Journal of Pediatric Critical Care

EDITORIAL
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

Pediatric intensivists in India: The pursuit of happiness


Utpal S Bhalala 
 Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of San Antonio, San Antonio; Department of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Utpal S Bhalala
The Children's Hospital of San Antonio, 315 N. San Saba Street, Suite 1135 San Antonio, TX 78207
USA




How to cite this article:
Bhalala US. Pediatric intensivists in India: The pursuit of happiness.J Pediatr Crit Care 2021;8:1-2


How to cite this URL:
Bhalala US. Pediatric intensivists in India: The pursuit of happiness. J Pediatr Crit Care [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Sep 23 ];8:1-2
Available from: http://www.jpcc.org.in/text.asp?2021/8/1/1/306488


Full Text



The results of survey study published by Prasad and Dayal in the current issue of the Journal are very encouraging.[1] The pediatric intensivists in India have a good quality of life, and they are overall satisfied with the job. However, violence in healthcare remains a big worry. This is the first published survey of Indian pediatric intensivists, highlighting their job satisfaction and quality of life. The authors' effort is commendable since it is a robust survey with a good response rate, and most importantly, it is timely.

Pediatric critical care medicine is a relatively young specialty in India, and it is growing tremendously not only on the clinical but also on the academic side.[2],[3] It is important to learn about the positive side of the picture with high job satisfaction and improved quality of life at the time when overall moral may be down due to rising violence in healthcare in India. The survey results and this Editorial shed light on the big picture of the pediatric critical care career in India.

The potentials to deliver high-quality and safe patient care by a physician are optimized if the physician is satisfied with the job. It is very important to understand the elements and domains of the job/work which define job satisfaction. Social, cultural, ethnic, legal, and political factors of the specific region, personal factors, and job-related factors contribute to physician's well-being and overall job satisfaction. Pediatric critical care medicine is a growing, but challenging field. It involves solid understanding of the pathophysiology of the diseases, application of pathophysiology knowledge and evidence-based practice at the bedside, working closely with team members with different levels of training and expertise, working with patients and their families, dealing with end-of-life care, and sometimes difficult team members and/or difficult family members. Further, the path of becoming a full-time pediatric intensivist through a rigorous training is often not-so-smooth. In countries like India, doctor-to-patient ratio is often dismal, and resources are often limited. These factors pose additional challenges to practice of pediatric critical care in India. With the growth of the specialty, as more and more postgraduate students get interested in pediatric critical care as a career choice, it is important that the pediatric critical care community in India takes a step back to understand the level of job satisfaction and rectifiable factors associated with job dissatisfaction. There is ample evidence to suggest a strong positive correlation between job satisfaction of medical staff and patient satisfaction with the services in these healthcare settings.[4],[5],[6],[7],[8] The survey results suggest that majority of pediatric intensivists in India are satisfied with the job. However, rising patient dissatisfaction manifesting as increasing violence in healthcare in India contradicts the positive correlation between physician's job satisfaction with patient satisfaction. There is a need for further evaluation and implementation of appropriate measures to mitigate rising problem of violence in healthcare in India.

The survey results suggested that majority of pediatric intensivists trained in India settled down in smaller cities, thereby defining the success of the training program in India. Majority of pediatric intensivists practiced general pediatrics as well as pediatric intensive, care due to various reasons ranging from personal preference to institutional requirements. It might be interesting to conduct a comparative analysis of the physicians with and without general pediatric practice to understand role of practice model on work–life balance, job satisfaction, and quality of life. The survey raises an important concern of insufficient daily leisure time reported by two-third of pediatric intensivists in India. The free time away from job has been reported to determine job satisfaction;[9] however, despite a relatively short, daily leisure time reported by physicians in India, a majority of them provided positive response about job satisfaction. This suggests possibly that there are regional and cultural differences in how physicians define optimum, daily leisure time, and job satisfaction. Although majority of pediatric intensivists in India provided positive responses about their work and overall quality of life, 7.7% thought of quitting pediatric intensive care and choosing a low-risk field and practice safe general pediatrics. It is about time the Indian government takes appropriate steps to mitigate the problem of violence in healthcare.

In short, the job satisfaction among majority of Indian pediatric intensivists is high and their quality of life is promising. The survey results send a very promising message to the trainees who might be interested in pediatric critical care career in India. The same survey also sends a very clear and timely message to the medical and political community about the rising violence in healthcare in India and an urgent need for measures to mitigate this rapidly growing problem. A further evaluation of social, cultural, ethnic, legal, and political factors that determine job satisfaction among pediatric intensivists in India would further shed light on the important but often ignored topic of job satisfaction and quality of life among the physicians.

References

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2Bhalala U, Khilnani P. Pediatric critical care medicine training in India: Past, present, and future. Front Pediatr 2018;6:34.
3Bhalala U, Bansal A, Chugh K. Advances in pediatric critical care research in India. Front Pediatr 2018;6:150.
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