Doctors, defend thyself. - GODYEARS

Doctors, defend thyself.

May 09, 2012





This post is probably gonna polarize the readers here, but then again, it's time someone stood up for us doctors as well.



Every month, I come across an article of doctors being manhandled or persecuted by the Indian public ; sometimes its for our apathy, sometimes for taking patients hostages by going on strikes, sometimes for our 'lust' towards dying patients in emergency rooms, the most obvious one being our thirst for gold, of course.  On Aamir Khan's Satyameva Jayate, the first episode dealt with one of 'Father' India's many unforgivable sins, female infanticide. Almost immediately, my Twitter timeline was flooded with statements on how doctors would do anything for money and how we were demons. I'm pretty tired of this crap, frankly. If the mob mentality has settled down, could we talk for a minute, please ?


  • Ministers mock us saying no doctor is ready to work in rural areas because 'we have forgotten our Hippocratic oaths'.  
Let's set the record straight. Every doctor you have ever seen in your life has worked a minimum of one year in a rural village somewhere in India, with no facilities for his own basic needs, be it clean water or electricity or a place to crap. All of them have stayed in remote villages in India, going door to door, identifying diseases and giving health talks to large gatherings of villagers. I'll repeat the key point there just in case you missed it. Every doctor. EACH. AND. EVERY. DOCTOR. 

He or she has watched patients survive inspite of no proper equipments, purely by his own skills and knowledge. He has also watched small children and women die, because the village did not have the most basic medicines that you and I could buy for the price of a pack of chewing gum. These doctors have to deal with vomit, feces, blood, bones, brain matter, malnourished children and prejudiced beliefs every day while you were wondering whether BookMyshow has tickets for the new Katrina starrer. 

When disasters and epidemics strike, you get to run the other direction and save your lives. We have to head back into the disaster-struck area.  We have to stand in the middle, risking our lives while saving yours. It's not because He-Man or Hippocrates said so. It's not because we can't walk away. We can just as easily say "Screw this. I want to be with my wife and kids and make sure they are safe." 
But we give up that right because there are strangers whose lives depend on us and we can make a difference between life and death.  
So don't remind us of our Hippocratic Oath whenever you find it convenient - we are still doing more selfless work than any other profession in the country. 


  • You question our integrity when we want to work in a place which has medicines which will allow us to do our job ? Is that a crime ? We are doctors. We need medicines to heal people. It's alright for ministers and Godmen to sprout bank balances of 100 crores without doing any 'real' salaried job and you still go vote for/pray to them, instead of catching them by the collar and asking the obvious question ? Noone questions them, but when we ask for better facilities in a village so that we can just deliver a baby in a clean environment, you call us spoilt and greedy ? 
  • You talk of infanticide borne of the evils of ignorance of religions and caste, yet conveniently ignore the infanticide that occurs every day in these rural health centers because the money you paid in taxes reached a minister's pocket, instead of a pharmacy where it could have saved a life ?


  • You call us impersonal. I could write articles on that one sentence alone. Instead, I'll just redirect you here for that. Every doctor carries with him the images of patients he's saved, patients he's lost and the patients he is treating presently. We carry these memories everywhere we go. But we can't mourn your loss, even if we want to, because there are hundreds of wounded patients still waiting, who depend on us to shut out the pain and treat them with a clear mind. We have to blink back our frustration and turn to the next bed and carry on saving lives. There are no ad breaks or strategic time-outs for us.

  • If you still call us impersonal, surely the same cannot be said of nurses, can it ? And yet, you treat them as your private servants, answering to your every beck and call : be it fluffing your pillows, getting chairs for your relatives or giving you sponge baths. None of you seemed to think that these brothers and sisters deserved more than 6000 rupees as a salary when they went on strike earlier this year. They study more than you, are grossly understaffed and work thanklessly - but that's their job, right ? Rs 6000 is all they deserve for it, isn't it ? 
Or lest I forget, Rs 4,000 from the premier Godman institute in Kerala of which Rs 2,000 went for hostel and mess fees. And when they complained about how servants in the household earn more, they were beaten up by hired goons sent by the hospital itself. 
Instead of paying a third of your savings to Godmen like these, couldn't you have supported these nurses who actually do God's work and tend to your broken spirit and body, caring for you 24/7 till you get back on your feet ? 
Don't they deserve a salary at par with the hard work they've put in ? If no, why not ? Now do you see why they go abroad ? It's not because of an apathy on their part towards you... it's because of an apathy on your part to listen to their cries. 
My advice to every nurse who plans to go abroad - please do so. We, as doctors, salute your efforts, but sadly this is not a country which respects or even deserves you.   


  • In the meantime, what would happen if I turned the mirror on you... How many of you would be willing to forego your campus interviews and cushy job placements and come work in the villages for a decade voluntarily ? How many of you know anyone who said no to a company placement so that he could do a Shah Rukh Khan a la Swades ? Not later on in life, after earning millions, but right at the beginning of your career - as you demand of us. 
  • You say it's rural because the place lacks amenities - well, isn't that what you all are supposed to be doing : building a modern India ? Or is infrastructure, schools and IT development in these regions also our job ? Is your India just limited to Brigade road, Gurgaon, Bandra and Techno Parks ? How many of you would turn down your opportunity to go abroad on assignments by your companies and come work in the villages 16 hours a day, knowing the pay is below Rs 15,000 a month and you will have to deal not just with the lack of water, food, equipment or shelter, but also often, diseases and superstitions ? How would you feel working like that, knowing fully well you would never be able to provide for your children's future with that salary ? 


  • If there are doctors who work for money, there are doctors who work for the love of medicine too. There are doctors who go to bed at 2 am and are back in the hospital by 5 am for patients ranging from 24 hours to a 100 years old. Even at the age of 60, they sit and study the latest journals for new tidbits on how to save you. I know. I've been taught by them. I have worked beside so many of them. I am one of them. And do you know how much we charge for waking up at 4.30 am and starting a case at 5am ? Rs zero in any medical college in India. Even in private hospitals all across India, we cut our fees if the patient is too poor to afford higher charges. 
  • And yet you mock our sincerity. We should be at your beck and call, changing our schedules to meet your convenience. There have been patients who have woken us up at 3am in the morning because his taxi was passing by the hospital and he thought he'd drop in to have his sugar checked, in spite of having no prior history. There have been patients who have demanded we cut our fees down to 10% for a case we did at midnight as an emergency, yet the very next day after discharging him from the hospital, we see him disregarding all our orders for rest and celebrating at Kentucky Fried Chicken with a posse of relatives, shedding thousands. Is that all our dedication was worth to you - to make us leave our families at midnight to serve you for a pittance so that you could disobey our medical orders ? Would the same KFC have cut their rates to 10% for you, had you said you were from a poor family ?


  • You associate the word 'doctor' with your posh speciality hospitals and assume we all work there ? Well then, what about all the other hospitals around which form 90% of health care in any state ? Who works there... trained chimpanzees ? And do they charge in gold bananas too ? Of course not. Government college doctors have it hardest and yet, they work from twilight to dawn, doing the best with what little materials is provided to them to keep people alive. And when they decide to leave the service and go to a private practise to earn something for their families, you call them corrupted souls ? You say they've sold their souls to the devil ?

  • How dare you ? How. Dare. You ? Are you really so ignorant so as to believe that just by wearing a stethoscope and scribbling paracetamol prescriptions with our patent illegible handwriting, we become instant millionaires ? These doctors want the same lives for their children that you want for yours. They want their kids to go to the same schools as yours, have the same movie experience your kids do. They give up a family life and realise their kids will never get to see them as they grow up and so try to at least earn an decent salary so that their kid has all that he wants. 
These doctors are not asking for your kidneys or your souls. They are asking for what they deserve for their work. While you were busy partying away your 20s and getting married and settling down, they were busy buried under, literally, hundreds of books. They.. nay, we were busy getting emergency calls at all hours of the day from people who came to us only when they were in tears. We were busy giving up on a settled life and working our butts off. While you were into your 8th year of a salaried life, we were paid Rs 100 a day for 36 hour shifts, with 8 hours of rest before the next 36 hours started. After a decade of studies, as a post graduate, would you care to venture what our starting salary was ? Less than what a call-centre worker or wedding planner in India makes, for twice the hours. 


  • Yet, when we treat a hundred patients and bring them back from the jaws of death, do you read about it in a newspaper ? No. But a single person dies and irrespective of the cause, you point fingers and blame us for the death. In that one way, yes, you treat us the way you treat God.  


  • You say doctors earn your respect. Really ? When was the last time you saw a doctor being congratulated on the news for a surgery well done ? Everyday, in every city, village, nook and corner of India, there is a doctor doing an exceptional case, be it a complicated neurosurgery or bringing back vision to the eyes of a blind man... when was the last time you saw him being applauded on television ? 
Respect. As a wise doctor once told me... "Our kids can't eat a plate of respect. And they don't accept respect too while paying school fees, unfortunately." 


  • We don't wake up and come to the hospital everyday to kill people. We are doing the best we can, but people die. That's the basic fact of life. Irrespective of how many talismans you wear, how many Ganesha homams you do at home or how many coconuts you break... people still die. We do our best, but we cannot perform miracles. So don't lay a finger on us if reality bites. 
    • If your fingers are itching so badly, go slap the pujari who convinced you that making your geriatric father roll across the perimeter of a temple would cure his lung cancer. 
    • If you are so convinced that your Wikipedia-inspired medication cocktails are superior to our years of experience with real live patients, be our guests.  
    • What horrifies me is when your relative is dying and we are trying to perform CPR on him/her, you actually accuse us of rape and trash us. You actually believe that we ( even the women doctors ) get our rocks off by sexually assaulting dying people ? How low an image of us do you have ? More frankly, how low an IQ do you have ? If your excuse is that it's a matter of perception, are we permitted the same freedom - when your child complains of a mild tummy ache and you ignore it and it turns out to be a ruptured appendix, are we allowed to beat the snot out of you for unintentionally putting your child's life in danger ? If not, then don't hit us for deaths we are trying to prevent. 

