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Know your doctor before you beat him up! Your doctor has infirmities too!

Recently, an article popped up in the Mumbai Mirror regarding the ramshackle state of the Emergency Medical Services and Trauma Care Facility of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Hospital, Kalwa, Thane. Being employed there myself, and realising that this pitiable state has a ramification that deserves a worthy mention, I was nudged to pen this piece of rejoinder for all my medical and especially non-medical friends.

Dr Soham D Bhaduri
Dr Soham D Bhaduri

Now, there ain’t any doubt about the veracity of what has been reported: the problems with intravenous fluids, dressings, and those very fundamental things that comprise a hospital are real. But what you don’t get to read and understand very often, is that your doctor is equally stranded in these hitches as you are. In the midst of this wreckage, there lies a doctor who laces up his boots every morning, knowing that he’ll have to work in these miserable conditions for over 100 hours a week; that he’d have to handle 50 patients with the resources for 5; that he’d have to skip his meal for that night; that he’d be under obligation to turn his patients away despite all his brain and heart; that every passing day sees his life running hopelessly into lifestyle disorders — and that at some point or the other, he has to settle with all of this with a smile on his face. And that’s the story of nearly every government hospital.

When you sit down and try to figure out the reasons behind your bitter experiences with your healthcare provider, you establish a long, complex trail of reasons: from a money hungry administration to red tape bureaucracy; from political sleaze to the derisory part of the budget we keep for healthcare. The Doctor is just a spoke in the wheel. Yet, it’s the doctor that takes your blows and clouts every single time. His character is questioned, and his morality put through the wringer. That’s because it’s the easiest thing to do and the simplest reason to perceive. We shortsighted humans can’t stomach anything intricate and complicated. Whatever is challenging to the understanding fails to leave an impression on us. And when coupled with emotions of loss and grief, we’re completely blinded of everything but what is in front of us.

What I want you to know is that there has been a severe communication gap between you and your doctor, and this has led to a tremendous turmoil in the medical fraternity. Doctors are taking to the streets, the IMA has to take to a ‘National Satyagraha’ to air our grievances, but you are not around to hear it. I urge you not to be persuaded by biased media reports against doctors; I beg you not to give yourself away to superficial perception of things. I want you to go out into the open, understand your doctors, their problems, their situation, and the root cause of your dissatisfaction. The doctor-patient relationship is seraphic, and is not meant to be desecrated with verbal and physical calamities. I want you to understand that your doctor has infirmities too.

Dr Soham D Bhaduri is a medical graduate and a Philosophy of Mind enthusiast, and blogs at www.freethinkingmedic.blogspot.com. This article first appeared in author’s blog.

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4 Comments

  1. Dr K.Gowrinath Dr K.Gowrinath Tuesday, December 1, 2015

    Patients and their relatives are not ready to argue with the doctors about the quality of care or treatment if they are far away from their place.It is only in their place they are not ready to accept or respect the doctor if something goes wrong against them.They always try to target the doctor working for salary when the hospital does not provide the experienced doctors or adequate facilities in ICU. Already there are many allegations against hospitals employing doctors with alternative medicine degrees in ICU. One can find e enough number of hospitals employing ANMs in place of qualified nursing diploma holders even in cities.

  2. Dr. K.kant Dr. K.kant Tuesday, December 1, 2015

    good interactive session and there are lots to be mentioned, but before that one thing needs to be stressed, why everybody is calling “MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE” , no such term applies to anyother field like, advocates one who always defeats in some cases, judges whose judgements are reversed by higher courts, politicians who donot fulfill the promises made to public and so on . This term is to be removed then think of other remedies.

  3. Dr Soham D Bhaduri Dr Soham D Bhaduri Sunday, November 29, 2015

    @Dr. Kunal saha: ur’s is a welcome argument…no doubt that the haphazard state related to accountability and obtaining justice fuels violence… but the gist of this write up isn’t about listing the causes of violence against doctors..the article relates with the picture of a stifled govt hospital in the country..and it’s aim is to convey to the layman, in a rather informal tone, the troubles and pains doctors share together with patients. The gist of it is to portray the miserable state residents and interns in an everyday govt hospital are..so that the ‘evil picture’ of a doctor, that crops up at the time of inevitabilities and mishaps (and not negligence) out of emotion and impulsiveness, can be brought down….its not meant to be an erudite analysis of causes of violence.

  4. Dr. Kunal Saha Dr. Kunal Saha Sunday, November 29, 2015

    The author has missed perhaps the most important reason for violence against doctors and hospitals in India. Developed countries like USA also have incidence of “medical negligence” although it should never be compared to a country like India. But physical violence against doctors are absolutely unimaginable in USA. Has anyone ever thought why? Most cases of attacks against doctors take place because ordinary people and alleged victims of medical negligence feel that there is no hope for getting justice against the errant doctors. Absolute lack of accountability is the root cause of violence against doctors in India and until the medical fraternity is able to instill proper checks and balances for our healers, sporadic attack against doctors are not likely to stop.

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