Being a doctor has provided me with the ability to care for, be amongst and also work with people to the betterment of health care-An interview with Dr Raghuram Lakshminarayan Consultant Vascular Radiologist,Honorary Senior Lecturer, Hull York Medical School,Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust,Kingston Upon Hull, United Kingdom.
What prompted you to become a doctor & why did you choose this specialization?
I have always wanted to work with people and give something back to the community. This and my ardent interest in biological sciences led me towards medicine. Being a doctor has provided me with the ability to care for, be amongst and also work with people to the betterment of health care. Growing up with technological advances in other fields led me to specialize in Interventional Radiology. This specialty uses the technology of imaging and has led the way for development of minimally invasive image guided surgery. This specialty has also allowed me to provide excellent treatment options for our patients using innovative new technology.
What do you do if a patient refuses care at the risk of his or her own safety under your medication?
I believe that patient choice is paramount. However, it is the doctor’s duty to see to it that this choice is well informed. At the end of the day, the success of any treatment relies on both the doctor and patient working together to defeat the disease.
How do you like to be recognized for your hard work?
The biggest recognition I get is positive feedback from patients doing well after their treatment. There is also great pleasure in teaching and learning associated with the spread of knowledge which ultimately benefits people.
What are your biggest job motivators? Is it patient care or certain responsibilities?
I took to medicine because I wanted to take care of ill people. That has been my biggest motivator. There is no healthcare system in the world that can claim they provide care in an equitable manner, so it is every doctor’s responsibility to try make our own systems work better. I think the best way to do this is by working with all healthcare partners to strive towards perfection.
How do you try and create a great patient experience?
Patients look for treatment delivered in a compassionate, timely manner. If these needs are not met, however good or flashy the experience in the hospital is, patients won’t be left feeling good. To achieve this, doctors, nurses, paramedical staff and all partners have to work together with the sole motto of ‘timely, compassionate best medical care’.
With the upsurge in Medical Imaging, has the role and responsibility shifted or changed?
Medical imaging has grown exponentially over the last few decades. The ability for most surgeries to become ‘keyhole’ or minimally invasive, the ability to study the inner structures of the body has left medical imaging being the bedrock on which the success of various other specialties rest. Having a good medical imaging department is a key to successful healthcare delivery of any hospital. The advantage medical imaging has is the ability of transporting images over the internet. This has led to the decoupling of image acquisition and image interpretation. The pandemic might have just helped telehealth and telemedicine expanding and medical imaging will be at the forefront of this expansion.
Is Vascular medical imaging the fastest growing segment of healthcare?
The increase in diabetes and obesity has put vascular disease into sharp focus. Imaging is the key to defining the problem and interventional radiology is one of the newest specialties which has helped revolutionize the way in which the patients are cared for with excellent outcomes. Vascular imaging and intervention is also saving lives in trauma in a big way. This has been possible with huge advances in technological innovations to image ‘flowing blood’. I have been lucky to contribute to this growth.