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Why i like medical microbiology

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  • 1.                                                                WHY  I  LIKE  MEDICAL  MICROBIOLOGY?                                                                                    Dr.T.V.Rao  MD                                                                                                                           I  was  a  post  graduate  student  in  1980’s  switching  from  General  practice  to  join  a  MD  in   Microbiology,  it  was  a  difficult  task  to  adjust  to  laboratory  work,  it  were  good  days  at  Andhra   Medical  College,  Visakhapatnam  many  senior  teachers  were  involved  in  reporting  the  culture   reports,    un  like  today  the  work    culture  has  changed  so  much  with  the  privatization  of  Medical   colleges,  and  many  conflicts  among  the  teachers  in  public  run  institutes.  Many  seniors  teachers  are   just  part  of  the  system  in  diagnostic  work.  Soon  I  realised  Microbes  influence  all  living  things  and   contribute  to  all  manner  of  chemical  and  physical  processes.    Because  these  activities  are  so  diverse,                             gg34aZ              specializing  in  many  different  fields  of  life  science,  environmental  science  as  we  process  the  many   environmental  specimen  in  the  safety  of  Operation  theatres.    My  understanding    made  me  to   realise,  Microbiology  arose,  and  continues  to  profit  from,  several  previously  independent  scientific   and  medical  disciplines,  including  bacteriology,  virology,  public  health  science,  clinical  microbiology,   immunology,  parasitology,  vaccinology,  and  a  host  of  other  areas  of  inquiry.  Today  many  matters  are   left  to  the  postgraduate  students  without  guidance  from  seniors,  My  guide  Dr  B  Raja  Rao,  a  very   committed  Microbiologist    told  me  to  read  the  diagnostic  microbiology  by  Bailey  and  Scot  and  you   will  be  ever  green  to  the  needs  of  the  patients,  he  was  kind  enough  to  allot  me  topic  on  Bacterial   isolation  of  Enteric  pathogens,  soon  I  realised  that  faecal  specimens  are  complex  with  all  known   pathogens  present  in  the  stools,  one  day  I  really  got  confused  with  the  isolates,  and  told  to  our   Madam    that  I  am  thinking  whether  I  adjust  to  the  basic  sciences,  she  told  me  coolly  that  the  art  of   Bacteriology  lies  in  identifying  the  pathogen  from  commensals  never  forget  the  MD  degree  worth   when  you  can  separate  pathogens,  and    identify  and    to  do  a  Anti  bio  gram        it  is  all  expected  from   the  post  graduates,  and  it  was  a  great  lesson  for  me  and  started  doing  many  other  specimens  along   with  technicians,  the  almighty  favours  the  dedicated  minds  and  had  an  opportunity  to  do  my  part  of   thesis  work  at  NICED  –  ICMR  Calcutta,  it  was  all  amazing  experience  that  I  learnt,  we  all  think  as   Doctors  with  MBBS  in  our  laboratories  and  realise  that  I  should  shed  I  am  a  treating  Physician  and   changed  my  mind  I  am  a  investigating  scientist  I  could  spend  much  time  in    learning  many   techniques  which  I  would  not  have  learnt  from  many  MD’s  in  Medical  colleges,  as  research   organizations  dedicate  for  the  quality  work  and  few  short  cuts,  Most  often  if  you  work  with  someone   who  is  fantastic  at  it,  you  will  be  too.    once  again  back  to  my  parent  teaching  institute  my  association   with  my  class  mate  Late  Dr  Meera  who  was  most  dedicated  person  to  the  work,  made  me  to  learn   many  things  with  her  coordination,  many  times  we  were  competing  on  academic  matters.  Soon  I   realised  more  than  any  other  biological  science,  microbiology  has  the  potential  to  be  thoroughly   engrossing,  challenging,  and  rewarding.  It  is  inherently  very  cool.      And  really,  you  must  be  clever  to   get  anything  out  of  it.    I  suppose  that's  what  I  really  appreciate  most;  that  the  smarter  you  get,  the   more  you  will  get  to  know.      