  • No circumstance gives a doctor the right to turn towards unscrupulous means to earn a quick buck. There is no doubt about that. Yes, there are demons in our midst who take part in heinous crimes like infanticide and many others, I agree. But that doesn't give you the right to insult all of us for their crimes. Punish the guilty, but don't cluster-bomb the rest of us. 

  • And change your own misconceptions of us before you point a finger at us.
    1. You want us to work in rural corners of the nation - give us the facilities to save lives, don't just send us there empty handed to watch deaths we could have otherwise prevented if we had the basic necessities. 
    2. You want us to charge less - you are the one who decides which hospital you go to. From medical colleges to specialty hospitals, the range extends from Rs 0 to Rs 25,000/- for the same operation. With insurance now a valid option across India, even that is hardly a problem.  
    3. You want us to stay in India and not run abroad - treat us like doctors and give us our due rather than searching for flimsy reasons to file malpractice suits.


  • I don't judge the amount of anaesthesia I have to give you based on your caste, your political party, your religion or your profession. All I'm asking for, on behalf of my fellow brothers and sisters in the professions, is the same courtesy be given back to us. Don't judge us by the deeds of individuals. We are doing the best we can with what we have. 

For every demon amongst us, there are hundreds of doctors working throughout the night without an hour's sleep, just because they care for their patient's well being. 

These doctors still exist. They are still the majority. I don't just believe it... I know it. 
But they will not remain that way, if you treat them as your own personal punching bags. 


P.S. In the time that it took you to read this, more than a hundred lives have been resuscitated successfully in casualties and emergency rooms. More than a thousand infants were delivered uneventfully. A thousand more surgeries have begun in operation theaters spanning the nation. And tens of thousands of prescriptions have been filled which will begin the healing process for suffering patients all across India.    

Just another routine 10 minutes in the life of a doctor.



You Might Also Like

176 comments

  1. This post really cuts through the soul. I'll not downgrade it with a spectacular comment . Send this to a newspaper daily . Just get it printed .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Naa... it's not meant for newspapers :) It's just another doctor talking.

      Delete
    2. u really captured d essence of it all :) thank u so much for putting it out there

      Delete
    3. thank u so much for putting it out there, u captured d true essence of our situation

      Delete
    4. Thanks Antara.. we need more of our profession to stand up and have our voices heard.

      Delete
  2. Strong words Doc! Whats up!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a bit annoyed by the continuous negative comments being dished on us doctors without once listening to our side of the story... I mean, what kind of morons actually beat up the doctors for trying to save their child by performing CPR !!

      Delete
  3. I m glad that someone finally laid the point across and strongly! Health professionals in India are the most underpaid lots. We study as much as if not more than other professionals and the respect we get is a joke! Be it doctor, nurse, pharmacist, laboratory technician we all have the same story to say. The future of health service in India is very bleak if this is how health industry is going to be treated and droven away to private practice or abroad. I agree with you that there are so many Doctors who work relentlessly and they need to be encouraged by giving better equipments and facilities to keep going on with their work.
    This post is indeed print worthy. Do try to publish it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're absolutely right on that aspect... the future of health service is pretty bleak in India. And it has nothing to do with payment seats vs Govt seats. I know brilliant minds from both sides of that coin. But all of them suffer from the same prejudices of the public.

      Delete
  4. This is yet another case of "One bad fish spoils the pond". Doctors are amazing people and we salute them.
    On rare occasions, when things don't go well, people blame it on negligence. Those stories spread more easily than successful ones. Just like we keep hearing about corrupt politicians and never had a chance to read about the good ones like the DM of Nawanshahar (mentioned in Satyamev Jayate).
    You hear/talk more about a bad marriage than a good one, a dull child than an intelligent one, a disease rather than lack of it... It's sad but it's true - tragedy is more 'appealing'.
    Your anger is justified but in NO way you should think that we think less of you as doctors.

    And this post is your best ever :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's just it. Everyone is just so happy to spread sadness. Nobody feels the need to congratulate a good guy at the end of the day. Instead, ministers who siphon away crores and have x number of cases against them are feted as Gods.
      What's the use of teaching kids all sorts of moral lessons in their school stories if they will never get to see it in real life.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousMay 16, 2012

      Forget about India, you go anywhere, they say "c'mon they are politicians" So there is no point saying they are feted as
      Gods

      Delete
    3. yes, that's why we have statues of Chief Ministers holding handbags and grown men falling to catch her feet when they see her.. no comparison to Gods whatsoever.

      Delete
  5. On behalf of all the people you've helped: thank you. Everyday.
    On behalf of all the people who've bullied, annoyed, whined to or disregarded you: sorry.

    Lovely post, Roshan. Going to share it on twitter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a-hem. But this is not about me.It's about every doc who gets insulted in spite of doing his job well and honourably.
      I can vouch for the fact that these points are not the cries of the 'modern generation' of doctors.. it extends back a generation as well. Every doctor just shrugs his or her shoulder and says "What to do ? This is India..."
      And its not fair to doctors who've given up their family lives to treat patients to face this kind of an insult cause of a couple of rotten mangoes.

      Delete
  6. Powerful words.. I feel people these days are having mob attitude more than ever now..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There really is.. and not just towards docs. It extends in every aspect - be it in defending politics, religion or even your 'divine' movie stars. There is no rational thinking involved. Just a "Get them" attitude.

      Delete
    2. Somehow that makes me think that India did not actually progress! Economic progress doesn't count if a crowd doesn't know how to behave in society or anywhere.. The only place in Kerala where people stand in a queue without any fuss is in front of Beverages corp!

      Delete
    3. mega solution : dispense alcohol with prescriptions :) Ta-daa... no more unruly mobs.. well.. atleast until they start drinking it. Then the next rush is gonna be road traffic accidents and brawl injuries !!

      Delete
  7. Thankyou for writing this. We have a tendency to generalise everything. Instead of starting with having no/good opinion about a doctor, we start with a negative one.
    I am going to share this one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Amit. I really have a theory on that - by generalising everything ( you know.. like "those doctors", or "those Hindus/Muslims" or "those Northies" ).. isn't it just another form of racism ?
      There are good in every culture/religion/profession... and there are bad pennies too. Shouldn't it about the individual rather than the collective ?

      Delete
  8. Im sure the whole medical fraternity will be with you on this, and whole heartedly agree that the nurses are the most undervalued and underpaid people in this country. From where I am, nurses have equivalent status and pay with doctors and are treated with nothing but respect. Good post. I hope every person who points fingers at doctors gets to read this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I must confess I myself was ignorant to how low a nurses salary was until the recent stirs occurred. But seriously, how could anyone think that they were worth just 4000 bucks minus hostel n food. It's inhuman, considering the effort they put in.

      Delete
  9. Just two words : Spot on!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks dude... share the word :)

      Delete
  10. Ever heard- "Tetris teaches us- Accomplishments disappear and errors pile up." This is what has happened! One bad fish has spoiled the entire pond. No one criticised doctors as a whole but those who did something inhuman as female foeticide were being talked (in the show, I meant). Your anger is valid but we, the mango people salute you doctors for whatever you guys do.
    There are two sides of everything, Good and bad. People forget the good ones and bad ones reaches everywhere with the air. This was your best post till now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have to say I love the Tetris analogy..but it isn't a one-off issue. Every week, one or the other mindless incident has been occurring followed by the usual comments about us docs... felt it was time we said what was on our mind.

      Delete
  11. Awesome article doctor roshan... I salute ur efforts... U know I hv similar ideas &important people offered 2read my article on blog voicing pro doctor ideas if it cud be edited to 500 words... I told them if u can decrease doctors problems by 500 words also let me know else go2hell...
    U hv summed up a gr8 response .. Bravo doc!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I commend you for your reply... even if I tried, I could not have cut it down to 500 words.. this article itself is after more than a minimum of 20 drafts, just trying to reduce the number of words... and I still ended up crossing over 2500.

      Delete
  12. AnonymousMay 09, 2012

    The way things are going, becoming a doctor is starting to feel like slaving away the best part of our youth to become glorified failures. No family, no money, no leisure, no freedom, no respect, no gratitude, no satisfaction. The best docs spend 20 years between the ages of 15 and 35, toiling hard to make sure they are giving their patients the best. That they are not cheating their patients with an inferior treatment. These are people who take pride in their craft. We spent a quarter of lives training, and yet they ask for more from us?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its ironic.. in response to S above, I had talked of how I struggled to reduce the size of the article.. yet your second line alone sums it all up, doesn't it ?

      And I disagree with you on a very key point - 35 years ? What is an MD/MS at 35? Hard working ophthalmologists and ENT surgeons will finally be confident of doing individual cases only around that time. A super-specialist ( whom everyone demands now ) will still be a final year student at 35. The salary starts "after that"...

      Delete
  13. Replies
    1. saw the article.. and I agree. Why is there a lesser salary for doing the same work ? And thanks for your support.

      Delete
  14. //. the future of health service is pretty bleak in India. //

    The main reason is that we have disregarded the "Primary-Secondary-Tertiary" care Model

    Some discussion at this facebook thread

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Its a very valid point... but then shouldn't the public be educated on it rather than us... rather than having everyone run to tertiary health care centres

      Delete
  15. thanx, roshan sir... you have written everything that i've ever wanted to say to people who think doctors should be thankful for the thanks that they receive for helping people or don't receive... thanks never bought you daal and roti to eat.

    I would add:

    medicine is personal... very very personal... the patient is a person...ergo...treating HIM/HER IS PERSONAL.

    think about it people... would you like to be treated by a doctor who cries when he/she sees you in pain/ or bleeding / otherwise ill.
    if you want to get treated don't ask for emotions/ reactions.

    does your office behaviour code allow you to become an "emotional wreck" at the drop of a hat? don't you get fired for "unprofessional" behaviour? you don't encourage "emotional behaviour" in your workplace, why do you want it in mine?

    and, to all the people who go on the net and "discover" how they should be treated.... ever ask your electrician how he fixes the short circuit in your house? or the plumber about the leaky faucet? if you can acknowledge your lack of knowledge about that stuff then why do you ask your doctor to explain every little thing, every drug, every instruction, every comma n every full stop?

