Saturday, May 23, 2015

7 Activities For Hyperactive Kids – Parenting

Sure your child is hyper—can’t sit in one place, doesn’t follow your instructions, disturbs other people, talks too much, and is over-energetic. Worry not. Just be patient, take a deep breath, be determined to calm him/her, and put his/her high energy levels to good use.
The best way to deal with a hyperactive kid is to engage his mind and body, and channelise their energy. TV and video games do little to channel energy and are a major distraction.
Here are some games and activities to keep your hyperactive child busy and motivated:
Activities : KarateKarate/Martial Arts:
‘Karate’ means empty handed. When kids learn karate, they do different postures and ways to channelise their energy. It also helps them to concentrate and calm their minds. Building confidence, learning to focus, and developing enhanced coordination are just a few of the benefits of martial arts for hyperactive kids.
Photo: David Vega
Outdoor sports:
Outdoor sports like football, basketball, volleyball, baseball, and badminton are great Activities: Outdoor sportsactivity for hyperactive kids as there is no standing around time in these games. Your children will be constantly moving and using large muscle groups, keeping them focused and energy-drained. They also get to learn about team spirit, sportsmanship, and competition. If you can’t put them for any outdoor sports, make them take up running, which offers constant movement, health benefits, and a sense of accomplishment.
Photo: frankieleon
Activities: Learning MusicMusic
Music is a great way to unwind after school. Music exercises both sides of the brain at the same time. Thus, calming the brain, which in turn makes your kids multi-task and store information better. When they are part of a band, or sing/play chorus, they learn to be a team player.
Photo: pedrobonatto
SwimmingActivities: Swimming
Olympic gold-medallist Michael Phelps was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 9. He took up swimming to master a sport and vent his energy. Swimming is a great exercise for hyperactive kids as it offers constant movement, self-discipline, and calorie-burn.
theatre by kids photoTheatre
Drama or theatre is a creative activity to engage the hyperactive kids. It needs practice, co-ordination, sharp memory, stage confidence, and people skills. It helps the kids to take personal challenges ,and hone their public-speaking skills.
Photo: David Dodge
Activities: Thinking GamesThinking Games
Games like scrabble, chess, matching pairs, etc. are a great exercise for brain. These are an engaging option for hyperactive kids as they make them sit in one place and concentrate. These type of games are ideal for kids with short-attention span and high energy to build their confidence and interest.
Photo: Angie Garrett
Activities: Nature Trails
Nature trails
Nature has its own ways to soothe a hyperactive child. And trust us, kids will love to be in natural surroundings. Trekking, hiking, rock-climbing, rowing, etc. are great options for your bundle of high-energy.
Photo: Jeff Turner
Share your ideas on other engaging activities for hyperactive kids. Do you think outdoor activities are a must in today’s age of gadgets?
Please note: Let’s understand so much, not all active kids are hyperactive. Hyperactivity is different. Parents need to be cautious. Please read about ADHD and hyperactivity
Ekta Sharma Bhatnagar is a writer, dreamer, and a neat-freak mom who is constantly trying to keep pace with her fast-growing, tech-addict kids. A proud mom of two, she is a seasoned media-professional and a self-confessed Bollywood buff. Ekta has written extensively on entertainment, celebs, fashion, careers, workplace dynamics, interiors, lifestyle and parenting for Times Group publications including, Education Times, Economic Times, Mumbai Mirror, Times Property, Wellness Times, regional lifestyle supplements, and many online publications and corporate websites. Follow her on Twitter @ektabhatnagar

Comment: As a pediatrician I see many overactive kids in my clinic. My daughter too is quite active, and I believe that the author above has highlighted a lot of practical and very useful points to manage hyperactive kids. Given that summer holidays are starting, parents would be well advised to look at these options carefully and do the same

Monday, May 11, 2015

Creating Superb Employees By Taking Good Care Of Them

Courtesy: Author: Dr Aniruddha malpani
"Example is not the main thing in influencing others, it is the only thing. "
- Albert Schweitzer.

To a large degree your employees are your clinic. While it is true that your patients come to see you, the quality of the interaction of your staff with your patients is just one of the many areas your people can either make or break your business. Your staff also has a huge effect on the quality of your life, because dealing with people can be agony or ecstasy - the source of your greatest frustrations or your most gratifying accomplishments.

