Monday, June 20, 2011

A Doctor's Plegde

A Doctor’s pledge
Cartoon Doctor Royalty Free Stock Vector Art Illustration

Have you been to a doctor recently? What had been your experience?

I always wish and pray that no one has to ever visit a doctor and if at all they do, nobody faces a doctor who has forgotten their pledge. But I wonder how many doctors actually remember what they had promised when they wore that respectable white fleece.

Very recently an article in paper caught my attention and it was really really disheartening to see that the “Doctor’s business” is the most rewarding these days. Yes, I have purposefully used the word “business”, because its no more considered a duty to mankind, it’s a way of making money.

The article mentioned that, the delivery (normal or c-section) is no more a profitable business as compared to the heart surgeries, hence many hospitals have either shut down their delivery section or have reduced it to minimal beds and have increased their heart surgery wards and OT’s. They make upto 20 lakhs or more (sometimes) for a single surgery. I hope the poor class (lower class) is listening to this. You are not supposed to get any heart problems.

Even with a little blockage in your heart arteries, they scare you and ask you to get the surgery done even when it can be accomplished with a simple stent. Unimaginable!! I wonder if their conscience ever reminds them of humanity.

The personal experience that I had and thought I would never share with anyone and had told my husband too to never bring that discussion ever again in front of me, I am unable to hold it to myself now. Not because I suffered the pain, but simply because I want to caution everyone else.

While I was in the hospital with my day old son, rejoicing the happiness that he has brought in my life, enjoying him moving his legs and arms while he was awake (for a very short time though), the child doc came for regular visit.

She checked him thoroughly and also checked his limbs to check for any dysfunctions. She told me that one of his legs were very flexible and could bend upwards much more than required. I could not understand if it was actually an issue but got terribly scared within. She said she would send an ortho to check and see if he recommends anything. All other docs in the hospital who came to visit also told the same and had filled my mind with worries already.

I waited for the ortho the next day. He came and saw my son and recommended that plaster like thing (which can be removed during bath) should be put on him for over a month and that we should visit him on regular basis to check the status (he charged me double the fees that he charges in his clinic, simply because he had to come all the way to this hospital). He suggested us some guy who would come and take the measurement of the leg and make a plaster. Surprisingly, he did not write it anywhere, what the issue was and what is recommended and we fools did not think of it at all. The guy was called and the plaster delivered the next day.

The site of that plaster had already brought tears to my eyes because the little one, who most people were scared to even hold in their arms because he looked so fragile would now be wearing that plaster. We brought our little one home (my mom’s place) where the house was decorated for the welcome and everyone was ready with a puja thali and video recording. The warm welcome had temporarily erased the plaster thoughts of my mind.

After we settled down, we all recalled the plaster. None of us wanted to put it but since we thought it might give him issues later, we should make ourselves strong and do it now. I asked Vassy (my husband) to put that up. While he was putting it up on my little one, I was trying to hold my tears but just couldn’t and burst out crying badly. My sisters and mom couldn’t see me either and my husband held me tight to comfort me.

Every day when we would put that up, I would cry. The 4th day, I could not bear seeing my son struggling to hold it and trying to lift his leg every now and then. I asked my dad to find another known doc for second opinion. We then recalled of a doctor who was also a friend and has sifted to Chandigarh as well. He was a child specialist and could give us an honest opinion.

We called him and then my parents and Vassy took our son to the doc’s house (I couldn’t leave the house due the stiches which were still healing).

The doc examined him thoroughly and called me. He said tell me what you feel is the problem. I narrated him the whole story of what docs had told us in hospital. He said I have examined your son and he is absolutely normal and does not have any issues with his legs or any other part of his body. You do not need to worry or take any stress, because if you take any stress, it will then affect your child.

That doctor had become a “God” for me that day. I was crying again and this time it was the tears of joy and not fear. I felt then that some DOCTORS still exist and not everyone has turned a businessman

Deep within my heart (forgive me, as I would sound rude) but nothing good came out of me for the ortho who suggested the plaster so that he could make few bucks.