    I am proud to say that i'm a fourth generation doctor... but... i might not encourage d next generation to continue the tradition... coz after 10 years of studying and working my butt off... i still hv to turn to my dad for money coz i can't afford to get my laptop fixed... dont get paid enough for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just added the link for to an earlier post on "the personal aspect" of our job, because it is a very important issue. If we all are allowed to just take a day off at the news of death for emotional stability, will there be any doctor left by the middle of the week ?

      And your final point is quite poignant, Arunima. Being a fourth generation doc and wanting to stop the next generation...

      Delete
    2. I don't think there is a bigger comment on how far the spirits of doctors across India has fallen than that line..

      Delete
    3. its not that i'd stop them... its more like if they want something else, then go ahead, with all my blessings and backing.

      as for the personal aspect:
      i had to tell a friend's mom n brother that my team and i were performing CPR and doing our level best to save her Dad's life... that's by far the hardest thing i've ever had to do... what i couldnt do was tell them that we were unsuccessful... that i did not have the guts for. its always difficult to "declare Death" but since then its been even more difficult for me. this was very personal and it was over three years ago, before residency.

      Delete
    4. I havent had that misfortune yet.. having to declare death to someone I know personally.. but otherwise yes, have had to inform parents, children, relatives et al.. And no matter what anyone says, it never gets easier..

      Delete
  16. powerful stuff dude...n so friggin true..
    they wan to bar drs from goin abroad...y only drs??..wat abt the engnrs, the techies, the iims...let them all stay back n develop India!...the prejudiced pricks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. exactly... how can you actually put up a law saying "we won't allow Indian doctors to work outside India" ? Is the nation so well off in other fields that only the health of Mother India remains to be 'fixed' ?

      Delete
  17. GOOD WORK ROSH.
    YOU ARE BECOMING VERY GOOD WITH YOUR PEN.
    ONE OF THE FAMOUS DOCTOR IN MY PLACE MY BOSS HAD A STRANGE EXPERIENCE . HE WORKS ALMOST 16- 20 HOURS A DAY ,WORK EVEN ON SUNDAYS AND FOR THE LAST 20+ YEARS . ONE DAY HE WAS ON LEAVE DUE TO HIGH FEVER (HE RARELY/NEVER) TAKES LEAVE. SOME PATIENTS WENT TO HIS HOME , HIS WIFE REPLIED THEM THAT HE IS SLEEPING AND SO TIRED OF FEVER HE DOESNT CONSULT TODAY.. THEN THE PATIENT BYSTANDERS TOLD THAT "LET HIM SLEEP NO PROBLEM BUT TELL HIM TO SEE US AND WHATEVER HE WANT TO DO LIKE SLEEP OR SIT WE HAVE NO PROBLEM" ..
    THIS IS THE NEW ATTITUDE..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed Khaleel.. that's exactly the point. We aren't allowed to even be sick. If we take a day off and say no to a patient, we are the one's considered to have an attitude. This is what they call "respect for doctors."

      Delete
  18. Emotions Well Carved to a beautiful sculpture of the anger outburst, wish if its imbibed by someone who holds a position to draw a difference.Coz its enough of lay-men talking and applauding the effort,which would wean off from its effect faster than its half-life.We do need a change .....enough of this fake democracy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately Manuj, that I don't see happening. This is just a flash in the pan... a momentary comment of the truth of society and then everyone will go on with their lives, pretending all is well.

      Delete
  19. More often than not, those in the intensive care units are forgotten by the patients and relatives the moment the patient is better and out of the ICU.

    If a patient gets better, it is almost always God's grace. If the patients dies because he / she came 2 - 3 days too late, then blame it on the duty Doctor.

    The 'Duty Doctor' is the most overworked, underpaid and abused entity in India.

    Good post Dr. Roshan. What I have thought for 17 years as a 'Duty Doctor' you have articulated beautifully. I am sharing this !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Indeed, duty docs have it hardest.. no gratitude of patient for their work, yet all the insults in spite of their best efforts when a patient goes bad.

      Delete
  20. Am so sorry doctor that this is what doctors have to face day in and day out. Believe me - its a very noble profession - an unpaid, unappreciated one at that - atleast not what it is worth. Unfortunately, some rogue doctors have brought this upon the entire sect. Also its basic human nature - easier to blame but if everything is going good then rarely do we notice. Its just like God. A lot of people would approach God in times of adversity but not during their good times. After all, to a certain extent doctors do end up playing God. Hats off to all of you for sticking it out there and doing everything for mankind day in and day out. How much ever we say is going to be insufficient. Hang in there doc! Its not all bad. There are people who love you for what you do and truly genuinely appreciate your efforts and compromises.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Deepa... I just wish the situation was getting better. But the truth is , if you read some of the earlier comments from fellow doctors, it's something we all feel. It's not the cry of one Dr, it is very much the pain of every dr today

      Delete
  21. Doc, I have worked closely with Doctors and Nurses, and every word hit the nail. Nurses especially get such a raw deal, its a wonder they don't vanish altogether!

    Ofcourse, there are fiends for Doctors too - but thats like saying every guy out there is a rapist! Every doc I know personally (my Uncle included) wants to do EVERYTHING to save a life - sometimes free of cost. Have grown up seeing my Uncle do it, have seen atleast a hundred more do it - even in a city as atrociously greedy as Delhi!! And yes - you guys deserve much more than what is usually paid to Doctors - especially when they are 'Duty Docs' or interns. Article well written - am sharing this, but honestly, it should get higher readership - get it printed, Roshan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You guys say it like you think I have any idea at all how to get these articles published somewhere :) I don't have the slightest idea... any media aware types around here ?

      Delete
  22. wel put up rosh !!!! though these things do cross our mind on a regular basis ; we hardly do let any others know abt tht.... do remember the conference we had the other day (when we were in second year) when all the top doctors in the city were inspiring us to go to the rural areas... two sides of the same coin....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. seems like ages ago Karthik... :)

      Delete
  23. Radha..... u have said most of it... and its soo true... u have echoed the voice of us Doctors... people just dont think wht a doctor go through.... they jus care about their convenience and ease

    I have heard comments like its sooo easy for a doc to MINT MONEY.... jst keep stethescope here and there and Voila.... 100 bucks in ur pocket.... Little do they know about the mental & physical stres we go through.... first to have aquired that knowledge to find out whats wrong when we keep steth and If any of the patient admitted under me is in a bad condition, i wont even get a peaceful sleep tht night.. keep thinking abt wht else can i do to make his condition better.. keeps ringing the nurse to know abt status.. goes in between to chk it myself... tht tension is too much to go through..... we dont tell them about our tensions.. but wish even they knew it...

    There are instance when patients come by 10 pm or 11 pm with Complaints of Fever n cough (not an emergency) and tht too since 4-5 days.. While i enquired y they took so loong.. they answer casually tht they didnt get a free time form their daily work... worst part is, these people sometimes make a hungama in hosp.. they want to see the doc at THE MOMENT they step into hosp.. they dnt even think abt the time we have to tke to jst rch the consultation room... we are human beings too...

    Last day there was a patient admitted with severe back pain... i had adviced him before to be very careful with his day to day activities.. n not to lift heavy weights... he didnt bother to follow that... he came back with severe pain, got admitted.. after 1 hour his brother comes to my room n shouts at me asking y his pain havent gone inspite of the injection... am like what the hell... DOCTORS DOESNT HAVE GODLY POWER.. ... pain wont VANISH with jst a single injection n tht in an hr... it will reduce for sure.. but will take time to subside completely... . All are soo happy n waiting for a chance to shout at a doctor.... is it kinda hep thing or wht ???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anees, noone cares about the effort that went in , the years it took to use that stethoscope to be able to differentiate between a mid systolic and pansystolic murmur, do they ? And ya, even in a city of docs like Mangalore, after all these years, patient's knowledge on how to behave and treat hospital staff is only starting to recede.. we are expected to drop the patient we are saving and see them that very instant.. in that way, really pity duty doctors on a busy day. Getting harassed for trying to save lives.

      Regarding your last paragraph, I'd earlier written an article on exactly that - patients werent even ready to wait for the effect of the drug to act. Expected that the moment they get the injection, pain will vanish...too many Hindi films, I guess :s

      It is cool I guess to go around saying "Ya..that doc was acting smart operating on some patient.. I fired his staff and got him to come out early to see me." Sad but true.

      Delete
  24. I am really happy that http://godyears.blogspot.in/2012/05/doctors-defend-thyself.html put forward the issues faced by doctors. Watch the following two videos to know the fate of a doctor who sacrificed his life to rural folk. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZp4soAxzqg&feature=g-upl and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy3UlMXgyIM&feature=g-upl

    Amir khan's lyrics, songs,choreography, makeup are not his own. Just for expressing the talents of the people behind the screen , he gets huge amount of money. Just because he is celebrity of masses , can he comment on dedicated people and a noble profession? It became fashionable to criticise and manhandle doctors.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 11, 2012

      Can u say every doctor is flaw less and perfect. They are some doctors who are not doing their job properly, Aamir is addressing them not all. so grow up

      Delete
    2. Dear Anonymous, I have written 2500 odd words here and you are stuck to the one line on Aamir ? You ask a question as your first sentence... have I clearly not answered that ( and highlighted it, in fact ) in the ending paragraphs..

