An effort to recapitulate and share my ideas,views and thoughts in words...

After all the toil and hard work we put in bringing out the medical exhibition, we were delighted in opening it for the public. It was a totally new challenge for many of us, as we have been just getting acquainted with the art of effective communication with the society; a quality we ought to master having to spend our entire lives treating the common mans ailments. I was posted in the Paediatrics stall and was fully relishing it. As it dealt with children, Paediatrics had always attracted me but I had least idea about this department as I had not been posted in the Paediatrics clinics. Nevertheless, I was ready to face the challenge and the fun filled atmosphere around our stall never made me break a sweat worrying about my absolute lack of knowledge in this branch of medicine.

Some half a dozen people came and went by during the initial hour. I was pretty happy explaining about the functioning of some neonatal care devices such as the warmer and the photo therapy unit; something that I had been prepared for, with the help of my seniors.

A middle aged man came in with a pleasant smile, I returned the smile. I prepared myself mentally as I sensed this gentleman was itching to pepper me with some questions. As I fancied that explaining something to him might relieve the slight tension building between us, I started briefing about the importance of a warmer. I could see it in his face that he was least interested in hearing my theory and soon he shot a question which caught me off guard. He asked about the causes of spina bifida and about the role of Folic acid in a pregnant woman. Well I knew this disease, It was basically a congenital anomaly, having defects in the neural tube. Confidently, I started explaining that the disease might be due to teratogenic substances. I also wondered why he asked about folic acid as I told some of the general functions of folic acid that I had learnt in my 1st MBBS. Just then, a final year student entered our stall, so I quickly asked him if I was right. To my horror, I learned that I had mixed it up with the causes of another disease, phocomelia and the correct cause was deficiency of Folic acid. 

I was embarrassed. I dared not to look into his face. He turned away from me, murmuring the following words to me under his breath

" My kid died of spina bifida". 

I stood there ashamed, my mind scampering for words in return, but in vain.

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