Dr. Rajendra Bhandankar, the Chief Joint Replacement Surgeon at KLES Dr. Prabhakar Kore Hospital in Belagavi, emphasized the importance of a holistic approach to medicine during his speech at the 48th State Conference of the Karnataka Orthopaedic Association Conference – 2024 (KOACON-2024) held at Subbayya Medical College in Shimogga. This oration, named after Dr. Verghes Chacko, a pioneer in the field of Orthopaedics, aimed to inspire participating delegates to uphold the dignity of the medical profession.
Dr. Bhandankar’s discourse, titled “Back to Future,” shed light on the interconnectedness between medical practice and societal upliftment. He passionately described the medical profession as the noblest vocation, emphasizing that doctors have a profound responsibility to contribute to the betterment of society. He urged for radical transformations within the medical field, stating that a doctor’s success should not only be measured by their clinical achievements but also by their commitment to serving marginalized and disadvantaged individuals with dignity and respect.
To illustrate his point, Dr. Bhandankar shared personal anecdotes from his journey as both a medical practitioner and a Tabla maestro. He highlighted the influence of renowned figures like the late Gangubai Hangal in shaping his holistic approach to healthcare. Inspired by his mentor, he took the initiative to establish a music school at KLE University and implement music programs for patients within the hospital premises. These endeavors aimed to foster community engagement and provide inner satisfaction to both patients and healthcare professionals.
Overall, Dr. Bhandankar’s speech not only emphasized the importance of a holistic approach to medicine but also highlighted the need for doctors to actively contribute to the well-being of society. His personal experiences served as a testament to the transformative power of integrating art and healthcare, ultimately creating a more fulfilling and compassionate medical practice.
Dr. Bhandankar shifted his attention to the advancements in joint replacement surgery, shedding light on the remarkable progress in medical technology, surgical techniques, and post-operative care that have led to improved outcomes for patients. The rise in conditions such as arthritis, obesity, and the indiscriminate use of painkillers and steroids, as well as sports injuries, has resulted in damaged joints. Dr. Bhandankar emphasized the importance of a multidisciplinary approach, involving anaesthetists, physiotherapists, nurses, and surgeons, to ensure optimal patient care. He also highlighted the successful completion of over 5000 joint replacement surgeries, which have met global standards.
Furthermore, Dr. Bhandankar called upon doctors to educate the public about the significance of lifestyle modifications in preventing non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and stroke. He stressed the importance of emotional well-being and mindfulness, qualities that all doctors should possess.
Addressing the prevalent issue of burnout in the medical profession, where doctors succumb to professional pressures, Dr. Bhandankar expressed concern. He advocated for involvement in social work and nation-building activities as avenues for professional fulfillment and contentment. Additionally, he urged his peers to embrace meditation as a means to find inner peace and resilience. Dr. Bhandankar’s insightful discourse received accolades from the attendees, culminating in a felicitation by the organizers of KOACON-2024. More than 1000 orthopedic surgeons from across the state participated in the conference.
As a final piece of advice, Dr. Bhandankar advocated for the integration of medicine, music, meditation, and movement to address societal needs and foster holistic well-being.