You need to enhance your ability to effectively interact, direct and work with people. Unfortunately, most doctors never acquire good people handling skills, let alone management training , along the way. One problem is that most of us don't intuitively know what makes people tick and as a result we get involved in all sorts of counterproductive and self-defeating approaches in managing and dealing with our employees.

The commonest mistake most doctors make in managing their staff includes micromanaging and overmanaging. You need to be able to trust your staff to do things their own way. This may be different from your own way – and may actually be better !

Managing human resources often gets a low priority in medical practice. Busy physicians usually find themselves hiring employees chiefly in crisis situations—when a spot needs to be filled—rather than as part of a carefully considered staffing plan. But developing a strong staff doesn’t happen by accident, and practices can learn a lot from organizations with a stronger tradition of human resource management.

Remember that helping employees learn and grow also boosts the development of your practice. When staff members are content, they’re more friendly and responsive to the needs of patients and happy staffers improve your patients’ experience with your practice.

High-functioning employees cope with problems better, keeping the entire office running smoothly but it takes more than just good pay and benefits to keep employees motivated and satisfied.

Workers who are most likely to be satisfied with their jobs

Know what’s expected of them
Have the materials and equipment they need to do their work properly
Have the opportunity to do what they do best every day
Feel their opinions count
Have been recognized or praised for doing good work
Feel that their supervisor or someone else at work cares about them on a personal level
Receive encouragement for their professional development
Feel the clinic’s mission or purpose makes their job important
Feel their colleagues are committed to high-quality work
Have a best friend at work
Feel they’ve had opportunities to learn and grow within the past year.

In general, there are three managerial styles. Many doctors have a managerial style which is based on a police cop mentality – the “ authoritarian “ model - " find things that are wrong , and fix them the way I tell you to " . Following this model, many doctors try to force their staff to perform, but this approach works only if you are there to monitor your staff all the time. Others prefer a “hands-off” approach – the “laissez-faire” model, because they prefer not handling staff problems at all . Unfortunately, taking an ostrich in the sand approach will not make the problems go away – and they may often fester till they become unmanageable. In this age of service, a more appropriate management style is “ participative “ – based on the coaching philosophy. Coaches look for strengths – they see what talent they have to work with and devise a game plan to win with the skills they have available. This is far more effective – both for you, and for your staff !

Remember that the way you treat your staff is the way they will treat your patients. You cannot ill-treat your staff, and then expect them to go forth and deliver inspired, compassionate service to your patients. What they see is what you will get. You are the role model whether you want the job or not. If you want your staff to treat your patients with respect, treat your staff with respect. If you want your staff to listen to your patients, you need to listen to them. If you want your team to report to work looking sharp, pay attention to your own grooming habits. If you want people to be on time, schedule an arrival time for yourself and be at work when the schedule says you will be.

Today’s business climate means physicians must act as coach and counselor to improve morale, reduce turnover, and energize employees. More than ever, physicians are seeing
the value of a motivated office staff.

How do you create an atmosphere like that? Some tips from experts:
Thank them
Saying ‘thank you’ to your staff when they do something right is the single most powerful motivator you have, a recent survey shows. Yet doctors, perhaps because they tend to be self-motivated, are notoriously stingy with praise. They don’t realize that the
people who work for them need to be given verbal thanks to feel good about what they’ve done. If they’re not recognized by their boss — the office manager or the doctor — then they’ll definitely lose motivation.”

“When a patient says, ‘I’m really glad your billing person dug in and found out what the problem was with my bill,’ then make it a point to go and thank that employee , preferably in public. It’s a good idea to pick a worker every week and go out of your way to catch him doing something well.

Have a few stock phrases that are bound to be useful at some point. Here are some lines that Pitts-burgh- based organizational consultant Sam Deep recommends to help keep office staff motivated and on the right track:
“Here’s one way to do it.” Those five words tell your employee you’re willing to teach him, but won’t force him to do things your way.
“That looks great!” Employees want to feel appreciated, and surveys show they don’t think they get thanked enough. The good feeling a worker gets from a compliment from the boss can last a week.
“What’ll it take to keep this from happening again?” This is a clever way to accomplish at least four goals at once. First, you get your employee to make a commitment to do the job right next time. Next, by letting her tell you how she plans to fix her mistake, not only will she be more committed to making the remedy work, but she may well come up with a better solution than you would. Third, you give her some practice at problem-solving, which will help make her more effective and confident. Finally, she
won’t forget that you treated her with respect — even though she fumbled.

