By the time we cross 40, most of us suffer from minimal cognitive impairment and have a memory loss of very recent events or objects. This is age–related and should not be confused with dementia.

This can also happen in patients who are vegetarians and deficient in vitamin B12. People often have difficulty in naming objects and name of the people.

Just as a computer hangs up when multitasking is done, so can the human mind. When you are handling multiple projects at the same time, you may experience thought blocks, which is natural and not a sign of a disease. When we introduce ourselves to a new person, we often tell our name first. It is possible by the time you finish your conversation, the person may have already forgotten your name. Therefore, either one should introduce themselves after the conversation is over or both at the start and at the end of the conversation.

Some people introduce themselves before the conversation and hand over their visiting card at the end of a conversation. This is also taught in how to market yourselves.

As doctors, we quite often face these difficulties. People send SMSs without their names or call without telling their names. For example, I once got a call “Malhotra Bol Raha Hoon Pehchana Kya?”

As doctors, we could be treating many Malhotras and it is not expected from us, especially, after the age of 40 to recall a person just by his surname. Unless full information is given to us by patient on phone, mistakes may occur, especially, if it is a phone consultation. Phone consultation should anyway be avoided. Even the Supreme Court in one of its judgments said that giving phone consultation may amount to professional misconduct on the part of the doctor.