      Delete
    3. Dr Bhavani, my personal issue was not per se with Aamir Khan's show, because in dealing with a monster of society, he unearthed a few of our own. That is fine with me. But as I said, everyone and their mother started the usual 'docs=villains' bhajan again... that I did have an issue with. If that were the case, wouldn't the sex ratio be equally poor all across the nation ? More so, wherever 'successful gynaecologists and radiologists lived ?' It was that kind of absurd statements that hurt , considering what the rest of us face day in and out.

      Delete
  25. Yes these are the words I have been waiting for.... And now you made them into realty.
    Thank you doc,really true what all the contexts you have mentioned.

    Yes true that a businessman or a techie loves to spend hundreds in MC donalds or a KFC rather giving a meagre sum of 100 rs to a doc :( pathetic !!!!.

    The infrastructure for health annually by government in India is just 1.74% which is an absolute shit where all medical and allied facilities,salaries have to be maintained.
    Contrast to this France and other countries provide 9-14% in health.

    A few months ago I remember an incident in Tamil nadu where a duty doctor aged 55,a female doc indeed was stabbed by the relative of a patient,which shounds shocking,yet true and hapless,the doc couldn't make it and lost her life.
    Enfuriated about the incident but no inquiry was done into it and yet this is just another case.

    For all those who don't understand the hard ships just go die you don't deserve our services,go treat your self with google and other websites.

    Proud to be a doctor

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. envira, funny coincidence.. page 38, may 13, 2012 issue of THE WEEK - a 'Godman' prescribes drinking pani puri to a patient for treatment of stomach pain. Consultation fee - Rs 11,000/- What can I say beyond this ?

      Your point on govt subsidies for health is valid.. it will also never improve. Thats for sure.

      I remember this article too of the duty doctor.. my friend had called and told me of it. It was one of the incidents at the back of my mind while I wrote this.

      Delete
  26. In India there are hell a lot of people responsible for such a poor situation which health sector is facing. Government is first body to be blamed for this kind of situation. They never bother to build good hospitals in Rural India and give respect to doctors at all. One more problem is if a person wants to take up the profession of Doctor then only MBBS does not help them but lot of doctors without complaining study hard and settle down as good doctors. But in every profession not everyone is perfect. There are some doctors who are corrupt and bringing bad name to all doctors. Finally in India lot of things needed to be done in the health sector. Who will do it I wonder??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Madhu, I still remember my sir's wife, after completing his MBBS tried to get a job at a pretty famous hospital in Bangalore.. they gave her Rs 4000/- as a salary. Her daily expenses going and coming from the hospital cost more than that !! :)

      I definitely agree that no profession is perfect..I've already stated that and highlighted as I've pointed out in an earlier comment as well... but that as you say, that applies to every thing - be it profession, states, castes, religions.. that doesnt give us the right to generalise and blame all of them, does it ?

      Delete
    2. It cost her 4000 to travel back and forth daily ? Was she travelling in a/c car chauffeur driven? And you say doctors are poor??

      Delete
    3. Gee... great to have such stimulating insightful comments in here too.

      Delete
  27. Remya and Vineetha, Who are they?
    Two young bravehearts from Kerala, who were nurses in the fire-ravaged AMRI Hospital in Kolkata, saved eight patients before their own lives were snuffed out while trying to rescue another victim.
    Remya and Vineetha, both 24 pulled out eight of the nine patients in the noxius smoke-filled female ward and when they had gone up to save the ninth patient, who had suffered a fracture, succumbed to the smoke and heat, said Sumini, the Deputy Nursing Superintendent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember this... honestly, I don't know many people who would have ever done that, irrespective of profession. And aged 24 !! That is what humanity should be about.

      Delete
  28. AnonymousMay 11, 2012

    So you're telling me the most humble, amazing and wonderful creatures - doctors don't get paid well? are not amongst the most wealthiest people in India?

    Doctors, who are professionals first don't really care about the life of a patient... They care about their own pocket. Don't write big posts and use big words, most of all, don't try to be humble, ok? You're not that great, seriously!

    I am NOT Sheep, to agree with you on EVERY thing

    My parents are both doctors and I know the plus and minus points, so when you write a post - please write it neutrally

    Anonymous

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anon, it is sad that even after seeing fellow doctors from across India replying with their own experiences, your one answer is that we don't care about the life of a patient.
      Each and every point you make is clearly accounted for in the article - I cant start writing it all over again here.
      Amazing, wonderful and humble creatures ? Not that great ? Which glorious doctor in your life has described himself as such to you. Because we clearly have not.

      And as regards doctors salaries - I have put forward the truth of the matter in the article again. If you consider that a great salary, good for you. If instead you want to start talking of salaries of senior physicians and neurosurgeons in this article - well, be my guest. For the lives they have led and the brilliant work they do, they deserve that amount. But as statistics will show, super specialists don't even form 10 % of India's doctors.
      I'm glad you're not a sheep.. it would have made typing this article really difficult, I assume.
      And out of respect, I will not comment on the last statement.

      Delete
    2. dear anonymous
      congratulations!!! you are the beloved child of two hard working doctors, who i assume are very well paid. coz you certainly seem to think that all of the people who graduate MBBS end up milking money.i honestly cant think of any other reason why you would make this assumption.
      i agree with you. YOU are not sheep. sheep have more brains and definitely more heart.
      true...we're not all of us great... and not all of us are "doodh ka dhula hua". or "humble". But the majority of us always put our patients first. because a patient is a person. and, i repeat myself, IT IS PERSONAL.
      but yes we DO NOT GET PAID ENOUGH. after 5 years of law school, the starting salary can be anything between 50k to 1 lakh... after 5 years of MBBS you get 15k your bloody lucky... and i wont even bother to mention campus placement packages.
      for your reference the richest indians as per Forbes are listed in the following link
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbes_list_of_Indian_billionaires
      none are doctors. at least, medical ones. PhDs, horonary PhDs, yes, probably.
      you are not a doctor... you don't know the plus and minus points of being one. I'm a doctor. I don't know the plus and minus points of being a professional in your field. kindly don't imagine you know d ins and outs of the life of a doctor just because you have been lucky enough to witness a part of the lives of your parents.
      N btw, blogs are meant to be a mode of sharing one's personal opinion, one's views, one's attitude... so, why should Dr. Roshan's blog be neutral if his views are not? This is a blog, not some law book that requires the author to be neutral.
      please read the entire post again before replying/ commenting... show the author that respect... He deserves it.... coz he is a damn good doctor.

      Delete
    3. Arunima,you are coming across as self righteous, as if you have done favour by becoming a doctor.
      Very very few doctors see patients as a human being, for today's corporate style docs patient are clinical cases from which they learn and grow their expertise. So plz don't kid yourself and millions of middle class Indians.
      Dr. Roshan is highlighting a few stories of assaulted doctors in a population of billion,...how petty is that.

      Delete
    4. Zee Bee, I've answered a few of your comments below... personally, Im not in the least bit interested in repeating myself here.. after reading Ramayana, if you choose to ask "Who is Sita" at the end of it all, it is futile to explain all over again.
      Arunima has saved thousands of lives and alleviated pain in thousands more in the span of 6 years... the first three years, she earned Rs 100/- a day, just like me.
      So dont kid yourself because of your own self-flagellating "middle class" syndrome... she, I and thousands of other doctors too come from the middle class. We are not Nawabs and Ranis... and people living in denial will always say the same thing - "few cases of assault", "few cases of molestation", "few cases of gang rape".
      There have been horrific cases of assault on doctors.. killed even! And that was for not revealing the sex of a child pre-natally. Tell me, what great crime was that? Following the law??

      Delete
  29. rosh
    this is another thing which we have to learn..
    as a doctor we never get to spend time with our children . so because of our guilty consious we litterally buy evrything for our children what they want .. even if we have money or not.. and these children also see everybody around them(patients) respect them ..
    this make them to feel that this profession is the ultimate ..
    and my dear anonymous that time has changed, thats what we are telling about..
    my question to the "anonymous" is if your parents are doctors did you thought about becoming a doctor , if not y?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Superb point Khaleel.. I was honestly shocked by Anonymous last statement more than the others.. all the others, we have heard from people who don't care. But a dcotor's child, more than anyone else, should know how much his parents have sacrificed for him to enjoy the life he has. What can we say for this ?

      Delete
    2. Why should anonymous become doctor just because his parents were,....there is something called individuality khaleel.
      You ppl became doctors for yourself ,...for a glorious rich future.I can understand nurses complaining,...they do the dirty back breaking work.
      But doctors, you keepnharping abt 5 yrs study,...but that's the expertise your profession demands.As years go by ,you develop expertise by working on patients,.... So patient-doctor relationship is a symbiotic relationship.
      The good doctor here is drawing parallels which seem petty in most of the points.

      Delete
  30. Really well written.. Aah..well i have no words.. But whatever ur post says must have been felt by each n every medico atleast once in their life time.. I thank you for coming up with such a bold post.. It says so much. ! And so much really needs to be done.. People spend so much on entertainment.. They will keep changing there phones 1000 times in a month. !but they wil think so many tmes before giving 500 bucks to a doctor who deserves it truely after so much of hard work. ! I have been working in an ER since 6 months.. But i work here coz i love my work inspite of being paid less.. A consultant just did make a statement yesterday by saying he became a orthopedic surgeon but he will never make a doctor out of his son ever! Same goes with me n i would never want my kids to do so looking at the nonsense which is going around these days. My father worked in the rural area for not only a year but for his entire carreer of twenty to thirty years served in a rural area. He was the only mbbs doctor working in that place. And the irony that when he suffered an attack there was no one to treat him. He died of cardiac arrest! I Really Dont know what gave him satisfaction to work in an rural area but i pledged to myself from that day that i wil never work there! Your article has a lot of depth.. Hope people understand us.. Hope people do not judge us by reading stupid Things about us.. Just hoping that someday our country really respect its own doctors and treat them in a Good way which they deserve!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our country will never learn to respect doctors, nurses and paramedics... that which you take for granted, especially a nation like ours... will never change.