Interestingly, you can dramatically increase your own productivity by listening to the members of your care team . Ask them, “How would you do this?" or "How could I do this better?" Most doctors are so used to knowing everything and doing everything, that they forget to ask for advice and guidance of the real experts - those whom they work with every day. You can be much more productive if you share ideas with your coworkers and listen to their ideas - your staff wants to be listened to, and will be very happy to contribute ideas and effort – if only you will give them a chance to do so !

A common mistake most of us make is giving the most work to the best employees, because they are the most efficient. Ironically, we reward poor performance with less work, and end up driving away our best employees because they are overworked and burned out. Knowing how to work efficiently with your team is the "hidden secret" of
physician productivity; conversely, an inefficient doctor makes the whole team inefficient.

Turnover in the clinic is a constant challenge for all doctors. Thanks to low pay, poor organizational structure, improper staffing, and the overall high-pressure environment in a medical clinic, nurses, receptionists and other staff often leave after only months on the job, keeping the front office in a constant state of turmoil. Worse, steady turnover can cause a vicious cycle of employee paranoia. Plagued by what seems to be a revolving door of worker replacements, practices stop training (why waste the time?) and maintain low wages (why waste the money?). As a result, morale drops, other employees leave, and the turnover in the front office just keeps feeding on itself.

Smart doctors should put staff first and patients second. They know that when they take extraordinary care of their staff, their employees will take extraordinary care of their patients ! Successful managers combine the five "R"s and the one "F": Recognition, Reward, Responsibility, Rules, and Respect, and Fun to create a work environment that few choose to leave, even for more money.
Recognition: Do you give your employees the recognition they deserve? Recognition is simply giving praise where it's due.
Rewards: Do you reward employees for superior performance ? This does not always have to be a bonus – you can also offer gifts in kind, or an extra holiday. Rewards add incentive to the workplace.
Responsibility: When you give employees the responsibility of making decisions and suggesting improvements, they are empowered to do a better job – and they may pleasantly surprise you !
Rules: Do you have rules in place that are fair and reasonable? Do your employees know the rules they are supposed to follow? Too few rules result in anarchy, because your employees don’t know what to do and how to do it . Too many stifle creativity and flexibility.
Respect: Do you respect your employees? Your staff will respect you, one another, and your patients only as much as you respect them. Respect creates an atmosphere where good relationships thrive. No one stays long in a job where they can't enjoy relationships with others.
Fun: Is your clinic a fun place to be ? Providing good quality medical care can be a very satisfying job, and your staff should have fun doing so ! While it is true that no patient enjoys going to a doctor, clinics which are happy places will attract far more patients than sterile boring clinics !

Your staff should be proud to work for you. If you want good employees, learn to become a good employer!

Friday, May 01, 2015

Do we need more DOCTORS in India?

Guest article at by Dr Raman Kapoor

By 2030 India will have one million additional MBBS doctors; currently being produced 50,000 per year. Contrary to perception of scarcity of medical doctors, a large section of newly qualified physicians are spending considerable years in dysfunctional status due to mismanagement in human resource in health in India. There are very few employment opportunities for qualified doctors in public sector; at the same time the average salary of MBBS doctors in urban private hospitals is very low. Paradoxically, in a country of 1.3 billion populations there is no actual demand for medical professionals. While the popular perception is that young doctors are not willing for community service, a reality check is required on the count of intent and capacity of public sector as well as industry towards engagement of medical doctors in the process of service delivery. The visible leaders of medical profession are unable to reflect the ground reality. There is a leadership crisis among medical doctors in India.
Cardiac surgeons and cardiologists have been disproportionately influential in health policy formation in India. Thanks to the vast majority of Indian politicians belonging to an age group for which heart disease is a pressing concern. In a country where evidence based policy making is still an uncertain prospect, perhaps access to a vulnerable politician is the most efficient method of policy intervention. (Source: a random facebook comment)

Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy was the second chief minister of West Bengal state of India. He remained in his post for 14 years as an Indian National Congress candidate, from 1948 until his death in 1962. He was a highly respected physician and a renowned freedom fighter.

