May I wish you, your family and friends and colleagues at work a very Happy New Year! A big thank you I render to you all for electing me to this post of the President of our esteemed Association. I assure you that I am aware haloed legacy that accompanies this office and I would be the first to admit that when I look at the list of achievers who have preceded me, I am a bit intimidated. But I know that I am not alone, and with you by my side, together we are good for all occasions, formidable for all challenges and astoundingly awesome for all eventualities.
Friends, not just Plastic Surgery but Medical Science, in the shape it is today, is facing an existential crisis because the world expects a lot from us, lot more than we can humanly deliver. The patient was patient but the consumer demands instant and guaranteed service. He is out to purchase immortality and the government, with its regulations, or lack of them, is not helping either. So the situation calls for an overall change in your approach to patient care where you will have to convince, perform and document to the best of your ability and at the same time be an exceptionally good human being!
Remember, a challenge for the mediocre is an opportunity for the champion. Our perception of life can change its whole essence, and there is no doubt that each of us encounters situations in which our point of view determines how we interpret them. I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. Our environment has little impact on shaping our personality. What does have a significant impact on our personality and our soul is confronting the fears and weaknesses we have, and once we deal with them properly we can become anything we want. What stops you is not the situation, but your fear of it.
Your life isn't about position. Your life is about action and how you perform - regardless of the title on your business card. We have no power over the way some things ultimately turn out. But in every hour and in every day, we have the capacity to choose how we will think and how we perform and show up. And that's a ton of power. If you choose to give to your patients what is world class then everything else that you so passionately desire will fall into place - automatically. No, you do not need patronage of a godfather, the best wishes of the biased and corrupt referring plethora or the good luck charms – after all stones have never carved the future of a man, it is man who has carved Kohinoor, Ajanta and the Taj Mahal out of stones!
To my junior colleagues, who are not exactly ecstatic about what they are doing today, may I remind you that there are no unimportant jobs in this world. All work can be infused with meaning, passion and a dedication to world-class. Remember the old story of the 3 stonecutters? The first was asked what he was doing. The reply was: "I’m cutting a bunch of rocks." The second responded: "I'm building a wall." The third smiled and said with deep pride: "I'm building a cathedral." I hope you guys and girls are in the cathedral building mode!
May I, in this New Year, appeal each one of you to know your limits, keep updating your knowledge and skills, choose your patients carefully, perform world class, learn when not to operate, avoid loose comments about your colleagues, look after your health, spend time with your family, be united and be victorious. I hope to remain in constant touch with you, as I have been in the past. I wish you all the very best in your professional and personal life.
Dr. Surajit Bhattacharya