I had mentioned in my previous blog post – “All’s Well that Ends Well” about the above titled News Report. The said report was published in a leading News Paper “Early Times” when Dr. Alimohmad Musa was alive and his practice was flourishing to reap the rewards of many years of study.
Under the Title – “Where We live”, the Early Time’s Staff Reporter Mr. Ron Gower had expressed his views in his Column as follows:
“When President and Hillary Clinton began emphasizing health care reform, hundreds of things went through my mind regarding what should be done to keep health cost down. Needless to say, the high cost of medical services was among the topics I felt –and still feel– should be somehow brought under control.
There is no question many doctors charge too much for doing too little. Many people have mentioned how they spent time in a hospital, had a doctor poke his head in the door, ask how they felt, and then charged a hefty fee.
I once took a family member to a specialist in Allentown. We waited two hours in waiting room, had the specialist look in her ear, worked on her another two or three minutes , and charged $ 125. Then there was the time, we took my father-in-law to an emergency room. He had a very sore foot. The doctor there examined it, and then chastised us for bringing him there for “something trivial”. We demanded another doctor. It turned out he was admitted with gangrene.
On the other hand, there are some great doctors in the medical profession and we have some of them right in our area. These are doctors who care; who are courteous, sympathetic, patient, honest, and who charge rates which don’t give a heart attack when he gets the bill. Obviously, we haven’t met every doctor in the area. So, we can only write about physicians with whom we had first hand experiences.
One I have the highest praise for is Dr. Alimohamad Musa of Palmerton. He has treated quite a few members of our family, some with very serious problems. There were times he had to refer us to specialists and those specialists – who admitted they never met him – spoke highly of the preliminary treatment he had rendered.
Most recently, my father-in-law died. Dr. Musa has been his physician well over 10 years. My father-in-law had many serious problems including gangrene in both legs, several stokes, aneurisms, and pneumonia. Dr. Musa never gave up on him. Until the very end, he gave his best shot at curing David. He called in specialists and he demanded the best of care from the nurses at Palmerton Hospital.
Most of all, if we didn’t find Dr. Musa in the Hospital, he would call us regularly on the phone to let us know the status. The end came for David in the middle of the night. The first thing the following morning, Dr. Musa called to offer his sorrow. He also sent a sympathy card.
Dr. Musa was never a social friend. He only has had professional contact with us. But he went a little further than strictly business – he made us feel we were dealing with a caring person. I’m convinced we were.”
Further, in the said reporting, the Columnist mentioned other doctors dedicated to their profession. They were Dr. Marvin Snyder, Physician; Dr. Orlando Aso, Surgeon; Dr. John Steele, Physician; Dr. Terry Robbins and Dr. Susan Kucrirka both Dermatologists.
Then, Mr. Gower concludes his Report in these words: “When national health care reform measures are considered, it would be great if some of the professionals mentioned were contacted for advice. They certainly shine in their profession in my opinion.”
Topic of my today’s Post is about my youngest brother Late Haji Dr. Alimohmad Musa settled in U.S.A. and passed away like the Sunset at Mid-day on July 7, 1994; born and studied up to post graduation (M.S. – General Surgery) in India, but was buried there. It was the birth day of mine. I was waiting for his greeting phone on that day and the destiny gave us the lightening surprise in a different way. The numerical miracle took place here. My birthday was the last day of his life, but it is not enough. The Late’s birth year was ’53 and I was 53 years old at that time. Similarly, my birth year was ’41 and he died at 41. The mysteries of the Creator are beyond the capacities of the creations to be understood.
My introductory paragraph does not suit to the title of this blog, but I deem it necessary as just to introduce the Late in brief. Before I go further to highlight his struggles and achievements of his limited life, as I had introduced in my first blog ‘About me ‘, my brother was also a common man being our family member but was brought up as a son from his age of 4 when we all brothers and sisters were unlucky to have lost the shelter of our father in 1957.
This blog-post is purposeful to the next generation for inspiration to struggle in any field of life to reach the highest goals.
As per my usual style, I shall take support of a letter written by the Late to me in Gujarati but translated in English by myself. This translated letter was intended for the ready reference and inspiration to the Late’s son- Aasifali and daughter – Anisa as they were unable to read or write Gujarati. It is the grace of the God that they can understand spoken Gujarati now to some extent and our rest family members do not face any communication problem.
Now, let us go to the original letter in words of the Late (some personal matters not essential for the purpose of this article are omitted).
After a very long time, I have been in free mood to write you this letter. I am sorry for the delay. Last eight/ten months were the most difficult ones in my life and that I passed safe and sound. Soon after my completion of Residency in June 30, 1985; I can breathe with ease today and that is why I have spared the special time to write you the letter. You can understand with my good hand-writings that I am not in hurry. I have to write too much regarding pending information of various types of news since long.
