“Let’s decrease suffering,
Let’s cure the disease,
Let’s become a doctor,
Let’s heal humanity…”
This is the zeal and enthusiasm with which we take up the profession of a doctor. Taking all the turmoil and academic struggle in our stride and emerging as a doctor to serve the human race, is a great achievement and a moment of pride and confidence.
However, gone are the days when doctors were considered to be gods and their healing touch was deemed with humility and gratefulness. Today taking up this profession is in itself a risk.
We as doctors don’t expect people to treat us as gods, but please do not demonize us! We are just common people like you who sacrifice their life only to see a smile on the sad faces coming to them. All matters of personal interest like family, friends hobbies etc always take a back seat.
Further, the trends of doctor shopping, self medication, addictions along with internet and Google consultations leads to error nous interpretation amongst the people and hamper patient compliance and subsequent treatment.
Patients today expect all tests, medications and cure with the shortest time possible for the least amount of money! Doctors practicing in small dispensaries and government set ups are considered to be of poor potential. Moreover, if a patient dies then the doctor is a killer.
There is no greater joy to a doctor than to see a patient cured of his ailment, to a surgeon to see a patient operated successfully, to an obstetrician to see a healthy baby birth and to an intensivist to see a patient out of coma!
But try however hard we may, nature always takes its own course! And we do see cases of patients dying during the course of treatment, in spite of the best efforts put in by the treating doctor, thus reminding us that we are just mere mortals and the cold hand of death spares none…not even us!
But why is it so that inspite of giving our best we are at the receiving end of abuses and assaults? Why do we get to hear that the doctor did not do enough? Why are we responsible for nature’s judgement? Why?
There are many instances of violence and abuse against doctors and incidences of grievous injuries with threat to life are on record. Incidents at Allahabad,KEMH and the horrific battering of doctor in RG Kar Medical College and Hospital in West Bengal are a few. I would like to argue, as to what happens or happened with the miscreants? Did they not walk scot free? Did anyone ever come forward is support of the duty doctor? Did anyone bother to find out his helplessness? Did anyone ever see the doctors angle to the situation? I salute to anyone who did so.
According to a study published by the Times of India dated 4th May 2015, over 75% of doctors have faced violence at work ranging from physical assault to threatening behaviour to verbal abuse.
Moreover, most doctors don’t report such incidents.
This kind of attitude and behavior is intimidating to the profession and hampers proper judgement. Add to it the fatigue of long working hours, disturbed sleep and you have a perfect recipe for disaster. But sadly here again we are supposed to be superhumans where mistakes are forbidden.
We cannot be at the mercy of the anti- doctor elements in the society who claim that we do nothing in interest of the patients and that all a doctor does is for his own selfish motive! Is losing your rest and sleep for a patient a selfish motive? Is compromising your family life and your kids childhood for the betterment of society a selfish motive? Is curing another persons health at the cost of your own a selfish motive? If yes, I fail to see how?
I agree that as in every profession there could be malicious practitioners, but to label all in the same category is unfair and unjust.
We need to have strong rules and regulations and fierce enforcements to help us practice our profession fearlessly and with dignity. The need of the hour is to report all the abuses, threats, assaults we face so that concrete action can be taken against the wrong doers.
As rightly said “God helps those who help themselves”. We as members of this profession need to come forward and fight for justice unitedly. We also need to get rid of the malicious elements marring our profession and worsening the situation. We need to act fast.. We need to act now! Let’s make a better tomorrow for us today! Remember, the onus is on Us…
Kindly leave your valuable comments and thanks for reading!