THE INDIAN PATIENT


With lots of shows and articles targeting the Indian Doctors, why not something to target the patients? I guess am gonna take one for the team by posting this. This blog post is only an attempted outcry of what we,as Doctors, go through. Try to look at it from a neutral perspective rather than picturing yourself as the patient.

Patients are always disappointed when the doctors finish their examination fast. They expect the doctors to spend more time with them. But if the Doctor spends more time with another patient, they start shouting about how long they have been kept waiting.If you want to spend all that time with the doctor,then be ready to wait. You are not the only patient we have.

imPATIENT

24 HOURS EMERGENCY HOSPITAL. Some patients just do not seem to understand the word emergency.Going to the doctor at 12 AM in the night complaining of fever for the past 3 days (what the hell were u doing in the past 3 DAYS??!!) just seem like an ordinary thing for the typical indian patient. Just because 12 am is the time u are jobless doesn’t mean that the doctors are too. That’s when real emergencies are scorned upon unintentionally due to repeated false emergencies. If u have a problem for a long time, it can wait a few more hours to be seen by a doctor in the regular hours. Which is more important? Getting cured or ur job?

The typical indian patient accuses the doctors of ordering unnecessary investigations. Investigations are not  only mean to confirm the diagnosis, but also to rule out other diseases. The patient decides whether he needs the investigation rather than the doctor, assuming that he knows whether it’s necessary or not. Going to a neurologist for a headache and criticising him for ordering a CT/MRI scan is also hypocrisy. When the same patient becomes a CONSUMER and goes to court, the doctors are the ones who are in the line of fire for not ordering an investigation.Unfortunately the law doesn’t accept the answer that the patient preferred not to undergo those investigations, whether necessary or unnecessary. We have to document each of their decision to prove ourselves which is not always possible.

The fee. The doctors are always looked upon like robbers and muggers. These kinda patients expect a big hospital, shiny floors, a/c etc (the list goes on), yet the moment the nurse/receptionists tell them the consultation fee/bill amount, they start mumbling. Seriously!! As i read somewhere, i would like to see these people go to a 5 star restaurant and do the same by asking them to cut down the rates. Maintaining a hospital is no easy stuff. Just like restaurants, there are various hospitals which cater to different category of people. Also taking into account the investment for the instruments without which the hospitals wont be running in the first place. Consult a small time practitioner or general physician rather than going to a corporate hospital or a specialist for minor things.

The patient is more worried about the wealth of the doctor than the Income Tax department.He/she feels that the clothes doctors wear,the place they live, the cars they drive all are unnecessary things and lifestyle for which they are being charged more. Let me ask u a question. How is it that u conveniently forget that we have a family to take care of, a life to live and places to visit too. Moreover, who would u prefer? A well-dressed doctor or a doctor in shabby, worn-out jeans? U discriminate the doctors based on their appearance urself and yet u criticize them for charging u. Doctors cannot be held responsible for ur financial mismanagement. Get a health insurance, start saving for unexpected illness, cut down on luxuries if u don’t have money for the former instead of blaming the doctors. Majority of doctors still provide free consultation for the really poor and needy. If u want doctors to consult for free, then make sure u also emphasize that doctors get things they want in life for free.Just the basic things as a matter of fact like foods, clothes, houses, transportation.

It’s not the general public alone. Sometimes,even the government. They have recently come up with a bill according to which the government will be fixing the consultation charges for the doctors. Ya right!! We are the ones who u can pick on without getting into an ugly fight,huh? Can the same be done for other professions like engineering or law? I guess they are in larger numbers for u to poke and get a black eye.

When a patient dies, the first person to be accused is always the doctor. Even if the patient was brought dead!! If u think am joking, go to an emergency hospital for a week and u will know it for urself that i am not. Thankfully recent verdicts from the supreme court gives a glimpse of hope in such cases. And they just don’t stop at accusing. It’s become all the more violent with thrashing the doctor on duty and what not.

Yes, i agree there are a set of doctors in the minority who fit into all the accusations u throw. But they are not the majority . Dont push doctors into a corner. We may not be able to fight back even then, but killing us, is only gonna affect u. We don’t expect to be treated like God. But at least as a person,a fellow human being, rather than using us as a platform to get high TRP ratings and such.After all, doctors are the ones whom we rush to from a common cold to a life threatening cancer.

doctors

Proud to be a Doctor

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2 thoughts on “THE INDIAN PATIENT

  1. Whatever you have said is absolutely right. However the one thing that can make people accept doctors, as they are, will be the doctors ability to interact with the people. The doctor has to make the patient comfortable. By saying comfortable I don’t mean that he has to cater to every whimsical stupid needs for the customer. Rather his concentration should be on the patient when the patient is in front of him / her. From my observation, personally, I feel doctors above 40 years of age are little bit more accommodative and considerate to the older patients than a young one. It might be because they grew up in somewhat similar society like their patients. Unfortunately doctors are treated like every one else in service industry, when they should be given enough space to figure themselves out during their formative years. As you rightly mentioned sometime back during one of our conversation, the need to match or out do his classmate / friend who finished engineering or something else and started earning before he / she finished studying is weighing on the young doctor’s mind. And he / she is absolutely right to think so. So the financial burden being placed on the shoulders of the young doctors makes it hard for them to stand tall. By now you might have come to understand, you cannot satisfy everyone. The sooner you understand this the better. Also people expect you to be their punching bag. When they criticise you, you have to accept it with smile and when they praise you then also you should be just smiling. A little bit more on either side and you will be branded as someone who is over the top. I would love to listen to more people’s perspective on this topic.

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    • the reason 40 year old doctors have better approach is obviously because of the experience. we are not taught how to behave with a patient in ug.in internship, we get mostly to do works of staff nurses and ward boys because we can be shouted upn in case of any mistake easily.there are lots more to discuss,but i just wanted my to put my two cents worth with all the accusations on docs. the point where we think to match or out do schoool mates fades away during our internship and vanishes at pg level. we have to merely think of making money only to provide for the family and not even luxury but. a doctor is expected to wear nice clothes,drive a car and what not that is not expected of other professionals.expecting these and yet criticizing is not at all fair. people may say that we dont expect those things, but thats the harsh reality. in certain countries patients r fined a lot of money just becos they dont keep up an appointment. imagine doing that here in india where patients are reluctant to even pay thei normal consultation fee if its high. like u said, cannot satisfy everyone. but the biggest worry of all is, even the patients who have really benefited from doctors and have a positive opinion on them, even they dont voice their opinion when it comes to talk shows or accusations. when u are accusing us in public, dont u think it is necessary to also appreciate our work in public too??

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