Dr B C Roy was not only a statesman but also influenced medical profession during his times. He laid down a sound foundation for professional development of colleagues with establishment of institutions such as Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the Medical Council of India (MCI). Being a physician himself, he made sure that the medical professionals continue to have an important role in future development of health system of India. He perhaps had nation building in his mind.

Today with more than 380 medical colleges (largest number in the world) we are producing more than 50,000 MBBS doctors per year. In a country where we continue to talk about about deficiency of health care professionals, majority of newly produced doctors are under employed or unemployed. By 2030 India will have one million additional MBBS doctors; currently being produced ,000 per year who would remain dysfunctional and not have any work in a country of 1.30 billion population. 

As a common sense, a lay person would like to believe that most of these doctors are greedy professionals who wish to live and work in urban areas for monetary benefits or worldly pleasures. But the the evidence is otherwise. There is no campus interview for any level of medical qualification at any medical institution in India, including All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS). The average salary of a fresh medical graduate (MBBS) at private hospitals in sizzling cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai is much lower than an entry level call center employee. At most cities this income cannot support a lower middleclass living.
What does this phenomenon signify 
In under-developed states like Bihar, for every available post for a salary of USD 400 per month public sector medical officer job there are hundreds of applicants for every district. The health system clearly does not have necessary capacity to employ the existing workforce of medical doctors. So where exactly the newly qualified doctors are disappearing to? Interestingly majority of the medical graduates are engaged in postgraduate entrance test for the first 5-10 years of their career and youthful lives instead of fruitful engagement with the health system. Is this a default situation? Or is it design to keep the doctors away from communities, maintain high level of morbidity and create an environment where people have compulsion to visit hospitals for industrial consumption of medical goods.

Today the relevance of Dr B C Roy is more than ever. As a matter of fact medical professionals effectively do not have a leadership in India. There are giants but no leaders. There are celebrity physicians; who are rather being the leaders of profession actually seem to be representing the industry. The so-called professional organizations have been hijacked by hospital owners. There are deans and principals challenged with meeting routine regulatory deficiencies and without focus on any national vision.

Majority of doctors do not have any forum to voice their concerns. Their issues are often being misrepresented through the proxy leaders. The professional fraternity is getting more and more structured like hierarchical pyramids with few super specialist (which are in fact sub-specialties) at the top and a large number of primary care physicians at the bottom. Majority of the Indian doctors (general practitioners, family physicians, medical officers, resident medical officers, recently qualified medical graduates) are disfranchised from the academic and professional leadership positions. Medical professionals are compartmentalized into caste like rigid occupational vocations. The vocational training and long-term career path for primary care doctors have been blocked at the regulatory level. Primary care physicians do not have any representation at Medical Council of India (MCI). Non-medical professionals may not be aware that primary care doctors are also legally barred from becoming faculty at medical colleges.

  Ongoing impact on health system 

Due to aggressive unregulated business practices of the medical industry, an environment for mal practice and corruption has been created for industrial consumption of pharmaceutical and consumable medical products. Physicians and doctors who used to be trusted partners of the patients and communities are losing faith of the people. Their position to negotiate on the behalf of the common people has been severely compromised. Instead of taking professional call, the existing proxy leaders of medical profession are busy in defending their own positions and able to maintain status quo. How long this will continue? 

There is a leadership vacuum and a new leadership has to emerge from the newly qualified young doctors. All medical students and young doctors must take up this challenge not only for the noble profession which they belong to but also for the society which we all are part of and the country which we live in.
1.District wise vacancy of position as on 20/02/2015 doctors (All category) State Health Society Bihar. Available from:[Last cited on 2015 Feb 20].  
2.Council Members at Medical Council of India. Available from: [Last cited on 2015 Feb 20].   
3.Indian health care: Inspiring possibilities, challenging journey, Report prepared for Federation of Indian Industry by Mckinse and Company; 2012. p. 1-34.  
4.Report on "Moving Towards Universal Health Coverage in India": Confederation on Indian Industry July 2014. Available from: [Last cited on 2015 Feb 20].