White Coat, Stained red

(Olga Guryanova: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Aramva Bikram Adhikari, a 3rd year medical student at Maharajgunj Medical Campus Institute of Medicine, Kathmandu, Nepal. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The day of 8th August, 2020 seemed to be slithering along like what was now a normal Saturday of the COVID-19 lockdown in the peace-loving country of Nepal. A cup of coffee straight out of bed at 12pm? Check. Government COVID-19 update at 4pm? Check. A news bulletin of some doctor getting pounded on by a flock of folks of the patient he spent every ounce of his diligence and medical expertise trying to save, just because they felt he was negligent and should’ve instead listened to their advice born out of the minutes and minutes they spent scrolling online? BIG check of course, who you’re kidding? I remember the days when the then sporadic news of violence against medical personnel produced impromptu banter from colleagues claiming the need for self-defense course to be appended to the undergrad medical curriculum. Things couldn’t be more tragic if it tried, when the amusement we reaped from the harmless joke slowly traversed the fiction-reality divide and now they seem more like a requisite than some far-fetched idea. So appalling is the situation we find ourselves in that you’d do well to find a medical student in Nepal who has not witnessed first-hand a manhandling of their lecturers.

Now more than ever, when around the world medical staffs are being paid pocketsful of claps and bagsful of appreciations (which is, as tragic if not more, when they should be receiving actual commodities they can pay their bills with), the public perception of doctors and nurses in Nepal seems to be hitting reverse quicker than a politician’s tongue when scrutinized for their false promises. Time and time again protests seem to gain eminence and then get extinguished faster than the hopes that health workers will someday get the safety they deserve. At a time when the backs of many political camels are getting broken around the globe, the last straw is fast approaching the medical fraternity. The profession once considered noble couldn’t be further away at the moment. Slip-ups may well be rubber stamped in the 46 chromosomes of a human, but in the future I would appreciate not being petrified of getting stomped on every time I attempt to save a life.

What is the solution then? Much like my sentiments so far, there has been waffling aplenty with no answers in sight. Marches and demonstrations have so far fallen on deaf ears. We might as well blame the public but how long we can wait for the whole country to be enlightened so that a healer can heal without fear is another concern altogether. Have we reached the stage when we start contemplating self-defense measures akin to the PPEs for the other virus threatening to liquidate the medical system? Medicine has held its own in shielding the rest of the humankind from the invisible enemy. It’s about time her sons and daughters are given, above all, the protection they deserve. May the divine white coat be never stained red!

About the author

Aramva Bikram Adhikari is a 3rd year medical student at Maharajgunj Medical Campus Institute of Medicine, Kathmandu, Nepal. He is an active member of Nepal Medical Students’ Society (NMSS), the National Medical Organization under IFMSA. Holding an avid interest in public health and medical education, he believes that medical students have a far greater responsibility to their community than they realize and must at all times strive to work for the betterment of the society however tiny the impact may be.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Will Cameron succeed in keeping UK inside the EU and reverse the present economic downturn?

The rise of Generation Restoration and youth ecopreneurship

5 myths about face masks under the microscope

Clamp down on illegal trade in pets, urge Public Health Committee MEPs

UN rights chief ‘extremely concerned’ over deadly crackdown on protesters in Iran

African economies sustain progress in domestic resource mobilisation

African cooperation on peace ‘increasingly strong’, Security Council told

UN chief welcomes establishment of inclusive government in Central African Republic

EU plans to exploit the Mediterranean Sea and the wealth beneath it

This new programme could hold the key to solving global health challenges

Commission welcomes entry into force of EU4Health programme

Drought in Europe: Member States agree on support measures proposed by the Commission

Turkey remains numb while its economy is expected to shrink further due to a cocktail of EU and US sanctions

Protecting migratory species in a rapidly changing world

Drinking water: new plans to improve tap water quality and cut plastic litter

Why law enforcement and businesses need to join forces to fight global cybercrime

UK keeps its Brexit plan secret or there is no strategy at all whatsoever?

Electronics can trigger a more circular, sustainable world – here’s how

COVID-19 vaccines: Parliament supports speedy authorisation of safe vaccines

Human Resources Information Systems Specialist Trainee – 2013

EU’s Mogherini visits Turkey “to step up engagement” and highlight interests

Greenery: the miracle cure for urban living

Six months after the Beirut port explosion: reflections from a first responder

UN agencies launch emergency plan for millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants

UN-backed intercultural dialogue forum urged to keep working to ‘bridge gap between the like-minded’

A 10-step plan to save our seas

Stop wars disguised as peace missions

The 28 EU leaders unable to start a relevant debate on migration and Brexit

Ukraine: EU report notes continued implementation of the reform agenda though challenges remain

This cheap, 700-year old solution could change billions of lives

The new crisis is already creeping into the financial system

‘Rare but devastating’ tsunamis underscore need for better preparation, UN chief urges on World Day

How Gen Z and Millennials can learn to love manufacturing jobs for real

Connect 4 Impact – a virtual journey around the globe WSA Global Congress 2021 – March 22-24

Mandela, ‘true symbol of human greatness’, celebrated on centenary of his birth

EU Budgets: Europe hoping for Xmas gifts

Europeans show record support for the euro

Roma integration: fight social exclusion, poverty and anti-gypsyism, MEPs demand

Why collaboration will be key to creating the workforce of the future

How young people are turning the tide against corruption

Food safety: New rules to boost consumer trust approved by MEPs

Migrant workers sent more money to India than any other country last year

These entrepreneurs are turning discarded fishing nets into surfboards and swimwear

Why do medical students need to go abroad to become a doctor in 2017?

Teenagers’ career expectations narrowing to limited range of jobs, OECD PISA report finds

Brussels enraged with Swiss referendum result to keep out EU citizens

Artificial Intelligence has a gender problem. Here’s what to do about it

Migration crisis: how big a security threat it is?

OECD will follow Canadian proceedings addressing allegations of political interference in foreign bribery prosecution

Milk, fruits and vegetables distributed to schoolchildren thanks to EU programme

Laws must protect, ‘not reject’ says UNAIDS chief on Zero Discrimination Day

UN condemns deadly simultaneous terrorist attacks on military camps in Mali

Stricter rules and tougher sanctions for market manipulation and financial fraud

More effort needed to improve equity in education

The umpteenth Italian overturn takes Renzi and PD to unprecedented victory at EU elections

Disillusioned young people – France thinks it has a solution

More Germans are swapping planes for trains because of climate worries

HIV in sexual and reproductive health and rights of the ageing population

Here’s how community lending could help refugees find their feet

MEPs react to breaches of human rights in Moldova, Burundi and Somalia

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s