NotRetired.in - This 102-year-old man from Pune is one of worlds oldest practicing doctors

This 102-year-old man from Pune is one of worlds oldest practicing doctors

My wish is to live and die for my patients

 

"Being a doctor is one the most noble professions, where you can do the highest service to people. It gives humanitarian satisfaction, as well financial security. I have received everything from this profession, from reputation to money and the goodwill of people."  

 

Pune's Dr Balwant Ghatpande is one of the world's oldest practising doctors at 102-years-old.

 

Dr Ghatpande has been practising as a doctor of traditional allopathic since 1941 and has no desire to stop even at this age. He works 7 days a week for 10 hours a day and charges his patients just Rs 30 per visit.

 

 

"I would never retire," he says, when asked about his work. "Until my death I wish to continue to practice medicine. I pray that I should die while working in the dispensary," he told Hindustan Times.

 

On March 15, 2017, Dr Balwant Ghatpande became one of the oldest practising doctors in Pune, celebrating his 102nd birthday. His true passion for science amid the drastically changing landscape of medicine ensures that he continues to treat his patients at a nominal charge with no weekly off.

 

 

Family of doctors

 

His entire family is filled with doctors who have imbibed the same values.

 

 

"Being a doctor is one the most noble professions, where you can do the highest service to people. It gives humanitarian satisfaction, as well financial security. I have received everything from this profession, from reputation to money and the goodwill of people," he said.

 

 

The next generations hold a very high opinion about Dr Ghatpande's work ethic. "He has no other interest except his practice, that is his passion," said his son Sawanand Ghatpande.

 

 

His grandson, Chaitanya Ghatpande, who is also a doctor, calls his grandfather a workaholic. 

 

 

"Yes I am a workaholic and a proud one. I work over 10 hours a day and that also every day of the week. I don't like to sit idle at all," he said. When he is not working, Dr Ghatpande is either engrossed in his medical journals or reading newspapers.

 

 

Everyday routine

 

My wish is to live and die for my patients

 

 

He follows a strict routine in his daily life, whereby after waking up in the morning, he exercises for an hour and then sits to read newspapers. Sharing the "secret of his flawless health", he said that for the past many years he has been taking cold water baths only.

 

 

Except a fracture that he recalls having in 1995, Dr Ghatpande claims to have never visited another doctor for any sort of illness. The secret is his healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and a moderate diet. 

 

 

"Diseases of the modern world are very different from the old times..."

 

 

Ghatpande, having begun his career in 1941, shared his knowledge about the changing dynamics of diseases. "A decade ago there used to be epidemics of cholera, influenza, dysentery, but now that has gone down, especially because of improved hygiene conditions. Diseases like dengue and malaria have increased. Diseases of the modern world are very different from the old times, especially because of food quality and food habits now," said Dr Ghatpande. 

 

 

About the current situation of medicine in India, he said, "Everybody wants a specialist. Only after consulting a specialist will they come and visit a general practitioner now. Also, the old medicines are almost gone, so the new doctors don't really come to me for advice. I don't use these new medicines." 

 

 

With a meagre amount of Rs 30 per patient, he donates most of his earnings to charity, his son said.

 

 

The world needs more people like him.

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