Mental harassment of Dehradun PG doctor: Timeline shows why reform in medical education is imminent

The harassment of a first-year PG resident is among the many ironic examples of how a few doctors in the country carry out their duty but are subjected to harassment in return
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Representative Image(Source: EdexLive.com)

With the recent loss of life of a resident doctor from Uttarakhand, the medical community has again raised an alarm against the inhumane working hours and the overbearing mental duress one has to tackle to be a medical worker in the country.

Dr Divyesh Garg, a first-year Pediatrics postgraduate (PG) resident at Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical & Health Sciences (SGRRIHMS) Medical College in Uttarakhand's Dehradun, on May 17, chose the extreme step. What followed was a series of developments to shed light on the toxic environment these medicos work in and the stress they go through. 

EdexLive procured a copy of the First Information Report (FIR) filed by the deceased's father Ramesh Chandra Garg, which details the succession of events leading to the doctor's tragic demise.

Let us look into the chain of events pre- and post-FIR. 

September 2023: Divesh Garg, a 27-year-old MBBS doctor, hailing from Haryana's Hodal, was offered admission to the Shri Guru Ram Rai Institute of Medical & Health Sciences (SGRRIHMS) Medical College for his residency programme in the Department of Pediatrics.

October 2023: Divesh joins the university. A few days pass by, Divesh complains to his family about being subjected to extreme mental harassment by the Head of the Pediatrics Department, Dr Utkarsh Sharma, and other professors of the department, namely, Professor Ashish Sethi and Professor Bindu Agarwal.

December 2023: Despite Divesh's repeated claims of harassment, his family assures him and reminds him that when it comes to medical services, these afflictions are commonplace 

Divesh breaks down and asks his parents to visit him and take him back immediately 

Divesh's father and cousin visit the principal and the Head of the Department of Pediatrics the next day, who assured them that the situation would be resolved.

May 17, 2024: Divesh's family gets a phone call from him at around 10 am. Divesh claims that his thesis has been rejected twice by Prof Utkarsh Sharma, who has also demanded a fee of Rs 5 lakh to pass him in the exams

The boy was further humiliated by his professors in front of the patients.

Divesh threatens suicide.

At around 9.45 pm, Divesh's father received a call from Dr Utkarsh informing him that Divesh was admitted to the hospital's emergency ward.

Later, after enquiry, Divesh's father receives the news of his son's alleged suicide.

May 20: Students at the medical college congregate to mourn the loss of Divesh Garg. A candle march was organised in his remembrance.

"Justice for Dr Divesh Garg"
"Justice for Dr Divesh Garg"Source: Dr Lakshya Mittal (@drlakshyamittal)

May 21: The United Doctors' Front Association (UDFA) stages a nationwide Black Ribbon Protest and urges everyone to participate in a social media storm on X at 4 pm to show solidarity.

The Office of the Director General, Medical Health and Family Welfare of the Uttarakhand Medical Council sends a notice to the Principal/Dean of the SGRR Medical College to be present before the Executive Committee on May 22 at 4 pm.

May 22: First Information Report (FIR) filed at the Patel Nagar police, Dehradun by the deceased's father. Police registers a case under the Indian Penal Code (IPC 306) under abetment of suicide, against Prof Utkarsh Sharma, Professor Ashish Sethi and Professor Bindu Agarwal.

May 25: The institute releases a statement.

Alleges that Garg in presence the of his father, was counselled by college authorities as he was "unhappy" since his admission to the college. It further adds that he consumed sleeping pills regularly, as per the Times of India

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