      I said this to you personally and I am repeating it on the blog.. I am sorry for what happened to your dad. Me and a friend read it together on the laptop and both of us felt sad... it is the reality of our lives.
      The same people who would go to quacks and fake Godmen and splurge money make fun of doctors who work in rural areas. For your dad to work for so long in a rural set up with limited resources and even pay shows his commitment to his field.. that alone places him miles above doctors like me. God bless him.

      Delete
    2. 1000 times in a month? You mean one or two rich people yeah? What abt the vast lower and middle class which comes to the doctor by pinching happiness and other wants to hand over those 500 rs .
      Not only the writer, the whole doctor fraternity on this blog is into superlative exaggeration !

      Delete
    3. A doctor talks about how she lost her father and you pick up on the one line that is an obvious exaggeration which even a two year old child would understand. You, my dear friend, are a perfect example of the type of heartless troll that makes me question the need for a Hippocratic oath.
      If you have no knowledge of what life is for a doctor, that is different. But being an asshole ... there is no cure for that. Learn to have some basic manners when someone is talking about the loss of a loved one.
      And regarding the vast lower and middle class - again, there are nearly a 1000 medical colleges in this country. We do operations for free... FREE !! You want to compare with tertiary specialty hospitals... that is your choice. The difference between Rs 500 for a bed in an ICU and Rs 35,000 is yours...

      Delete
  31. AnonymousMay 12, 2012

    Hi Roshan,
    Every word is true in what you have said. Nurses have been underpaid, overworked for decades and nothing has changed in the last 2 decades for doctors in terms of renumeration (minus the top notch doctors who well deserve for the service years they have). My friends relative who passed out from REC, landed a job in Barclays, London with a £160,000, flat etc,.. at the age of 24 yrs. Do our MBBS toppers get paid a fraction of this amount when they pass out of medical school? Gross disparity in pay. Gone are those days where we used to see grey hairs if he/she was a Manager.....All these issues are partly due to the novorich - due to their highly inflated salaries sitting in posh A/C, rooms and blogging most of the day and stay overnights/nearing deadlines to reach targets....typical corporate world I guess. I dont say that none work, otherwise I wouldnt be typing this here ;-). Doctors on the otherhand cant blog during the day ( ward rounds/OPD time) and catch up pending work staying late hours and trying to justify if anything goes wrong. Those 36/48hrs shifts every 2nd or 3rd day, is what has made us the good doctors that we are today. The feeling of joy that we get in saving a life is something which cannot be explained in words, its to be experienced. Proud to be a doc.

    I had the unfortunate situation where I had to declare the death of my close friend's father, to his mother and siblings, while I worked in the ICU after an unsuccessful CPR.
    Keep doing the good work because at the end of the we can count how many lives we saved or made a difference and sleep peacefully, atleast until the phone or bleep goes off.....time to see another patient.
    How many journalists are ready to publish the facts voiced above? Suresh Babu.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suresh, I hope I never have to do the same... I have declared quite a few deaths so far, but I don't know how I would feel doing the same for a relative/close friend. People never understand just how much these patients and the experience lingers on in our lives. They want us to sit and cry with them which is just not possible...

      And as for journalists.. well, don't see anyone here, do you ?

      Delete
  32. dr.fazalunnisaMay 12, 2012

    oh maan seriously ppl think dat doctors r there only to mint money that too by cheating them, 4 1 day i want these ppl, who comment about us ,to be in our shoes, then they would understand the pressure of dealing with life,seriously yaa enough of this bull-shit the scitey is giving us,they target that 1 stupid doc who is unfaithful n leave the 999 aside.high time even we want our rights

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true, Dr Fazalunnisa. I keep recollecting certain 36 hour duties, filled with intestinal obstructions, brain surgeries, deliveries and broken bones... after that the body was so out of sync, could not sleep after the duty was over and then next morning the next 36 hrs began... all for free. All the patients we followed up... gave epidural top ups at regular hours.. and in the end, people say "docs dont care".

      Delete
  33. I love it how almost every single of the aam junta people that have commented here have used the "one bad fish..." analogy.
    Well, while this might apply to the female feticide cases, but it certainly does NOT apply to the docs getting beaten up in ERs and ICUs for trying CPR or having a patient die on them. In those cases, docs are not even the "bad fish"!
    And then if docs end up going on strikes for these matters, its again the docs who are blamed for the "hundreds dying". And that's when everyone (including the internet using elites) of the country goes about blaming docs too.

    And about docs getting payed too much? Come on! Like you correctly mentioned Roshan, there's a continuum of charges that you can pay for services from Rs Zero to a lakh or more. And amongst these, its not the medical knowledge that differs, but the ancillary services like AC rooms, clean beds etc that do. And again docs are not the people to be blamed for poor conditions of Govt hospitals.
    And from what I've seen in Govt hospitals, is the place where a poor man gets stuck is procuring medicines which cost the world, and which are supposedly provided free from the Govt, but never make it past the middle men to reach the needy. Never seen a poor patient who really needs it, not getting medical care (in terms of docs and staff) in a govt hospital..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I remember... the strikes and the aftermath it left. Noone seemed to see the doctors getting beaten up.. but when they cried, they were accused to taking patients hostage.

      and you're absolutely right about the role of middlemen in regional hospitals... if you read Dr Saumil Shah's comment below yours, you'll see the situation actually reverses.. we are asked as doctors to bring the medicines ourselves if we feel so strongly that the patients need to be healed. What kind of a callous attitude is that ?
      And think of it... do you know how many patients get treated for RTA related brain surgeries in government and medical colleges for less than 8000 bucks ? Can you imagine that price tag in any other so called developed country for a neurosurgery.. even there, we pay from our own pockets if the patients cant afford post-op care... those patients are grateful, but the general public seems to think its our obligation

      Delete
  34. A well deserved angry rant if i ever read one...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If only it could make a difference in what people thought of us, I would be so much happier.

      Delete
  35. AnonymousMay 12, 2012

    hello Dr Roshan,
    I am reading this blog for the first time through a share on fb...seems u have put into ink what most of us want to get it out there,especially the truth about rural infrastructure, that we as "professionals" are supposed to work in.
    An incident in which a friend posted in a rural area was asked by the local governance to bring his own medicines(read paracetamol) if he wanted to treat people or just leave them to their fate...sadly he tried doing it for a week ,trying to gather funds in the village and from outside, fed up he got himself transferred out of d area to another place where his skills and knowledge could be of some value.2 days later he was berated in a local daily for being selfish!!! Seriously not done...
    But a lot of patients in the ward who see u strive ,do ask if u have had some sleep or taken your meals. The awesome feeling u get on just a lovely suture, forget about saving a life is something only those who practice this "profession" understand.
    We can go for 36 hrs without rest trying to do our "jobs" well enough to keep people alive, tell me if anyone feels that a future prospect of earning large, if u r lucky enough, 20 to 25 years down d road would b a good enough motivation? It stems from the look in a patient's eyes(if not his relatives) and a colleague's pat on d back, that's all v need to keep the adrenaline flowing to keep us battle ready for the next patient. So you see the frustration for me at least when someone calls us "impersonal" comes from the fact that being personal is what motivates us,so all I say to such relatives is please leave me with your patient i will take care of him,u do not need to be here, and they think we do not give a damn.
    I would like to tell everyone out there that please do not treat us like gods for therein lies the folly. Do not expect any other miracle from us except that we will give our best no matter what. We are as human as your brother, sister, mom, dad, son or daughter. we know u come to us for a need or u would rather b someplace else but believe me majority of those whom u go to would not leave your side if they think that them being there will make even the slightest of a difference to you...
    Proud to be a Doc.
    Dr. Saumil Shah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was discussing your comment with a friend.. it is amazing that your friend was actually asked to bring his own medicines if he wanted to save patients by local authorities. And when he finally gives up, he is called the culprit and insulted in a newspaper.. just plain awful.
      It is true... there are so many patients who genuinely see us struggle and stay with their relatives throughout the night and beyond - that, to me, is where respect should originate from.
      I loved your last paragraph... puts so many points together in such heartfelt words..

      Delete
  36. The doc community is a sacred one. No matter what anyone does be it a singer,actor or a software professional. All they can do is give a moments pleasure in anyone life.
    But Doc's are the only blessed soul's who can SAVE a life. who can relive someone of their pain. You have that opportunity.
    You guys are indeed doing GOD's work. Pl take all the pride for doing so.
    and who am i?
    just another ordinary person who bugs DOC's with all the unnecessary questions. tries to find answers and new questions through google.
    One of the family member/relative who always demands extra guarantee from a doc.
    But i do all this because i am scared and i have no idea what is wrong with me or my loved one. and YOU GUYS are the only ones i can turn to.
    SO THANKS A LOT FOR BEING THERE FOR ME(and everyone else)
    and this goes to every doc who is out there treating and curing and saving life's.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thats just it.. we don't consider ourselves God.. saving life is a result of the hard work and hours we have all put in to reach that stage. We don't want to be anyone's God.. we just want people to know we are normal human beings with actual emotions and feelings.
      To be called 'impersonal' and 'just working for money' is such a tight slap on the face.. it belittles everything we do.

      Delete
  37. Thanks Roshan Sir. I have come to realise that how much underrated our job has become. As MBBS students life is surely not as of a hell as after that. But yeah, this was certainly an eye-opener. I hope this works for the Govt. Of India as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shash, life is only beginning, trust me on that. As long as you are PGs, you have the staff to be your safety net... but reality will hit hard once you pass out and come into the real world. Thats when you'll see these points in action.

      Delete
  38. Roshan,
    This is very well said. I moved to US for residency about 4 yrs ago but I totally remember those MBBS days and everything you talked about.

    I just found this article talking about US doctors. I know the amount written here is in $ so when you convert to INR it seems too big. But remember, who earns in $, spends in $ too., anyways, here is the link..
    Benbrownmd.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Arpan.. that link was really useful.. he's taken a lot of effort to get those stats.. thats for sure.. and it makes so much sense... scary thought man.

