Here’s what’s new. (Not really) Watson and I are starting this new series called “SERO-WAR” where we each pick a side on a relevant topic and make an attempt to give some insight into the same. Basically, a debate. We’re just trying to be fancy here.
Sero-war is a play on the word serovar which means a distinct variation within a species of a bacteria or virus. Get the pun?
My dearest patient,
- 19 March, 2017. A first year resident doctor in a Sion hospital (Mumbai) got beaten up after a patient admitted under his care died of chronic kidney disease.
- 16 May, 2017, A doctor from a hospital in Mangalore got assaulted after a patient died of cellulitis and shock.
- 19 July, 2017. A postgraduate from a hospital in Bellary was manhandled due to a delay in sending a stretcher to shift the patient inside.
Hundreds of hours spent hunched over books, thousands of pages turned, 40 hour shifts spent in clinics and wards and none of it makes me God. 5 and a half years of med school, 3 years of PG and maybe a few more to super specialize makes me a highly qualified individual, one with the capability to save lives that can be saved.
When I stand there in the ICU and watch my patient’s BP drop to 60/30 or when his heart stops beating I use all my skill, knowledge and experience to bring him back to life. I am but human. There is only so much I can do. What makes you think I can work miracles.
Your anger and grief are understandable. But your actions are not justified. Its easier to cope with grief when you have someone to blame. But in retrospect if I ask you, would you have blamed God or thrown a fit like this if your loved one had died crushed under a building during an earthquake or submerged in the depths of the ocean from a tsunami ?
No. You react this way because I am human and tangible and right there in front of you. But, because I am human why can’t you understand that all my efforts to save my patient, your loved one, may not always be enough? Extend to me the benefit of the doubt that what I’m doing everything I possibly can is for the good of my patient.
I know what I am doing, but its just that sometimes things are beyond the control of a mere mortal like me. Having said that, any negligence under cover of “I am only mortal” is not warranted. If there has been any oversight on my part under that pretext, I extend to you my sincere apology.
Nonetheless, consider just for a minute that this loss is not only yours. The death of a patient hits me hard too. Why don’t you sympathize with me just like I am sympathizing with you? But above everything else, what are you trying to prove? Why break my bones or spit in my eye? Violence has never been a solution to anything.
So all I’m asking from you is that you give me the respect I deserve and think, just for a moment before you react in your 5 seconds of insane rage.
My dearest doctor,
Before I describe to you how I feel about this subject,I just want to acknowledge that as a patient, I do not condone nor am I justifying violence in any way. Rather, I’m using this platform to explain the mistrust that exists between doctors and patients and more importantly to explain to you, how it feels to be a patient.
A month ago the whole country was swept with the news of an attack on a doctor, and doctors of entire state came together to protest against this attack and for good reason. But now that it’s mellowed down, did you even once think WHY? Did you care to think why there is a rise in aggression against doctors? Did it occur to you that this anger is a symptom of the gradual loss of our faith in the health care system but primarily, you dear doctor?
Kidnapping and murder which was once synonymous with the anti social elements and criminals of the society, now alas extends to doctors and hospitals! A son having lost his beloved mother to the atrocities of corporate doctors, declares on the social media that doctors these days are non less than kidnappers and murderers, the ransom amount being the ‘hospital bill’ and their crime location is the ‘hospital’. Well, this is in no comparison to what was once conceived as a ‘noble profession’.
The anguish all over is not without a reason! Yes, it’s the ‘MONEY’. It’s not the need but the greed for it which has made hospitals to run like any other corporate businesses and forced the doctors themselves to resign on the values of their profession.
When I go to a doctor with an ache or a pain, an abrasion or a gunshot wound, I expect to be your primary focus. A consultation with a good doctor, they say, cures half the illness! Sometimes it’s not the assortment of medicines but the healing touch and words of a doctor which makes the difference to the sick. But this is totally unheard of these days. Most doctors are completely stripped off compassion. Stringent to give time to patients, doctors these days are on a fast forward mode to see the next patient. The patient is poked,prodded, stripped down but isn’t spoken a word to. The bottom line being, ‘more patients a day is equal to more money’. This has led to wrong diagnosis of patients, prescribing strong medicines which will do more harm than good to the patient, unnecessary tests, needless surgeries, the list is endless otherAll this directed against the patients who come to the doctors with something of utmost important to them that is their ‘health’.
So is it really surprising if all this has made way for skepticism in the relationship of a doctor & patient?and that hospital corridors have started to resemble a five star hotel?