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Doctors’ Noble Profession

Doctors’ Noble Profession

While doctors’ aura of Godliness and holiness is a myth, it is a profession that has been called noble, before the era of ‘medical negligence’ raised its ugly head. With the advent of COPRA (Consumer protection act) it lost its sheen and fell from the pedestal to the low of any small business, selling goods or services. The charge of medical negligence is the most dreaded one for most of the doctors, who work with ‘patient first’ sentiment in their minds. While doctors always tend to dispense wellness to its visitors with compassion, many patients approach the doctors with a litigant mind and search for medical negligence in any pretext due to alleged errors, many beyond the control of any well meaning doctor. Unfortunately, doctors are looked upon like a goalkeeper, people remember him only for the missed goal and not those which he saved!

Why noble?

Most persons in the community need a doctor and are beneficiary of his services. From minor fever to severe heart attack to fractures to complicated surgical procedures in some way or the other they need doctors. They don’t even realize how doctors become a part of their lives. Over the years these health experts have worked tirelessly to improve the health standards for humans. Just think what it will be if there are no doctors to treat a patient in distress? Doctors are termed as god’s representatives and patients’ friends as they deal with human lives. These friends study for years and then for the rest of their lives use this knowledge for the betterment of living beings. In the process some are able to earn their livelihood. Many doctors have come forward from all over the world as socialists and activists who help to get the health facilities free of cost  to the poor who cannot afford them otherwise. The field of medicine is at its peak of success due to the endless efforts of these doctors and researchers. Many new drugs and techniques are being developed which add to the compliance and success of the therapy. Due to all this, profession has been termed as the noble profession. There is nothing nobler than saving human lives; many say so. A doctor will always try to do his / her best to help a patient. However in present day, we often come across the news about medical negligence. The root of this dreaded disease is quite deep. The negligence is far more than just forgetting scissors in patient’s tummy. Negligence means any fault, imperfection, shortcoming or inadequacy in the quality, nature and manner of performance, which is required to be maintained by or under any law for the time being in force. This has resulted in resurgence of law suits, threats and assaults on doctors all over the country. Is this the way to deal with the personnel who are branded as noble?

Why should a doctor neglect a patient?

Either he is not trained well enough to take care of his patient, or he is well trained but is not able to devote sufficient time due to other responsibilities like family or social or he is over-burdened with work or is mentally or physically unwell. Hippocrates oath states that a doctor should practice medicine without bias on caste, creed, religion or sex and without fear.  Unfortunately, admissions in medical colleges are not based on merit; over 50% are based on caste and other factors that affects the quality of medical professionals. If the wishes of our politicians materialize, then soon we will have religion-based and agitation based admissions to the medical colleges What kind of finished product is expected?.

Faculty in medical institutes on the wane!

The teachers in medical college are supposed to take rounds in wards, see patient in outpatient departments, attend emergency calls, do administrative duties, attend medico-legal cases, guide PG students, update their knowledge, and also fulfill the national health programs. It is hard to believe but a bitter truth is that most of the time of medical teacher is wasted in the corridors of power in preventing transfers or getting promotions.
With proliferation of private medical colleges, the teachers from government set up are resigning to join these institutes for better salary and better perks. There is awful shortage of teachers in medical colleges. Because of poor payment structure, the teachers from medical colleges tend to leave colleges and start private practice which gives them both money and stability. So the bitter truth prevails – there is exodus of quality teachers from medical colleges. The lack of good teachers in medical colleges and hence poor training is one of the root causes of medical negligence.

Private practice is a hard nut to crack

In private practice he has to spend a lot of money and face tough competition to make both ends meet.Not many doctors are rich, as compared to all other professions. Exorbitant cost of instruments topped with high taxes on the instruments, high interest rates for loans besides the cost of developing infrastructure makes him indebted to financial institutes forever.  For a beginner it is difficult to get patients directly so he has to turn to referral from other doctors, which often feeds milk to the nasty serpent called “cut practice”.  Doctor needs to employ staffs to provide  good service. This adds to financial burden. A doctor also has to get several clearances and take care of environment, pay taxes, pay dues to employees, provident fund, pay professional tax, renew license of hospital with municipality, deal with labor department, waste management , medico-legal cases, VIP duties and free cases on various grounds. Does it make him noble enough?

 

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