My nephews (who are like little kids for me) are in their teens now, were equally furious at the ortho.

I couldn’t forget that ortho for days together and would always badmouth him for what he did. (I believe even today I haven’t forgiven him at all and probably will never do)

However, I wish that some things wouldn’t have changed; some professions still would have remained for mankind. Let the doctors charge what they have to but do not misguide us who are completely unaware of the complex internal system that we have.


  1. Even though I am a doctor with some of the experiences I had in past few years while I was at US and with a recent doctors visit at Amravati my native place in India I would like to strongly agree to your say about the vist to a doctor.Yes definately the thought about it is like you miss a heartbeat n try to close the pandoras box of fears.

    Some of the facts you mentioned
    however bitter they sound I must say yes they are true but also I would like you to just consider the flip side of the coin and think about the doctor and the journey ofhis profession and how did he reach this point where he has lost his dignity as a person n the pledge of his profession to serve n treat the mankind.....

    The education system in india has started this buisness plan n the students in this competitive era have become the victims of thier cruelty at a very early stage right from taking an admission to completion of thier masters.The job hunt andthe difficulties of getting a decnt paid worth qualifying one is another torture process Each step becomes a milestone of harshness that impacts n kills the conscience of the person slowly and the ridiculous part is that while all of this is happening the person is so unaware about it that it just becomes the part of his routine

    As a matter of this impact the output you get from any profession has lost the humanity n sanity and is just a buisness ground to cultivate the earning of life.
    Ofcourse this does not give any right to a person to demoralize his values n make others suffer for no reason at all but yes we the people who quietly accept n get adapted to the system we should ask this to our self.Who
    is responsible for this degeneration of profession???????

  2. Ohh.. funny that you bring this topic up… Just like you, recently I had visits to doctors more than usual…because of the birth of my son
    Everything was fine but then after 2 months the pediatric we were consulting told us that she can hear murmurs in the heart which are normal 90% of the time and are usually not referred for detailed checkup immediately.
    But our pediatric did that and referred to a so called pediatric cardiologist (Dr Usha Pratap, Model Colony, Pune). I was given an appointment at 4:15 PM but she arrived at the clinic at 5:30 PM… she took her time to settle and finally I got the number at 7 PM… my kid was already crying due to hunger and fatigue…
    She did the checkup and said it was normal (thankfully). When I mentioned that she was late, she got hell rude giving me a big lecture that how tough it’s for them, cooking up stories that she was with a dying patient. Whereas when I checked at reception they told that every day she comes at around 5:30 PM.
    So why call up the patients at 4 PM, just to fill up as many appointments as you can?? My kid was still ok, but there were other parents with 1-2 year old kids having a hole in the heart forced to wait 2-3 hours just because of this greedy attitude of these shameless people…
    Icing on the cake was she told me that she could have done the checkup in 2-3 minutes and 10 minutes she gave me was actually a favor, funny thing was she charged me 2000 Rs for that 10 mins …

  3. The doctors are known to have the noblest profession.The question though is the process through which doctors are made the noble ones? The intelligent ones hardly get admission into colleges if they do not have lots of money.

    Majority of the admissions now are based on the caste and the money the kids parents have.. i ask the parents who pay lakhs and crores to make their kids a doctor??is ur kid really capable of dealing with the conplexity and the dedication required for this profession? If not then please choose a profession where people's life wouldn't depend on the talent of ur kid.

    Reservations in medicine has been the worst idea ever...

    Result of our awesome education system are 4 type of doctors
    1. Not so intelligent but having low caste individuals who end up either opening their own clinics or somehow getting into government hospitals ruining lives.
    2. Not so intelligent but having rich parents type who open up a plush clinic and their goal is to earn.
    3. Intelligent but poor or medical class folks who dont have the money or caste tag and somehow make it through the degree..So frustrated by the system they end up screwing all the will to work for poor and think we should earn more so that my family doesn't face it. Although intelligent they loose their empathy.
    4. Lastly few intelligent poor or medical class or rich folks who actually get in the profession because they wanna help people and these are right now the rare species on the verge of extinction in this country!