Being a COVID Front Line Doctor

Our society values actors and sportspersons more than essential workers. I think more emphasis on scientists and frontline staff would help us deal with a pandemic in a better way in the future.

Dr Veer Pushpak Gupta on being a font-line doctor

I’m currently doing general practice training with a special interest in cardiology and respiratory. That’s why I was on the forefront of dealing with a lot of COVID patients during all these months. However, what I really want to do in the future is global health. I’ve worked in the United Nations in the past whilst I was in New York. I have also worked in Singapore, Ireland and now London, so I’ve seen a range of different healthcare systems around the world. I think I will be a good candidate to become some sort of consultant for global health and work in policy making etc.

I do enjoy what I do when it comes to my work. The satisfaction of curing someone or coming up with a diagnosis that nobody in your team was able to is worth it! But there’s also frustrations because of the amount of time, resources and money that you have to put in. In fact, there’s a really good book called “This is Going to Hurt”. It’s written by a junior doctor turned comedian Adam Kay talking about his experience working in the NHS. However, at the end of the day, although medicine is a long road and you tend to get settled in life much later than your peers, after the initial burst of hard work, rewards do follow both financially and with work satisfaction.

Currently, the government has finally imposed a mandatory mask requirement in shops. However, it would have been better if this was introduced earlier on. We are still number 2 in the world for COVID cases and It’s kind of embarrassing that so many people in the UK died and it’s due to inadequate planning and initiatives. The clapping for the NHS staff is also highly appreciated, but it should be backed up with government policy of looking after the NHS and its employees.

I was treating patients in March who had COVID-19 and I got sick and I had a pretty rough time because of that. The BAME population is also more at risk. 9 out of 10 primary care physicians who were killed because of the virus were from the BAME community. There’s a genetic linkage to this because black and South Asians have an increased risk of getting diabetes, heart and blood vessel disease. COVID has now evolved into a blood vessel related disease so what we are seeing is a lot of blood clots as a result. This finding is taken very seriously as well because we did a whole health screening for all BAME members at work and I was identified as high risk so I was told to have no patient contact for a month.

If a young person comes to me and asks if they should do medicine, I’d say, ‘yea, it’s a great career and a stable job. You also get to help people, but be prepared for the sacrifice. Don’t go in thinking that it’s going to be all sunshine and roses. The journey only begins after medical school. However, despite that, they are coming into the field during a very interesting time. As healthcare professionals, we are leading the fight against this pandemic and there’s an increased interest in medicine and healthcare.

Another thing that I have realised during the pandemic was that our society values actors, sportspersons and social media figures more than essential workers and I think the reversal of this and more emphasis on the scientists and frontline staff would help us deal with such a pandemic in a better way in the future.


Instagram: @dr_veerpgupta

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