      Delete
    2. You're welcome.. Don't let your blog and thoughts die.. Good luck..

      Delete
  39. Dr.Roshan, you know what makes me sad? the fact that since the time i entered the profession a little over 10 years ago and by the time i finished my super-speciality the entire society has gone from "Oh!!!Doc" to "uh? doc?". there isnt anyone day i dont kick myself for not listening to my dad and join that engineering course when i could be jetting around the world on company expense instead of working in a hospital where there is no toilets for the staff...docs have to stand in line with the patients even in the middle of oa busy opd/admissions day - just to get to pee. and these people (the administrators/politicans) are the ones who advise us on ethics? i really laughed out at kapil sibals idiotic bond proposal ..do you really think it is going to stop any doc form going abroad even if he has to pay a penalty for it? compared to the working conditions abroad - any fine would be worth it. btw, i realized the true worth of a doc when it came to marriage proposal..every single one- wanted a software engineer/preferably in the us...earning upwards of 10 lakhs a month and not above 23/24 years..the very age when i was living off my dads money and preparing for pg entrance exams. thats how we measure up to engineers and in society's eyes..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is the disillusionment that perhaps strikes most doctors today, Ganesh. The degradation of our profession to what is now a real mockery..
      And I think many doctors have seen that phase too - where they are now ignored at the time of matrimony for being a dr... frankly telling, do you see yourself giving away your daughter 20 years from now to a doc.. knowing he will be in this same situation,unable to even provide the basic necessities of life for her - especially when you have the option of giving her an actual happy life.
      I know I wouldn't.

      Delete
  40. Dr. Roshan, that was a very lucid and succinct account of all the problems facing us today. Unfortunately it is a mindset in the community which is what we have to overcome. People simply do not understand how hard it is to just look around you at your schoolmates and see everyone married, with kids, a cushy job while you are 27-28 and occasionally still have to look to your parents for money! And its not like the situation is far better for residents in private hospitals either. Working in one is like starting your private practice early, getting called into the ward at 2am because some bigshot relative only has time to come in on the way home from a party and wants to know how his patient is, and why there isn't a doctor SITTING IN THE WARD AT 2AM TO MONITOR TRACTION! Lets face it, the days of our teachers have passed, and henceforth we will remain highly educated labourers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Shemin, what you have said is absolutely true. It is fair to call it jealousy.. but it is a jealousy of having to struggle so hard and then seeing that people look down on you... and 'occasionally' ? Haha.. we were all very much dependent on our parents throughout pg life... the stipend barely covered mess bill...
      and thats rt.. they figure we have to sit next to their individual patient for the minutest of things even...

      Delete
  41. What a write up doc!! You have to get this published... seriously!!

    ReplyDelete
  42. you have to get this published! seriously...!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. again.. no idea how. I'm a doctor.. we're only supposed to live inside text books with no idea how the outside world works :p

      Delete
  43. AnonymousMay 15, 2012

    HATS OFF TO YOU FOR MAKING THE POINT !!!!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Spot on Roshan .....

    ReplyDelete
  45. Hi Roshan, you are at your usual best. saw this post today. i need to rush back to casualty now. keep it up brother. Bye for now:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sharan.. hope you're doing well.

      Delete
  46. AnonymousMay 15, 2012

    wow..u seem to be an educated bastard...what u wrote is all in a dream...all my relatives are doctors..making loads of money...and none of them have ever worked in a village...Mr. that's reality. You cant talk about your own life and apply it to thousands of doctors who pay for their seat and cant even save a life. Very good if u have worked in rural areas, i appreciate it but not everyone is as awesome (hope u see the sarcasm)as you. Looking at my relatives i don't think u real.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm guessing this is the same Anonymous as before...

      It's people like you who treat doctors like their own servants and yet come crying to us the moment you get a small cut, expecting us to look after it at 2am in the morning.

      There is no point in getting into an argument with you on this... the last time, you were indirectly belittling your own parents, now it's your relatives. These are your personal battles with your family.. you calling it by any other name doesn't change the memory in each and every of our lives of the patients we have saved... and mind you, whatever field your relatives maybe in now - they have reached there by saving lives as an MBBS dr and a PG.. have no doubt on that.

      Delete
    2. AnonymousMay 17, 2012

      if u can have preconceived notions about an anonymous writer (referring to "belittling your own parents, now its your relatives)...then its the same case with the real time issues..all i suggest u live in your small world..you will be happy there.

      Delete
    3. there are no preconceived notions.. none of the others were belittling their own relatives the way you were. It is obvious to everyone except yourself. None of them were using bad words either and making it personal. Sad to say, being a doctor's child has not brought any sense of decency or manners to you.

      If you don't have any point to make, please don't waste your time replying here. Calling bad words and mocking your family and their profession online maybe 'cool' for you, but not for us 'small world' folk.

      Delete
  47. AnonymousMay 15, 2012

    And you have nice bunch of future idiot doctors of India supporting you by sharing, commenting and liking it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks... in this one comment, you have justified the entire point I have made in my article.

      Delete
  48. We always respect doctors...We actually trust them more than God..
    As u said all doctors are not the same..Because few of them entire doctor world is blamed..
    Same applies to us too..Because few of them blame u..It doesn't mean all of us u treat u like that..
    Don't u have any experience where the patients have thanked you and treated you ppl as angels??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You raised a good point Sumana.. I am sure each and every doc in the comment section above me has also been genuinely thanked by a mother whose child has been treated, a son whose dad got out of surgery well, a grandfather whose vision improved drastically or relatives of a new born child...We do have them and we are grateful for those patients for those two simple words...
      But the fact is that when was the last time you saw an article ( in any form of media ) on doctors where they were not being berated and insulted ? I frankly don't remember.
      It is almost as if the bouquets remain between the dr and the patient and the brickbats are hurled in front of the public.

      Delete
    2. I don't think it is just doctors who are targeted..It is same way they treat any other human being or profession...Only negative news...I think it raises their TRP...:(
      But I think doctors are just above all these.. blame or praise...As u mentioned in point 3..U cant afford to relax in either case :)

      Delete
    3. Well, that's just it Sumana. We aren't above it - neither blame nor praise. We each have our individual forms of defence to both, but they do affect us.

      Regarding what you said about other professions being targeted - a bit of a coincidence since I had just watched todays news channels - they blame the Air India pilots for refusing to come to work. When the pilot asks "would your servant come to work for you if he is not paid for 6 months ?" everyone just turns evasive without giving a proper answer.

      Especially in our profession, we can empathise with that - we need to pray not only for ourselves, but for each patient we operate, each patient who may come in injured or dying. We pray that the hospital/rural health centre has adequate medicines... no matter how hard we try, patients and their lives affect us personally.
      Maybe we should be above it all, as you said... but we are still human beings with feelings.

      Delete
    4. Yes I agree..I think we must all learn to respect and appreciate others profession..But that alone also doesn't help.. Everything fall under 'Moral Ethics'..Once we knw we should do only right thing..Then no corruption..Then no golmal in hospital/rural medical facilities..Then proper medication..No blame game..
      Same for everything around..
      Whom to blame for not inculcating Moral Ethics ??..
      I think each one has to come up with his own ways and try to be an example for others ..

      Now I think it is time for new post..Wish for some humorous one.. :)

      Delete
    5. you're right.. definitely time for a fun post.. let's see what I can come up with :)

      Delete
    6. Roshan, i have seen many news praising many doctors... An example is Dr. Lahane of JJ hospital, mumbai came in news for completing 1,00,000 cataract surgeries successfully...
      one more thing.. indians are always corrupt people.. its in our blood... but people look at doctors, engineers, IAS officers with a different perspective.. they feel we are above others and so the expectations are more... if you are being held responsible for so many problems, trust me it means in today's world people find you (doctors) more important and more responsible than the rest of us..

      Delete
    7. Thanks Abhijit... As I keep saying there are definitely corrupt docs, but then there are so many who have given up their entire families and lives to work selflessly... and so few get any credit from the media. Instead, with one hour of one sided media coverage, we've all been left fending for ourselves from a population which is, both ignorant to learn healthcare and yet quick to throw brickbats at doctors.

      Delete
  49. AnonymousMay 16, 2012

    Gud one sir..juz saw this post..well said..all am gona do is to share ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks... it is important, not just for me, but for others to see that doctors all across the nation are suffering the same persecution these days.

      Delete
  50. amazing stuff man!!
    send this article to times..or better..post it to aamir khan..

    ReplyDelete
  51. soul stirring!!
    send this to times..or better..to aamir khan,so that before,he wipes his croc tears on that show yet again,he knows that there is lot more to cry about.
    keep up the good work!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. as u can see from media reports, even when its clear he neglected certain facts in his show, hes just being adamant and sticking to his own guns. His defence is : those who are complaining must be guilty. What can I even say to that, I dont know.
      Didnt expect such a thing from the so-called methodical actor of Bollywood.

      Delete
  52. Dr. VaibhavMay 29, 2012

    Couldn't have put it better myself! Kudos to you sir!

    ReplyDelete
  53. AnonymousJune 01, 2012

    Bang on!!!way to go...But must say there are two sides to every story..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As I keep saying, of course. No doubt there are corrupt ones. But that exists in any facet of life. Can we single out a caste, a religion or a nation based on the crimes of some misguided individuals.

      Delete
  54. just linked this article on my Facebook account. it’s a very interesting article for all.
    Hospitals in India

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Kiruthi ka. I cant ask for anything more than that. If I can get through to even one person, I feel like I've done my good deed of the day.

      Delete
  55. AnonymousJune 19, 2012

    i know you all people say ' there are lot of qualified doctors to do this, why amir khan?'. some people say ' you're are just listening to him just 'cause he's a star'.. come on guys, atleast some people listens to him, some change is happening, for god's sake don't ruin it. at least,he cares enough to bring some change.

