Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Doctor's word.



Practice of medicine is the most respected of all professions. For all I know, they worked so hard, really very hard to get that degree to their name and it is not a joke. Well, they are also placed on the top of the status tier ,and most deservedly so, as no one can do without them. A doctor’s learning phase doesn't end with the last day of their final year examination. They need to keep themselves updated each and every single day of their existence because that is the pace at which medical science grows. A good doctor is one who is passionate about what he does,  and not one who was sent to medical school because it was his grandpa’s last wish.


There are however, few morons who spoil it for the entire medical fraternity. Fake and unqualified ‘doctors’. Yesterday as I was watching TV, I came across this appalling piece of news, which reported that there are thousands of unqualified people practicing medicine across the state. That too, in full public view with placards outside their fake clinics. Amusingly enough, they even have an association for themselves, something called the All Kerala Unqualified Doctors. Unqualified-Doctor is a laughable oxymoron. A so-called ‘physician’ prescribed an unsuitable medicine for a child, was caught red-handed and thus was unraveled the shocking story of an entire community of medical frauds in the underbelly of the state, earning status and money to their credit since decades. Steroids, and expired medicines which were regularly prescribed, were caught from their pharmacies.

We are all laymen when it comes to medicine. When we get a headache we pop a paracetamol and get temporary relief. When there is a stomach upset we have something else ready. In short we have a whole medicine box to ourselves. Don’t we? Any self-respecting doctor may tell you not to prescribe medicines to yourself. If that headache persists even after you slept for 12 hours and ate enough food, then it is ideal to get a doctor’s opinion. Instead we eat paracetamol three times a day for a week to get rid of it. It may disappear for some time, but the suppressed symptom may be back with a bang later. Its better to be safe than sorry isn't it? But no, we do not get an appointment with a doctor, because, they are expensive, it takes an entire day to get a token, wait, buy medicines and come back home. Moreover, fake doctors are in town. Who knows their background and what if we end up eating steroids? I am a nobody as far as medicine is concerned, and I will go to a hospital only when something strikes real hard and a sick leave certificate is required from a doctor. Now with the fake doctor news, we are most likely to think twice and the value of qualified and lifesaving medical professionals go down. 


It doesn't stop there. There are another category of qualified doctors who are determined to slander reputed and sincere ones.  We had a a family friend-doctor, to whom my parents went flocking to when they sneezed or had hair fall. This person, who dint have many patients to his credit was proficient to prescribe antibiotics for the smallest ailment. But who are we to judge? 'He is an MBBS!' defended Papa ever since I could remember. A month ago, my mother had this incessant tiredness, sore arms and fever and high body temperature that wouldn't come down. The doctor prescribed antibiotics, repeatedly, which further worsened the condition of my mother, whose arms got red and had rashes after ten days of treatment. When the doctor understood that things were going beyond his expectations, he said that this was a confirmed case of measles and that she had to shift to a different hospital. When my parents met with an experienced doctor from a reputed hospital in the city, he admitted her immediately in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as this was a severe case of Dengue fever and shouted at Papa for not bringing her earlier. The platelet count in her blood had gone way down from normal and in the next two weeks, she had to be infused with six bottles of blood. My mother, who later recovered, battled with fatigue and body pain for more than a month. Now tell me, everyone makes mistakes, but can doctors wait so long until they come to a conclusion in the diagnosis of a person? Shouldn't he have checked the blood when fever persisted so long, given that dengue is like a plague nowadays?


I have another example for you. Once when my husband was about to leave after his appointment at a hospital, the doctor casually asked how our son was. My husband replied that he was fine, but had a slight cold which was manageable. Immediately the doctor tore a paper from his pad, wrote the names of three syrups and handed it over to him, saying that these would ease the cold. My son was four months old at that time. All three syrups had in their leaflets, dosages and warnings which said that it is not for kids under the age of two. I am not judging anyone, but I am educated enough to know, that without seeing, touching or knowing about any allergies or medical history, is it not okay to prescribe medicines for an infant, or anyone for that matter. My son was not there with my husband then, and so it sounds really wrong to me. Nevertheless we did not give those medicines to our son. We met a qualified pediatrician who suggested that no medicines are required and to consult him again if it does not subside in a week.

Both the examples above are my bad experiences with doctors in general. The doctor we meet with now is a qualified person, who listens, educates us about what is wrong and prescribes medicines only if it is necessary. He doesn't write down big names in illegible letters just because we visited him. And we trust him blindly because he is right all the time. I wish all doctors were like him. Most of them are, I know, but I hope the unqualified ones and others who lack experience, does not meddle with the lives of people. I hope as many people wake up to realize that there are fake doctors out there, waiting to make money out of our misery. 