First of all, the greatest news from me and for you also is that I passed my Certification Examination given by American Board of Internal Medicine at the very first trial. This exam is very tuff. Our hospital has started such type of training for the last ten years; but an American colleague of mine and I only have been lucky enough to clear this Exam at the very first trial. I am not boasting, but this is the greatest news for me in my life. This was the last Exam of my life and I was not hopeful even at least 1% that I shall succeed at the first stroke. No doubt, I always under – estimated myself; but this proved to be superior in comparison with American Graduates. This Exam has vital importance for foreigner doctors as well as American doctors and even the Graduates of leading Universities. After having cleared this Exam, one can consider oneself in equivalent category of an American Graduate. This certificate is just like a bearer cheque and if you tell anybody that you are a Board certified Internist; nobody will ask you anything else or review any other credentials in case of when you apply for any kind of job or start your own practice
This matter still continues as it is the historical event in my life. We were 8 (eight) candidates and out of which 5 (five) were allowed to appear at the examination. The rest 3 (three) were asked to study for one year more. Finally, out of five, we only two were passed. One was American and also the Chief Resident and I myself was the Asstt. Chief Resident. This was the historical event in the history of our Hospital to pass this Exam at the first trial. Well, a very hard dream came true. It is the grace of the God that, after having come here, I passed all the three examinations at the first trial and also with good grades. No matter, this Exam is not mandatory for job or practice; but if you pass it, that is extra-ordinary credit for a doctor who wishes to make a career.
Now, another news of my decision for Private Practice is that the last three months of my Residency were very hard. I was under the great tension of what I should do after the completion of my training. Day by day, the situation here becomes the worst. In very near future, the doors for the foreigners are to be closed.
Here, you have two alternatives; one – job and the other – Private Practice. As a foreigner, the Private Practice is risky. No doctors from abroad dare do practice soon after the training as there is no guarantee of success. This adventure may be or may not be result – oriented. There are many such examples in which the adventurers had to close up their hospitals (offices). But, with my inner confidence, moral support from your side, being the son of a businessman and having faith in Almighty Allah, I have come to the concrete decision of starting Private Practice in spite of having opportunities of job in number of four or five. I was going to sign a contract for a good job, but my conscious did not permit me. It was my aim that there must be my own hospital either in India or abroad. Once you join the service, you are gone. You can never dare to leave the job, particularly, in this country where the Private Practice is the greatest gambling and further you have to invest too much with no surety of returns.
I, by reciting the name of Allah, telephoned to the employer and said “Sorry, I am not going to sign your contract.” We shifted to Lehighton in July. We were here in 1982 for about one year and I had come in formal contact with an Indian Doctor. The place was known, but I passed the first two months in depression. You have to compete with the seniors and make your career. Slowly and steadily, I continued to go on; and now with the kindness of the Almighty, my practice seems to be viable and Insha Allah ( If the God wishes ), within two or three years, we would be in a satisfactory position.
I have started two offices at Lehighton and Palmerton. In the very beginning, some persons had discouraged me, but I didn’t care their advices. They people were right on their part. Here, in Private Practice, there is the great tension of liability. Day by day, mal – practice suits are increasing in this country. The premiums of Mal – Practice Insurance are very high. Besides, you have to remain available for 24 hours and the whole week. At midnight also, the patient may wish to be admitted and, in case of emergency, a doctor is bound to pay a visit to the patient even in the adverse climate.
In the month of April, I’ll complete five years. Just like a machine, I have worked here. Still, I have to struggle for two or three years more for satisfactory establishment of the career. Here, many changes are expected to take place for the Health-care. Some years ago, the profession of a doctor was considered paying a lot in this country. But, now a day, even many American doctors are leaving this profession to join business or any other activity. The main factor behind this escape is the fear of Mal – practice suits and liabilities. But, I don’t care. I am prepared for “Come what may” as per your telephonic counseling.
Now, I put an end of this letter as it is 2-30 after midnight.
* Amdu’s Salaams to all
(* “Amdu” was the abbreviated nickname since his childhood.)
Dtd.. 31st January, 1986 “
Summing up, I’ll take my Blog Readers to American Consulate Office at Bombay where I was with my son Akbarali for having Visa for America to attend the religious practices to be performed after my brother’s burial service. I submitted two leading newspaper reports: (1) Dr. Musa – Physicianwill be missed (2) Not All Doctors Money Hungry. The noble officer read them fully and calmly. With no demand of any documents, he expressed his feelings by saying ‘sorry’ to us and issued us the Visa.
I am going to post above newspaper reports into my next blog posts in order to justify the title as “All’s Well That Ends Well“. The current Blog Article is the reality of the Late’s struggle, but the ensuing Articles will highlight his glorious achievements of his life long efforts. Lastly, it is a matter of worth mention that behind the success of the Late Dr. Musa, there was the moral support of his wife – Anvery who encouraged him constantly to go on and on.