Every patient wishes to get the best care for their ailment. And hence, each one of us looks for the best doctor in the concerned specialty. When it comes to bariatric surgery, how do we find the best doctors? Well, this is no easy task as there is a multitude of talented doctors in our country. However, I will still make an attempt to break this down into a few simple points that may help you to reach to a conclusion:
Training– Above all, I place training. A good surgical skillset must be one of the core criteria to define a good surgeon. In his book- The Outliers- Malcolm Gladwell writes that one needs to practice for 10,000 hours to become an expert. A surgeon who has trained for a long period at a high-volume centre would be expected to have a good surgical hand as well as would be aware of the finer nuances of the specialty. Not only does a good surgical hand matter but she/he must be well-versed with management of complications as well.
Commitment- It is important for a bariatric surgeon to be committed to this field as it demands a lot of work. Obesity is a chronic disease and must be treated like one. Follow up after surgery is life-long and while patients are expected to be diligent with their follow up routines, bariatric surgeon must also be equally committed to long term care. Unlike other surgeries where patients need not follow up after a certain time, in bariatric surgery, the role of regular visits, follow up, counselling and problem solving are very important.
Time- One of the qualities of best doctors in any field is “giving time to their patients”. Best bariatric surgeons will give you enough time and solve all your queries. Time is a precious resource and this quality is highly appreciable in any doctor.
Compassion- Compassion is at the core of medicine. When it comes to treatment of obesity, most people are unable to understand the complexity of this disease. A bariatric surgeon must be able to empathize with her/his patients at every stage. That is an essential step towards better care.
Comfort level- Last but not the least, all human beings recognize when they feel comfortable around someone. Bariatric surgery is a big step. Your surgeon and her/his team will be your lifelong companions in this journey. Hence, it is of paramount importance for you to develop a comfort level with the team. A surgeon who makes you feel comfortable, listens to you patiently and is there for you at every step, is the best bariatric surgeon for you.
Responsiveness- This is a basic tenet of any relationship. We all want to be responded to. Bariatric surgery pushes one into a novel lifestyle. There are many changes not only in diet but in everything. Patients who undergo bariatric surgery are taking a major step and are nervous. Most of them have already faced a lot of bias and stigma in their lives. It is nice if the surgeon, bariatric team and the patient can form a healthy relationship and patient queries can be attended to in a timely manner.
The list can go on and on, however I will leave you with this for now. I am also very thankful to Outlook magazine and my peers for nominating me as one of the Best Doctors in Mumbai, India. I believe that there is no single doctor who is the best, however, it is my constant endeavour to provide the best care to my patients to the best of my ability.
Dr. Aparna Govil Bhasker is an accomplished Bariatric Surgeon and Laparoscopic GI Surgeon. Extremely passionate about her field of specialization. She completed her MBBS and MS in General Surgery in 2006, from Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS), Sewagram. Set up in 1967 by none other than the first health minister of India, Ms. Sushila Nayar, MGIMS is deeply rooted in Gandhian ethics. Read more