Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Doctor Must Be Considerate Towards the Patients’ Needs!

Every doctor is bestowed with immense power to rule the psyches of their patients. We hear stories of past-doctors who were considered as Gods by the local community. Remember that old man in white coat who was considered as the “Friend, Guide, and Philosopher” by your grandfather or father? He used to enter your house with such a grace, check you or the one ill, give you minimum medicine (if the sick man is lucky enough to have such a doctor), and leave the house gracefully again!

What’s the scene today? You take appointment of the busy practitioner, enter his clinic, rush through lot many investigations (God only knows if they are really needed), and get a prescription studded with a huge list of medicines to be taken at different times of the day. Time to hone your memory skills to remember all this! And in turn suffer from drug-induced disease for unknown period of time!

Well, sounds too negative? Certainly don’t want it to; but the story says the same thing again and again. And frankly, in this category of doctors, there is no segregation between Allopaths, Homeopaths, Ayurvedic or any other types of doctors. They are just the “Type” in themselves!

“DOCTOR” is someone the patient relies completely on. With the increasing awareness among general public about better healthcare facilities, there is tremendous change in the mindset of the people. Now they know what is right and what is wrong. Still when it comes to certain judgmental decisions regarding their or their near and dear ones’ health, they agree to what their doctor says. Therefore, isn’t it doctor’s duty to give them the decisions that they will be happy forever with? Many learned doctors will agree to the fact that the major quality any doctor should possess is not just intelligence but compassion! It is taught in medical schools to view any patient’s condition as a third person practically and give your judgments. But possibly the role of compassion is not taught in medical schools, because of which the doctor cannot visualize the patients’ needs as his own!

Suppose, a patient approaches you with the complaint of general weakness and pallor related to it. You advise him complete hemogram, ESR, Urine routine, ECG, Chest X-ray, and stool test. The patient gets all these tests done and was found to have just low hemoglobin that can be safely managed with some good iron preparations and dietary modifications. How can you explain or justify the need of all other tests that were performed on your patient? Can you? Would you undergo all these tests if you suffered from the similar problem? (Unless laboratories sponsor you with free tests)

Well that may sound harsh but it’s the fact that is going on too rampantly in public as well as private settings.

In rural and semi-urban set-ups the things are even worse! People in cities at least can afford to undergo these tests (even though not needed, just for mental satisfaction many like to). But in rural set ups, literally some poor people are exploited to undergo many tests and treatments absolutely without any need and the poor fellows borrow money from some sources and work for their rest of their lives to pay the debts!! No, this is no exaggeration but the fact! Have seen doctors perform even hysterectomies without any need and the patient cries for the rest of her life for hormonal depletion. This has to be stopped.

Certainly not all doctors are like this. There are many good and honorable exceptions because of which our health-system is running smoothly. These are the doctors who are considerate towards the patients’ needs and work for the ultimate good of the patient! Have had privilege to work with doctors who are real gems in the medical world! Their smiling faces would make patients comfortable immediately upon entering their chambers. Their style of questioning further used to erase the borders of seclusion from the patient. They would never fall prey to medical representative’s luring and would prescribe exactly what is needed. The medical investigations would strictly corroborate with their clinical findings (had a doctor teacher who used to write on his investigation note- ‘Please do hemoglobin test only and not complete blood count’) and their treatment pattern would never be based on their self-ego but on the timely requirements and in collaboration with the experts in the field. They would never hesitate to seek help from their subordinate doctors if they are good in their field. And an overall atmosphere of mutual bliss was attained between doctor and patient!

Sounds too idealistic? Yes, it is ideal. But can’t we make ourselves ideal? Don’t you think we must? A complete man or woman or child is in our hands!! We can either make or break! With little compassion, with little shedding of self-ego, and with keeping patient’s interest as the topmost priority, it is possible to create ideal environment for better prognosis of cure! Practice of Medicine does deserve ideals!!

No comments:

Post a Comment