letter, addressed to the President of the Federation of All India Medical Association (FIMA) in New Delhi, decried the toxic environment prevailing at Gandhi Medical College's Hamidia Hospital. Although unsigned and lacking specific names, the letter depicted the dire circumstances faced by medical staff, highlighting the pressure to endure excessive workloads and verbal abuse.

The contents of the viral letter conveyed a sense of despair and hopelessness among the medical community, describing their continuous exposure to a toxic work environment. Despite the formation of a committee by FIMA to investigate the matter, the reluctance of the doctors who penned the letter to come forward has led to doubts regarding its authenticity.

Kuldeep Gupta, spokesperson of the Junior Doctors Association (Juda) in Bhopal, expressed skepticism regarding the letter's credibility, stating that despite efforts to encourage medical students to step forward, no individuals have come forward, leading them to question its legitimacy. Nevertheless, the college management has implemented duty rosters and reduced duty hours in response to the concerns raised.

Tragic Suicides Highlight Toll on Medical Professionals

In recent months, a series of heartbreaking incidents have underscored the profound challenges faced by medical professionals in Madhya Pradesh, particularly within the confines of Gandhi Medical College (GMC).

Seven months ago, the medical community was shaken by the untimely death of junior doctor Akanksha Maheshwari, a 24-year-old postgraduate student in the Pediatric Department at GMC. Her lifeless body was discovered in her hostel room, surrounded by syringes and injections.

In a heartbreaking one-page suicide note recovered at the scene, Akanksha expressed her inability to endure the overwhelming stress any longer. Her words, filled with remorse and gratitude, spoke volumes about the internal turmoil she battled: "I am not so strong... I am not able to bear so much stress... Sorry mom and dad, sorry to friends too. Thank you for giving love. I am not strong. I am taking this step for personal reasons."

Adding to the distressing narrative, Dr. Bala Saraswati, a dedicated third-year postgraduate student at GMC, succumbed to the unbearable weight of her circumstances. On August 1, 2023, Dr. Saraswati tragically ended her life by administering anesthesia in her own home. Despite efforts to save her, she was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital. A poignant suicide note retrieved from her mobile device revealed the depths of her despair and the insurmountable obstacles she faced in completing her thesis. The note read, " "I will never be able to complete my thesis and these people will never be able to live me down again, no matter what happens if I put in my blood and soul and give it my all it will never be enough for them Please forgive me for choosing to enter this college against your wishes.".

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