Nice to hear so many comments in support of Doctors. I am doctor too and posted this question just to see reaction of general p… MoreOm Lakhani
Om Lakhani, Strong supporter of Doctors’ rights
The author of this question has asked this question satirically to start a debate on this topic. I ‘respect’ the sentiment behind the question, though on face value the question may seem ‘disrespectful’
Recently we have seen increasing violence against the doctors. There have been number of instances where doctors were beaten up and man-handled. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Doctors have, for a long time been subject to verbal and other abuses even before the physical violence started. I have worked as a Resident doctor for more than three years in a government medical college in Gujarat and have been subject to verbal violence several times, as have all my colleagues who have worked there. The rising number of consumer cases against doctor is ALSO a form of violence.
Several recent articles in the leading medical journal of the world ‘The Lancet’ highlighted the increasing problems associated with violence against doctors in India. (Rising violence against health workers in India)
In this answer I have explored the reasons for the violence against the doctors. Though my answer may seem harsh to many Indians, just like the question, the answer is satirical and not meant to hurt any religious or non-religious sentiment.
Indians prey on the weak.
As Indians , we have tendencies to prey on the weak. A traffic cop would not stop a car which says ‘XYZ political party State Convenor’ on its number plate for jumping the signal but would gladly stop a 19 year old teenager for not wearing a helmet.
When we talk about violence at work, try beating a solider in uniform when he is at work or your local MLA or MP for not delivering his promise !
Within the doctor community too, most of the violence has been against Resident doctors who are the most vulnerable community of the health system. They are also the most hard-working. Infact, in most government tertiary care hospital , the resident doctors are the ONLY ones who work. No one else works, atleast not efficiently or productively. (I will explore more on this is another answer). PHC / CHC medical officers are also subjected to violence because they are the lowest in the healthcare hierarchy. Doctors of small nursing homes are equally vulnerable. Try beating up a senior consultant in a large corporate multispecialty hospital, infact try to even put a finger on him or her (Forget that, just try to even get an appointment with him or her !)
2. No respect for Education or talent.
As Indians we absolutely lack any respect for knowledge, education or talent. We however respect power (as discussed above), showmanship and money. When a 25 year old uneducated, almost worthless youth sees an educated and talented resident doctor, his first instinct is jealousy. He sees him or her as an adversary and not as someone he can look up to. You might find this harsh, but this is the naked truth. We all know the story of the Indian crabs who pull each other down when one tries to flee from the basket. We basically cannot digest someone else’s success. Period. Given an opportunity, they WOULD like to take their frustration of the world out on someone like this.
3. We are a naïve, gullible, miracle loving society.
The biggest challenge for doctors in India is that we are naïve, gullible, miracle loving society. We expect that doctors should be able to perform ‘miracles’.
If a person comes in with a bad road traffic accident, doctors are required to save him/her at all cost by performing a ‘miracle operation’ in an operation theatre with a ‘red-bulb’ because this is what they have been seeing for years in Bollywood movies. If you can believe everything you see in Bollywood as the truth then we are all born out of cross pollination of beautiful flowers.
Lets set the scene for trauma centre emergency response team in true Bollywood style. As soon as the patient arrives the ward boy must snatch the stretcher from the hands of the caretakers and rush it towards the OT, the doctor should be running alongside the stretcher as it is being wheeled towards the OT (which miraculously is always on the ground floor). As the streacher is wheeled at the speed of a Formula-1 car, the nurse who has a PhD in intracath insertions should take an IV line without batting an eyelid. We are all of course assuming the OT was already kept ready for the patient. The anesthetist was already present as soon as he heard the sirens of the ambulance using his miraculous ability to hear ambulance sirens from far-far away which was the first thing taught to him when he signed up to become an anesthetist. If at any given time there is any deficiency in any of the above steps then the doctor is liable to be beaten up. Of course it always the doctors fault in case of delay in performing the operation, it’s not the fault of the ambulance driver, the ward boy, the nurse or the OT cleaning staff for the delay.
Add to this, if the patient does survive then it is because of the ‘fast’ which the mother kept in the name of the some God or Godess or the tantric jewellery which ‘bhabhi’ is wearing or the ‘mircale’ baba whose feet father kissed. Any contribution of the doctor’s talent, skills or knowledge is inconsequential.
4. Money buys good health.
Finally, we Indians believe ‘money’ is a solution to all health related problem. If a patient ‘pays’ for a service then he ‘must’ be cured or his money should be refunded. If the money is not refunded then he has the right to ‘drag’ the doctor to court. According to the Indian patients, the likelihood of the patient getting better is directly proportional to the money spent by the family. If I pay Rs. 500/- to my endocrinologist then my diabetes must be cured without any intervention from my side. I will sit at home, watch TV, eat lots of sweets and stop exercising while my doctor will perform a ‘yagna’ on my behalf invoking all kinds of Gods and Goddesses who would cure me from my ailment. If even after paying ‘so much’ money if my ailment is not cured, then lets thrash the doctor verbally, physically or nowadays on Google !
Finally, I would like reveal one secret of the medical profession. There is nothing like a ‘good doctor’ or a ‘bad doctor’. Yes there is something like a ‘more knowledgeable doctor’ and ‘less knowledgeable doctor’ and ‘more-experienced’ and ‘less experienced’ doctor but no ‘good, bad and ugly’ in the medical community.
On, the other hand, there is something called ‘good patient’ and ‘bad patient’. All doctors know this and yes, we discriminate ! A ‘good patient’ is often treated with kid gloves by all doctors and they would fiercely try to retain such patients while ‘bad patients’ are often shunted around, and often purposely ignored. This ‘good’ and ‘bad’ patient concept is not only for doctors in private setup but also in the government setup. This is not dependent on your income, class, caste, colour, creed, religion or looks, this is dependent on your ‘nature’ and ‘behaviour’. The care of ‘badly’ behaved patient is often transferred to another doctor by the treating doctor no matter how wealthy or powerful he or she is. On the other hand, a patient who is well behaved and respectful would be treated like a VIP by a doctor even if he has no money. So if you want to be treated like VIP by a doctor or the medical staff, then ‘behave well’ because only ‘respect’ begets ‘respect’.
Thank you and Respect !