Changing Trends in Life Sciences
Trends in Medical Practice have changed during last thirty decades. When I recall my childhood memories, the first thing that doctors including Abu used to ask was about diet and physical activity including recreational activities, above all they used to discourage to take medicines. To the best of my experience as well as observation, I never found a patient on visiting a doctor is returned without being prescribed a list of medicines as well as diagnostics tests, including those people who have hardly enough food for another meal. These were the days when there used to be fewer doctors and a general practitioner was supposed to treat most of the illnesses as there were lesser specialties in Medical Sciences than we have these days. People in this region; used to be generally poor but rich at Heart. I very clearly remember while narrating the story of migration from India to Pakistan at the time of Independence Abu told me, on arriving at Lahore, people over here shared their food and other resources with us and other families who came from India leaving behind them everything. It is just a matter of few decades and now even within a house; many people find difficulty sharing with others. This attitude very much reflects that we were richer at Heart in Olden Days. Greed always accompanies with Poverty and Miseries that explains it all.
What did change the Most is our Education System? People in olden days who attended school used to have a better general literal standard, most of them knew how to make best within their own resources. There was not fridge so common but people used to preserve fruits in form of jam and jelly chatney pickles all prepared at home.It used to be long hot days and there were soft drinks and juices not so common, people used to rely on chaaj, (defatted sour yogurt), mostly prepared at home. Many families could not afford eating meat every day in the week, women in those days used to prepare different dishes from pulses and chickpea having taster similar like meat. The houses were designed in such a way that they used to be airy and cool during warm days and warm during cold days. People were aware of using jute with having it periodically watered to keep houses cool. In olden days people used to rely on nature whereas these days we are dependent on technology. But Human Science never changes.
The latest findings in research indicate that the mouth is connected with mind through gut at this stage I would avoid going into its details, surprisingly our forefathers were aware of this fact and their daily routine used to ensure that this connection flourishes to strengthen. People belonging to that age used to had at least three meals a day among them two must be with the family. I do not remember any occasion when we ate alone. These days people have more to eat but less to wear and they spend more on clothes than on food and drugs/medicines/ ingredients other than natural have become part of the food and we still expect our mind to be Happy and Body to be Healthy.
While passing through streets, I often find homeless kids having smile while sharing their meal even when they are not certain that they can have second meal within the same day, picked up from food leftover thrown in the garbage over here in Karachi and within the same city when sale is on anyone can observe customers fighting at shops while purchasing stuffs just even over a few Rupees as well as can find snatching the items they like from each other… on roads snatching of electronic gadgets and in wedding parties hunting for good meat pieces…….seems to be acceptable to all
It was not that long ago when a child s upbringing was considered to be whole society s responsibility… Bachey to shanjee hote hain (Children are Mutual). In those days teachers used to play the key role in character building of students in addition to giving them extremely High Standard Quality Education… in terms of approach Education used to be National Mission, not a Profession. I still remember, Abu told me his Medical College’s Story when once it started raining and the students requested the teacher who arrived from abroad to conduct some special sessions for certain illness on Behalf of World Health Organization (WHO) to release them to enjoy the weather when during the class it started raining. The Professor initially insisted to continue the session but on realizing that students were not convinced to study anymore he went out leaving a message over blackboard… Sky is weeping upon you. Another Medical College s Story that Abu told me seems to be a fairy tale to me. Once in Dow Medical College, two groups of students fought on some issue. Next day, while there was arguments going on a few boys, went out and brought a hockey with the purpose to hit others. The Whole Students and Faculty Community condemned this action of bringing hockey and did the social boycott of those students. They were blacklisted in the College. In those Golden Days (1950-1960) the medical graduates used to get offers directly for residency programs both in the United Kingdom and the United States of America without having fulfilled the prerequisite to appear in equivalency examination. When I was in Higher Secondary Class, our English Teacher taught us a wrong English Grammar Principle that I indicated to her when she was teaching but she was not convinced. In the examination, she gave questions based on that principle that I solved as per standard rules and while checking answer sheet she cut my marks. Abu taught me the English Language as well as Literature, himself he was a graduate of Government College Lahore, one of the top most Academic Institutes of those days, and was very good at English Grammar. I was not happy for unjustified losing marks. I decided to take reference books to support that my answer was correct whereas teacher taught us wrong to the Principal of the School, on sharing my intention with Abu, he stopped me doing it. He told me she taught you all correct except one principle that she was not ready to admit, making a complaint about her could damage her career but would lead me nowhere better, as without offering the DUE RESPECT to teachers and PROTECT their HONOUR KNOWLEDGE is never bestowed upon us by DIVINE. He was correct, I write incorrect English but my work is being published globally people still read and discuss the contents probably merely because I respect my Teachers same as my Parents and like them, I do disagree with their stance on logical grounds, probably that’s the reason, I have never been among favourite students for most of the teachers, though I was the favourite daughter of Abu.
As the teaching Trends changed over years so are the practices in Medical Field. In Abu s Era, in International Meeting Experts used to share the list of Extremely Critical Patients, who after being treated by them were able to spend Normal Happy Healthy Life. He used to often quote the example of Professor Jummah, the impact he made was not in term of coins but the people who were spending Normal Happy Healthy Family Life. In those Golden Days, doctors used to share their list of Best Treated Cases upto Complete Cure in meetings and occasionally invite few completely cured patients to motivate the junior practitioners and other experts.
These days experts are more interested in publishing the data to earn more grant to continue the process of RESEARCH but where is WHO? Where is HEALTH?
The writer is associated with the Profession of Teaching and Research with having inclination towards exploring the Features of Nature while enjoying Food with Families and Friends. She is Assistant Professor at Department of Food Science and Technology in University of Karachi, Pakistan.