The hardships of a career in Ayurvedic practice

Source– The post is based on the article “The hardships of a career in Ayurvedic practice” published in The Hindu on 6th March 2023.

Syllabus: GS2-

Relevance: Traditional practices of medicine

News- Practice does not seem to be a feasible career option for most Ayurveda graduates. There is a trust­ deficit in AYUSH treatment.

What is scepticism among the public about Ayurveda?

There is widespread scepticism in the public mind about the soundness of Ayurvedic theoriesand the fruitfulness of its practices.

The Ayurveda establishment has failed to keep pace with the intellectual and scientific advances of the times. A major reason for the trust ­deficit in Ayurveda is its diminished evidence based quality.

Another perception is that Ayurveda treatments are slow to heal.

Why the view that Ayurveda is slow to heal is not correct?

Ayurveda’s thrust is on patient benefit and not merely on patient gratification. Real patientbenefit would be sustainable as opposed to patient gratification which is momentary.

Sustainability of treatments requires a gradual transition from illness to wellness. Sudden relief is deemed superficial and temporary. 

Therefore, the popular view that Ayurvedic treatments are slow to heal is thus a half­ truth. It can be corrected by appropriate patient education.

What are the challenges faced by an Ayurvedic practitioner?

A new Ayurvedic Practitioner faces the difficult realities of public perception.College training is a huge corpus of ancient medical wisdom, where has limited practicaluse.

Ayurveda does not have a vibrant ecosystem of science and research. The poor practitioner has to depend on himself to discover treatments and approaches that actually work.

The process involves a lot of trial and error with patients and predictably leads to an erosionof the practitioner’s reputation.

Ayurveda can be used safely and efficiently only in about 60%­ to 70% of primary care illnesses. For the rest, it is necessary to complement Ayurveda with modern medicine.

Most States prohibit the practice of modern medicine by Ayurveda graduates. Thepractitioners face difficulties due to it.

Practitioners resort to gimmickry and publicity, due to general trust deficit.It is harmful for genuine Ayurveda physicians.

What is the way forward to improve the condition of Ayurvedic practitioners?

Appropriate policy making can solve a lot of these problems.

Rejuvenating primary care is necessary to secure the health of its citizens. Ayurveda graduates can contribute enormously towards this if trained properly.

A proper training of Ayurveda graduates with a view to make them good primary care doctorswould involve- (1) A vigorous evidence based appraisal of Ayurvedic Theories and practises. (2) A statutory decision to allow Ayurveda graduates to practise modern medicine in stipulated primary care areas.

There is a need for sincerity, straight thinking, and some adventurism on the part of stakeholders.

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