A note outside a doctor’s clinic

Dear patient,

Before you enter my clinic and we form the doctor-patient relationship, I want certain things clear between you and me. When I studied for years to become the doctor I am today, besides medicine, I was taught the ethics of my practice as well and I understand the sanctity of the bond we both shall form once I agree to treat you. I understand your disease as well as your value as a person while you on the other hand, know nothing about me. All you know is what the media and the word-of-mouth feed you, which is hardly true. I am uncomfortable doing this but it has become the need of the hour.
Spare five minutes and go through it:

Trust me first of all! I am a medical doctor who has spent around a decade of his life, comprising mostly his youth, to understand and study disease. I thought it was enough to gain the trust of a patient but I guess I HAVE TO SAY it for you to know that I am more competent and knowledgeable than the chemist at the end of the road you have die-hard faith in.

-Have a little patience! I know you are worried about your ailment and so are your family members. I understand that but the treatment and medicines take due time to show effect. It is unfortunately medicine, not magic! My field is an ever-changing one and diseases and treatment modalities are forever evolving. There is always a risk of the drug not showing expected results as every body responds differently. I might even have to change it, it doesn’t mean I got it wrong the first time.

-I am worried too! Regardless of what you may think, even I am worried when I enter the Operation Theater. Every surgery is a test I cannot afford to lose. Though it is not my life hanging in there yet I am fighting with all my might as if it is. When you will come out of there, you won’t know how I fought and what I went through while you were under anesthesia.

-I am human . I am a human being just like you. I am not endowed with super powers. I am not infallible. I am just another guy whose profession is medicine. I try harder than my best but some things go beyond my comprehension and reasoning. Even I take another opinion where I feel the need because as I said-I am a human being.  I don’t have an answer to everything.

Don’t generalise. Come to me with an open mind. Don’t think that every doctor in the country is what the latest ‘anti-corruption’ movie or a ‘responsible’ TV channel portrayed. Research well about me if you would but do a learned research…not a tell-tale one. Don’t listen to hearsay accounts of how a doctor misdiagnosed an injury and the patient died after five years. There is little truth in all this gibberish. I agree that every doctor is not equally competent, a few may be money-minded as well but that doesn’t mean my entire fraternity is unethical. Therefore, do not generalise.

-Let me be without fear. There was a time when I used to rush and see a patient who came in the Emergency department. Now when I get a call at night, I get apprehensive. I am hearing of so many incidents of violence against doctors of late. No rationale, no logic explains the reason why a person would raise a hand against the one trying to save a life…whether he succeeds or not…he can only try (ain’t God,remember?). Can you assure me that your family shall conserve its energy for taking care of you instead of venting it out on me? I will also be able to perform better without the fear of being manhandled. You see, I have a lot of experience in medicine but none in warfare.

Thank you for your time! Now that we have this out of the way, I am much relieved. You may kindly step inside and let us form this bond of trust and I promise to try to the best of my abilities to heal you.

                                                                                                                      Your doctor

13 thoughts on “A note outside a doctor’s clinic

  1. Thanks for voicing a few of the concerns of the fraternity. Wish this could be published in newspaper and be shown during the ad breaks of serials.. People really need to open their eyes and ears and think with their heads and not be biased by some celebrity who thinks he knows all or some self proclaimed healers and their magic potions.. Totally in agreement with you. Well done.

  2. Ma'am
    I would say, it's true to the core in today's scenario.
    I would suggest why not put it on our NOTICE BOARDS outside our clinic/at reception for all the patients to see and read.
    I would humbly request you to grant me permission to translate in hindi and put it on board.
    Brilliantly expressed.

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