    ReplyDelete
  56. Ruin it ? He's sending all doctors down a line where they will be persecuted based on any random patients anger and frustration. In the entire show on 'medical malpractises', did he even once tell the public what are their legal options if they believe a doctor is cheating them ? How can you not do that ?
    Instead, you've started a witch-hunt without drawing any logical lines informing public between good and bad. You honestly believe generic drugs are the answers to all problems ?
    It's a very slippery path the nation is choosing by stoning a profession which is at any rate, only having 50% of the required number for the population.
    At any rate, check the date on the top - this post is written 3 weeks before the Aamir Khan show on doctors. This relates to how doctors are being treated for ages in India.
    Everyone keeps saying "but you cant deny that some do this and that".. who's denying ? But you don't throw the baby out with the bath water, do you ?

    ReplyDelete
  57. AnonymousJune 25, 2012

    Regulations in healthcare is very much required. Healthcare is a highly technical and complex subject, of which doctors are the expert. This has called for a greater moral responsibility on the part of doctors, But doctors have failed to keep up their moral responsibilities. Infact they have taken undue advantages of their position as a doctor. I hope the acts like NCHRH and Clinical establishment, bring them under some control.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are millions of doctors who never even got to see the talk show or read this or any blog post because they are too busy working on Sundays and holidays and bandh days.

      And you honestly believe the solution is handing over the medical system to a bunch of politicians ?
      Atleast, in the medical field, you know a percentage are honest... is there even 5% of government ministers who can claim the same ? You want crooks, murderers, rapists and religious bigots to be the ones deciding the rights of doctors ... so be it.

      When the next generation refuses to become doctors because the work is too hard and the pay too undeserving of it, sit back and look upon how narrow minded a vision you all took.
      Because just being selfless doesnt make a person a doctor... you need to be academically brilliant, emotionally detached, ready to sacrifice your family life, your kids will have to accept that they will rarely get to see their father and mother, you will start earning 35,000 bucks at the age of 29-30 after studying for a decade.

      There is a reason why doctors are paid so well abroad in any developed country... because people know the effort that goes into the profession. Earning money doesnt make all of them corrupt as well, does it ?

      Again and again, we come down to the same point. For the crimes of some, you're persecuting the entire profession. Can't it be the mental set up of the doctors because of their cultural upbringing then ? Why are there so few cases of female infanticide in states like Kerala as compared to the Delhis and UPs of india ? they have doctors too. You don't see organ trading and such medical malpractises here or in hubs like Mangalore and Manipal either.

      Delete
  58. rajesh kumarJune 25, 2012

    There are lot of difference between Council and Association.National council exists in most of the Western Countries which regulates the Health Professions.We hope NCHRH bill will do the same. There are lot of association too exists in these countries which safe guards the rights of the health professionals. A single regulatory body for health professions is required in India and at the same time existing associations such as MCI,DCI,INC, IAP etc. should remain to protect the rights of the professionals.In this regard awareness about importance of NCHRH bill and the association should be delivered to the respective people including politicians.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All I can say is 'keep your fingers crossed'. The only thing that has been constant in India whenever a body is formed, be it Council or Association, is corruption.
      Specifically, of course, our own ex-MCI chief who siphoned off over 1000s of crores, right ? If at all such a body is formed, I would personally hope it is run by a distinguished doctor anyday rather than a politician who has no idea what the medical system lacks and needs and just blindly panders to party and political lines at the expense of doctors lives.

      Delete
  59. R.FernadesJune 25, 2012

    Where is the quality in medical education? Which quality you are referring to? 90% of the seats are sold for Lakhs and Crores.Can any deserving guy enter into this field without money?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As far as quality is concerned, even if we docs joke about it, we have seen the results for ourselves over the years.

      In the end, if you don't have the skill to be a surgeon, no amount of money will help you become a good surgeon. It is the individual skill that will matter. As an anaesthetist, I have personally seen all the versions available : pvt medical college surgeons go on to be more self assured and skilled in both their work and modern techniques as well as compared to certain others trained in govt medical colleges. And vice versa.
      I personally don't attribute it to the college or the money, it is about the need to be a good doctor within the individual.

      As regards lakhs and crores are concerned, I guess by this, you have completely ignored all government medical college seats and chosen only to focus on private medical colleges. Never mind. Sure, if its an issue about too high fees, take it up with the concerned goverment bodies who give these private colleges the right to quote their fees - I'm sure the students would be more than overjoyed. But theres no point blaming the student for the fees of his college now, is there ?

      All it means is that he will get a better bed to sleep on, better classrooms and better MRI machines to observe in the hospital. Whether he uses it or not is upto him. In a class of 100, there will be loafers who decide their parents cash is theirs to spend and there will be hard working students who will look to repay the loans their parents take. I can't speak for each individual.

      And seriously, don't insult the quality of Indian medical education.. it is ironic that people go to the Gulf for treatment when any doctor knows that the best docs there are the Indians and not the locals. What we have in skill, our hospitals lack in infrastructure.

      That is not the fault of the doctor, but the health system aka the government setup.

      Delete
    2. A fellow doc just pointed this out to me and asked me to ask it here - You speak of inferior talent because parents have paid lakhs.

      Correct me if I'm wrong ( and I'm being rhetorical here ) but today, in India, admission for first standard in distinguished schools costs a lakh plus fees.

      Does that mean those children are inferior to children studying in government schools ? Were their A-B-Cs in kindergarden not upto the mark ? Or does it just mean their parents could afford a better school and better standard of living for them.

      He asks this for a simple reason - he is also a father to a 4 year old child seeking admission in school. And after studying for a decade, he needs HIS OWN FATHER's financial assistance to put his kid into a better school because at the age of 30, he has just begun earning.

      This is the humiliating reality of an Indian doctor's life. Not the 50 year old super specialists you all see driving around in fancy cars and then extrapolate to all doctors and say - "See, see... doctors are minting".

      Delete
  60. Well said doc. ..about time we stood up nd defended ourselves

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish it would make some difference Mosyn. I really do. I'm worried for what happens next frankly. You and I, we will survive. But with new bonds and financial penalties for not doing compulsary rural service, I see fewer students entering the field. This, in a profession which is already understaffed in India by a massive 50%. What happens then ? Do you force children in 12th standard who study well to join medical field with fines at that level too ?

      Delete
  61. The last line says it all! Classic!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sindu.. as docs, we know what we suffer... listening to these people make fun and insult us and then go support India's son-in-law of the soil blindly (even after he's an obvious crook ) just because he's part of the Nehru-Congress dynasty- thats when u wonder : is it worth it struggling all these years to hear insults from these kind of people

      Delete
  62. Wow.. I am so glad I got to read this - salute you and all other doctors like you, who save lives self-lessly and I know that the "others" who cheat and steal and all do exist, but then - those like YOU exist too, and that is a reality... and a better reality.
    And I would say, those millions that are getting saved by the doctors - have them in their prayers and perhaps that is what keeps them going.
    And yet, the prayers and blessings do not pay the bills.

    There is a very big flaw in the whole system - the perks, the benefits are all presented to the people who run the country, and RUIN it, but those who save lives - the real people who should be receiving the perks do not have much in terms of benefits. The whole heirarchy in the system needs to be changed.

    ReplyDelete
  63. Believe me, Punam. The flaw in this system will be very evident in the next generation. I know literally 100s of drs ( my batchmates, juniors, seniors, my teaching staff and colleagues ) all of whom say only one thing - no matter what, I will never let my kid become a Dr. They shouldnt suffer the way we suffered.

    And it's true, isnt it ? Easier to be a 10th standard pass/fail and join some political party's youth movement - free food, VIP status, black money in crores.
    Services like the army, teachers, doctors, firefighters - these should be given their due for the important services they provide. Instead you have people who use things like religion and caste to benefit their cause being feted as Gods here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, Roshan, and how difficult is it in today's day and age, especially in India, for some unknown illiterate chap to appear from God-knows-where and stand in the elections? Like the other day, I read an article in the newspaper about the increase in deaths by suicide in the army - WHY -- -- these people kind souls, they decide to fight for the country, to guard their country, so that we all can sleep in peace, why are they pushed into so much distress that they have to end their lives like this?

      How will these things change? Moreover, if the government removes all the perks from these ministerial positions, every single thing, down to the house and the vehicle, if all these perks are removed, that is when the TRUE leaders will come to the fore.. those who are in it, to serve the country and not for the perks the position gets them by default. The only perk they should be provided is security. And every good deed be rewarded.

      I don't know, in my simple innocent mind, I feel that is the one and only solution.

      Delete
    2. your answer seems logical - till you see the most basic flaw. The people who decide this change ( removing perks ) i the politicians themselves, not us. The last bill which was cleared unanimously in Parliament was nearly 2.5 yrs ago - to increase their salaries by 300%. Since then, 100s of bills have been stalled while they shout and bark and disrupt Parliament every day.

      I really feel pity for army men.. they have the worst lifes - away from family, horrible training regimens, desolate places, inadequate food and equipment : and then they get cheated by the govt themselves. You tell me, patriotic or not, would u ask ur kid to join this ? I certainly would not.

      On the other hand , politics is like a miracle land : some 3rd standard fail chap joins a party and suddenly he has better business sense than even an IIM student as his assets miraculously move up by 800%. Suddenly, he has companies and more dummy companies to invest in... a guy who used to sell egg burji , by 'hazy means (thats the words used in the newspaper itself)' suddenly rises to a 6000 crore empire - no degree, no education, nothing. Just liquor, goondaism and political favours.

      In this country, there is n place for the educated... where is this change going to come from, I dont know.

      Delete
  64. Very nice post ... i really appreciate for such king of the post ...keep it up .