Be  prepared  to  have  very  few  books  but  choose  the  best  only  from     many  great  International  authors  most  of  the  Indian  books  can  help  just  undergraduate  teaching  and   not  more  than  it,  and  a  whole      a  lot  of  articles  even  from  the  Internet,  today  we  are  lucky  so  much   occasion  of  knowledge  available  with  the  click  of  a  mouse  on  Internet,  read  few  hours  on  a  rare   microbes  your  will  good  at  many  matters  in  recent  advances,  You  are  at  the  boundaries  of  science,   be  prepared  to  have  to  work  really  hard  in  the  beginning  and  then  not  so  hard  as  the  years  goes  on.     Again,  the  more  you  know,  the  easier  it  will  be  to  know  more.    It's  kind  of  cool  in  that  way.  I  find   today  many  are  turning  towards  the  Internet  for  many  things  as  teachers  with  competency  are   reducing  however  there  is  no  greater  book  than  a  competent  teacher,  I  have  seen  many  teachers  
  • 2. with  lack  of  hands  on  experience  are  becoming  preachers  of  microbiology  rather  than  practitioners   of  Diagnostic  Microbiology.  In  few  decades  in  Microbiology  I  realised  microorganisms  are   everywhere  and  it  feels  very  good  to  learn  about  them.  Food,  medicines  and  even  computers  are   making  use  of  them.  Just  try  and  look  for  things  around  you  which  are  related  to  microorganisms   and  I  am  sure  you  will  find  in  numerous  things.  After  30  years  of  my  practise  in  Diagnostic   microbiology  matters  have  changed  so  much  the  Microbes  are  no  more  innocent  and  ignorant  as  in   the  past  they  are  well  versed  how  to  fight  back  the  human  achievements,  they  too  are  good  in   Molecular  biology  as  we  progress  with  RT-­‐probe  assays,  line  probe  assays.  I  do  worry  that  the  old   problem  may  be  resurfacing  in  a  new  guise.  The  allure  of  the  fascinating  mechanisms  of   pathogenesis  that  have  been  uncovered  is  so  strong  that  it  may  tempt  one  to  teach  as  many  of  them   as  possible.  This  would  be  an  incorrect  idea,  in  my  opinion,  because  it  would  merely  replace  a   parade  of  facts  with  a  parade  of  mechanisms.  Instead,  it  seems  more  reasonable  to  deal  with  the   grand  unifying  themes,  such  as  the  appropriation  of  host  functions  by  pathogens,  communication   between  infectious  agents  and  hosts,  or  the  role  of  the  micro  biome.  Again,  they  would  serve  to   construct  an  intellectual  scaffold  of  their  own,  Our  post  graduate  students  should  realise,  how  much   more  satisfying  to  have  a  framework  for  learning  a  lot  of  material  rather  than  just  having  to   memorize  a  bunch  of  isolated  facts!  .  Many  join  today  as  a  restful  profession  and  arm  chair  Job.  The   work  of  all  Microbiologists  is  constantly  evolving  as  relatively  as  new,  and  emerging  infections  are   surfacing  such  as  campylobacter,  helicobacter  and  legionella  are  recognised,  while  research  and   medical  development  always  push  diagnosis  techniques  forward.  Often  ‘older’  diseases  such  as   tuberculosis  are  occurring  with  new  forms  as  MDR  tuberculosis  ,  and  less  commonly  cholera  and   diphtheria  are  still  being  diagnosed  in  our  laboratories,  Try  to  teach  some  group  of  people  who  are   practising  the  methods  on  prevention  in  Hospital  infections,  soon    we  are  cared  by  many  clinical   practitioners    and  never  feel  let  down  you  are  a  Non  clinical  professional  ,  and  the  future  belongs  to     clinical  Microbiologists  ,  think  the  ways  to  survive  in  spite  of  many  limitation  in  the  system  we  work  ?   I  dedicate  this  article  to  my  Leaned  teachers,  Professor  B  Raja  Rao,  Late  Dr  Saroja  Venugopal.  Late   CSV  Subramnayam,  Dr  Joga  Lakshmi  and  Late  DrMeera  without  whose  training  or  association  I  could   have  been  one  among  many,  and  perished  in  the  sea  of  ignorance.     Dr.T.V.Rao  MD  Professor  of  Microbiology  Freelance  writer      

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