Good doctors are found not only in plush multi-specialty hospitals alone; they are everywhere. You just need to identify them. The minute you stop placing your trust on that fancy placard outside, and go that extra mile to do adequate search and gather opinions, it is worth each day you take out for an appointment. Because healing comes from God; real doctors are His messengers.  And his, is the final word, the answer to your question of health, of life.

23 comments:

  1. THANK YOU FOR THIS POST...IN FACT AN INSIGHT!!!
    I always read thro' the leaflet of a particular medicine before giving it to my kids... sometimes its a horror to see the dosage the docs prescribe... almost twice what is written in the leaflet...

    and my small observation out of experience... good docs are ones who do not immediately prescribe an antibiotic... but instead examine us well and advice us on how to treat it thro' diet and rest...and to come back if illnes persists...

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    1. Exactly. Even my doctor hesitates to prescribe anything at all unless its an acute condition. He just tells me to make changes in diet and exercise well.

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  2. As you said..depends on the individual doctor.Have seen both kinds within the same department, practically wherever I have worked.. the selfless and the 'looking to peddle brands' variety.

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    1. I am really sad about the 'looking to peddle brands' type. How they play with the lives of people. Its totally unethical.

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  3. Anita,

    I agree with you that there are some in this profession who seem to bring bad name to the whole lot. But then are there not black sheep in every profession? In this profession there should be NONE.

    Take care

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    1. Right. Even the black sheep in this profession should have some ethics because it is the question of life and health.

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  4. It's very hard to distinguish between good and bad doctors. And when you fail, it's usually too late.
    I think if a doctor knows that the case is difficult to handle for him, he should immediately recommend a specialist. Unfortunately, very few doctors would do that.

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    1. Correct. Because for them, ego is bigger than the life of a person. Its very sad !

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  5. As you said there are every sort in the profession. . Some doctors as I have seen it lack the confidence to let go of the diseases or conditions which cure on itself. . They feel the need to prescribe a tablet. . And yeah there are the few who are too greedy to do an ethical practice.

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    1. Yes. And this is the only profession where ego and unethical ways of a doctor can cost dearly to the patient.

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  6. Somehow luckily i have had only good experiences with docs..luv them yar..they r reall messengers of god as u say..yaya only those good ones who dont cheat on patients of coursse

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    1. Yes. I wish noone cheated in this profession atleast!

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  7. You are really lucky to have found a good doctor for ur son...some of us have searched for years:-). We've been really unlucky out here in Dubai regarding doctors but every yr go to one in B'lore who is really really good. Even if the kids have no problems we take them there and do an overall check-up with her. The interesting bit here is she is soooo busy...she has no time to spare & is almost rude but her advice and medicines work 100%. We are just thankful we found her:-).

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    1. Yes..! Even if everything is all right by God's grace, with such doctors around I actually feel like taking my son there to say hi and ensure that weight parameters are fine ! :D He must be sick of me now :D Really having found a good and well informed doctor who is also trustworthy itself is a good treatment !

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  8. We always believe in the adage: "In Doctors, we trust". In a way, we have to. But now people start taking multiple opinions from various other doctors before going for the treatment. Unfortunately, that trust is reducing. Sad.

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    1. The trust reduces because of certain spoil sports in this profession.

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  9. i guess each one of us have some story to share when it comes to dealing with the doctors/medical professionals busy minting money over innocent soul'd health and wallet !

    i wrote something similar few months ago:

    http://rahul-aggarwal.blogspot.in/2012/10/does-healthcare-need-healing.html

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    1. Yeah. Most of which are sad stories, though.

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  10. Wow...It sounds like your mother had a bad time. That story could have gone another direction so easily. Good post!

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    1. Yes. It was a real bad time. Thank God she recovered. Thanks for your words, Grayquill !

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  11. Nicely written. It is true!! Some sources say that there are over 50,000 fake doctors in India! This is serious concern.

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  12. Those were two horrific personal experiences there Anita. And Thank god all is well now. Touch wood!
    I agree there a lot of fake doctors out there, and whats more horrible is that, their so called 'practise' is going on great, and they are earning like great bucks. It so pathetic!

    I agree with the last lines of your posts. But one really has to try out couple of diagnostics by a certain doc, before deciding if he is good enough or not. I think there should be a rating site, just like trip advisor for docs, where in people can put it their experinces. This way, we may not have to go through a bad diagnostic to come to the conclusion that this wala doc is not good!

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  13. And hey, super like the new profile pic. Very cute :-)

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