    ReplyDelete
  65. hi dr roshan... was introduced to ur blog by my anesthetist husband who is in awe of u... alwz tellz me look how cool anesthetists r.. must say u write really well..
    i jus wanted to say a few things.. as a pathologist my days of working in clinics hav long gone by.. but i totally understand n believe wat u hav written.. i remember while an undergrad i alwz wanted to work in the clinics.. but along came internship n i realized its really not worth it.. doctors were respected once upon a time.. now there is hardly any respect for d profession.. in our college during one year of our internship there were atleast two incidents(followed by strike) of doctors getting beaten up by patient attendants..
    n wen we asked for security in front of emergencies to limit the number of ppl walking in wid each patient d authorities said" shud we provide each of u wid bodyguards?"
    dat was wen i thought i hav had enuf of clinics.. a big salute to all d doctors slogging it out at clinics...

    ReplyDelete
  66. haha.. give your hubby a high-five from me !! :)

    You're right in what you said - 'Once upon a time' docs were respected. That era ended a generation ago.
    As regards safety, trust me.. I pity the docs working in casualties and emergency departments. They deserve the most credit. Leave them, in the last 12 months, there were incidents where a female radiologist was beheaded ( TN ), a pregnant medical resident was stabbed for not taking the patient to the dept he wanted ( Trissur, Kerala ) and a urologist was literally hacked to death in his OPD in an Indian hospital in Abu Dhabi... the first thing that is done is to hush the incident rather than look to make better provisions for the doctors safety. I honestly dont know the end of any of these stories - what happened to the culprits ? Did the victims get justice ?
    Not a clue... I've mentioned it in one of the earlier comments in this post : the narrow vision shown by those in charge will manifest a generation from now when noone is ready to take up medicine as theres 'no advantage' for them. Then, they will wonder what went wrong.

    ReplyDelete
  67. TV Serial Satyamev jayate show one side of coin of doctor profession there is another side which you written in this post and you are right and we all are agree with you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Force factor.. it means a lot to hear these words of encouragement even today.

      Delete
  68. Hats off to the doctors and other people in the healthcare!!
    However, like it happens in all the professions/religions, for the crime of the few, all are tagged as corrupt/heartless and scheming!!

    Like I said earlier, one should not judge the person in front wit bias; you find both good and bad people. It is important to treat them like the ones that they actually are and not what they represent!
    - Mel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. its as simple as that.. judge the individual, not a group based on one mans actions. But instead, we have such one sided bias against the medical profession... you really expect to treat the profession that studies the most and faces the most sorrow as if they are worth s**t ? Naturally they will turn their backs on society and look to earn quick bucks, be it in India or abroad.

      Delete
  69. Dr Roshan you have written a very insightful article wch was long overdue....i had a few thots in mind, but was busy with work...btw im a doctor in the indian army....had spend another 5yrs in difficult altitudes in insurgent borne areas in Kashmir....i chose 2 join army as i was a govt merit candidate n studied MBBS @ 2000rs per yr n felt i owe sumthin back to the country...dat delayed my PG admission another 5yrs...n here i am at 30yrs waiting for a verdict on NEET Pg,losing faith in our system dat truly neglects merit....but anyways no regrets as i thoroughly enjoy my job....n it was gr8 2 read ur very well written blog....i hav shared it on my wall on FB.....may God bless us all in discharging our duties to our best....keep in touch....my mail id s drarunvalsan@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dr Arun, yours was the 150th comment on the post and it was quite poignant. In fact, I copied pasted bits of it directly onto my Facebook post yesterday along with a link to the post so that people could get a glimpse of the effort put in by doctors like you.
      I wish you luck man... NEET ..well, I wish I knew what to say about that. In a profession that is filled with enough insecurities, NEET has only added a new level for all those who wrote it.

      Delete
  70. Amazing post! Struck a chord .. doctors and nurses truly deserve a lot of respect for doing what they do day in and out, unlike us IT ppl who get admired just for carrying a laptop around and sitting in an AC office ...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. believe me, we all wish we had that life. That we had the same choices as everyone else. We dont even have the freedom to grieve a lost patient since there are 20 more across the same room who need us to be strong so they have a chance to survive.

      And for that, we get labelled stone-hearted, this, that etc... its a case of heads we lose, tails..we still lose. For flaws in the government system (allowing private colleges to demand in crores, giving substandard medicines, leaving the doctor short staffed and with no medical facilities in jungles ), the blame still lands on the doctor. When you see the statements above... its nearly 3 generations of doctors letting their feelings out. Sadly, doesnt matter to anyone.

      Delete
  71. Just read your blog.
    It brings back memories of my internship and PG days. There are days when you think what in god's name made you choose this profession? Patient walks in at 2 AM says he's got a headache after the movie he just saw!! Other days patients come in at 11 pm just when your about to close your OP and go home for dinner. The patient would be suffering from fever for 3 to four days but would have tried all home remedies and then decide to come at this ungodly hour because he needn't wait in a queue and the doctor would be free at this time!!My daughter was four and she had just started school. A few months into school she asked me "why don't you close the hospital on Saturday and Sunday?" I asked her "Why? What will happen to our patients?" She said" School is closed on saturday and sunday. Take me out and spend time with me. Patients can go to some other doctor on those days!My friends keep telling me where they went on weekends." I had no answer to that. I still continue to work all seven days. Just when I'm down, a patient I've treated says thank you with gratitude and it is like a tonic and I'm ready to face the next patient.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you sir. This effort that you make is what is the essence of our field.. sadly, noone chooses to highlight that aspect because it would be too boring a story. They take it for granted that we should sacrifice our lives, time and family for their beck and call - something that doctors today are definitely hesitant to do so.

      Delete
  72. Rant? Maybe.. but I think it was well "ranted" and needed to be said. Well doe again dear friend!

    ReplyDelete
  73. There are really very nice Doctorswn in K working in periphery, I have seen such Doctors when I was a child and workimng in small towns

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree.. there are still many hard working docs working in various corners where facilities are limited. Just that noone seems to think thats worthy...

      Delete
  74. Majority of Doctors are good. Its few bad ones who is bringing bad name to others, I feel the society must appreciate what Doctors are doing rather than criticizing them all the time for "making money?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree sir.. a few bad ones definitely are there but using their name, smearing all the good ones' efforts is so hurtful and demoralizing. And making money is obviously a part of life for anyone today.. to say doctors don't deserve money because the profession is selfless is just idiocy. It isn't as though we get tax breaks or free petrol and schooling for our children because we are doctors, is it?

      Delete
  75. Though some points are valid, still I don't agree with the whole.As doctors grow in experience they are charging more and they work relatively less odd hours.If you see the social milieu of India, doctors earn the most.
    When you are comparing yourself to corrupt politicians who run scams and hoard money and therefore have more wealth you are on the wrong track ,I think.
    You want middle class and poor ppl of India to buy your argument, well,...you're in the job of saving lives and because of the nature of the job you do work 12 he shifts.....but so do poor,and some most ppl in private companies.
    In science and development, in 2002 a M.Sc postgraduate starts as contract ,temporary worker and gets 5,500 per month,...this is me. Doing MSc and PhD is also no joke, but to get rs9000 pm in 2002 we had to clear another limiting JRf -UGC scholarship test.....otherwise you stuck at 6000 pm.
    We too have put the same efforts like you,...this is fact in India.And therefore all the talent exits to US,and slogs there for dollars.
    But the only grace is we ate not into saving lives.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry but is there any profession charging the same rate as a decade ago? Are we seriously comparing the pay scale of 2004 and 2014? Obviously, the rates of doctors have gone up just as it has for every profession.
      "Because we are in the job of saving lives, we should do 12 hour shifts?" again, what kind of logic is that? Doctors do such shifts because there is a shortage of staff in India, not because it is a necessity. The reason there are 8 hour shifts for doctors abroad is because of the more balanced doctor:general population ratio. Doctors in India are among the most overworked amongst all professions.
      And I'm sorry, but I will not accept that doing MSC and a PhD requires the same efforts as doing MBBS and MD. If you truly believe that, then you need to live just one month in the life of a post graduate surgeon / gynaecologist / anaesthetist. Perhaps just sit one day inside a busy casualty watching people work 12 hour shifts while trying to revive patients, listen to unreliable histories and work out diagnoses for dozens of patients every hour.

      Delete
  76. Another thing,your blanket assumption that ppl pay 500 rs for movie ticket and hesitate to pay for doc......that's so naive and sad .
    Middle class don't pay 500 for movie tickets ,...only rich do.
    People don't hesitate to pay docs who examine them properly or listen to them or answer their queries.most docs I hv been to sit there terse,some don't even examine,order tests,write prescription in flat 2 mins.....leaving the patient confuse and doc less trustworthy.
    3 he movie obviously will seem a better deal !
    Another funny comparison is abt docs dying of diseases contracted from patients ! You should be taking more care,follow disposal guidelines and SOPs more carefully..…....after you know more.
    Nurses are so poorly trained and in most private hospitals all the new untrained ones are put out to train with patients. In my opinion, and as experience d nurses don't really bother abt patients well being they only put iv,remove blood samples ,...don't real go out of their way to do a better job

    Like all jobs better pay will not automatically translate into quality service,.....if that would be the case US and UK would not have to recruit from India,Pakistan and other developing countries.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is no blanket assumption on the movie ticket... it was a general comment. Ironic considering people here have no issues giving "blanket assumption" labels to doctors all across India based on the incidents of a few.
      I'm sure there are doctors who behave curtly with patients... I will never deny it because I have seen them myself. But I also know how well other docs treat their patients and how they let them feel cared...
      Sigh,,, regarding getting diseases contracted from patients.. I really don't want to comment further because this may turn embarrassing. There is so much to talk about - communicable diseases via blood, via cough, via sneezes or simply by breathing. Should we ask patients not to breathe? Face masks afford some protection... as u can clearly visualize, they are not fool proof by any means.
      I totally agree on what private hospitals are doing by recruiting freshers in the nursing field and making them learn on the job... again, something to take up with the health ministry, not a hospital employee.

      Delete
  77. I don’t know how should I give you thanks! I am totally stunned by your article. You saved my time. Thanks a million for sharing this article.

    ReplyDelete

So what do you think ?

Blog Archive

About

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.