Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Former President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on Friday urged doctors of the future to strive towards reinforcing public confidence in the healthcare system.

Addressing young doctors at Madras Medical College, which is celebrating its 175 {+t} {+h} anniversary, Dr. Kalam wanted doctors to be inspired by the legends in their specialities who had left a legacy of community service. In an hour-long interaction with the medical students, Dr. Kalam gave medicos a wish list of virtues essential to a physician and his vision for the MMC.

He exhorted students to uphold the six virtues of medicare —generosity, ethics, tolerance, perseverance, focus and knowledge-seeking.

Dr. Kalam recounted the lives of three great doctors whom young doctors should look up to for inspiration and motivation— B. Ramamurthy, trailblazing neurosurgeon, Venkataswamy, a pioneer of community ophthalmology and H. Sudarshan, who works to promote tribal health care in Karnataka. Sometimes, Dr. Kalam's advice assumed the form of an equation.

“When there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty in the character. When there is beauty in character, there is harmony in the home and when there is harmony in the home there is order in the nation…and peace in the world.” Medicos repeated every line like a pledge. A proper oath would come later when Dr. Kalam administered an eight-point charter of dos and don'ts for them. On his vision for the MMC for the next two decades, Dr. Kalam called for creating a synergy of teaching and research from the undergraduate level. The MMC should become a hub for virtual education and be an important partner in preparing the healthcare roadmap for the nation, he said.

Dr. Kalam outlined vaccinology, low cost nutrition, preventive medicine and lifestyle and application of traditional knowledge for holistic and affordable medicines for the rural poor, as among the important future research areas.