Our childhood has always been about choosing the right career and working on making big in it. And becoming a doctor always topped the list, considering the respect this profession always had in society.
But over the years this esteem has taken a huge beating; today, most medical professionals are at the receiving end of disgraceful behaviour, disrespect, threats, violence and intimidation from parents and their immediate family, friends and acquaintances…
We spoke to city medical professionals to understand this unfortunate reality ..
Dr Suresh Nayak, Consulting Physician, Internal Medicine Specialist, feels that the disrespect towards doctors has increased over the years. “Often, the patient and their family members indulge in an argument with the doctors and feel that we Doctors are liable to treat their patient as per their instructions, since they are paying us. They feel that like any other profession, the medical field is only a business for doctors to fill their pockets.”
Dr Ravi Pratap (Consultant, Head of Emergency Medicine and Asst.Chief of Med.Services, Columbia Asia Hospital) agrees with the fact that people today consider medical science also as a commodity and healthcare providers as a service industry. “Hence if the expectation, however illogical and impractical it is not met with, it calls for aggressive and abusive behavior towards the doctors/nurses. People do not understand that medical science can not uniformly behave, as each patient is different. Hence the treatment takes its own course to act and may not work in many cases. Money cannot buy everything.
“I come from a family of doctors and have experienced the downfall of the patient-doctor relationship. When I was a kid, people used to say that the doctor has touched me, I am half cured. Now is an era when the doctor gets sued as the patient alleges that the doctor has “touched” him/her. I agree that there are bad apples in every profession but generalising is doing more harm than good.
85% of doctors today do not want their kids to become doctors. Soon we will have no doctors to treat us.
“I, as any other doctor, encounter such behavior more often than one would imagine. Foul language, mistrust, inappropriate comments are all a daily affair. I have come close to getting beaten up. I think people must have trust in the doctors/nurses. No one deliberately wants to harm a patient. A doctor has more legal boundaries to follow than one understands. If you believe that you are being misled by a doctor, go and visit another for a second opinion, but don’t harm.
Doctors are not God, stop expecting miracles,” he shares.
“I too have felt the effects of such uncivilized behaviour from some patients,” says Dr Mini Manoj, a city based Family Physician. “I think this might be because of the increased cost of medical services. Since the cost for the health services have increased with the medicine and consumable costs, people think that they should be the first one to be on the priority list of the doctors.
“They are not satisfied with whatever aid and help the doctor provides them with,” she adds.
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