Friday, 7 June 2013

The curious case of Indian Doctors !

We are surrounded BS in what i call 'Bullshit Age'.Bull shit is most articulately spoken nowadays and educated people are spreading more myths for their personal gains than ever before. You don't need a con artist to swindle you and make you a fool these days! Educated con artists are everywhere !Thanks to MBAs, we even market and advertise myths and lies till they become 'truths' !
Gosh, it'll all come and bite our backsides one day ..........

Seeing that India is making strides economically , the doctors too have jumped in to spread bullshit ,get more lab tests done and generally scare and confuse patients to astronomical heights. These days i long for crisp, practical blunt doctors who will tell you to go home to die if need be !And not run costly tests or use you as scapegoats ! i long for responsible doctors who can examine you and not need hundred tests to find out what's wrong with you. I am sure they are there- those few dedicated brilliant ones !
I stay in quite a big city -Pune so i thought that gimmicky doctors usually ruled in rural  and semi urban areas where well educated population did not exist in high numbers. But recently i went for a routine gynaec exam which somersaulted into an expensive and emotionally draining exercise. I have internet and scientific education at my side so i could get through my doctor's scare mongering and complicated explanations for everything but i wondered how many can navigate the complex Indian doctors.

Not so long ago, doctors were next to God ! Period! The faith people had in doctors and the reverence was next to only GOD !Then why fate loving Indians are becoming more and more cynical about Indian doctors and their way of treating. Professionalism is supposed to be good then why medical profession commands less respect.
Look at my journey- i went to gynaec and told her my Mom's  breast cancer history and asked for routine exam since I am 35.She asked me to get sonography and mammography done. She scared the hell out of me and i spent next 5 days in pure hell. When my reports came normal except for a single cyst on ovary. , she told me we'll need to treat cyst and can't really do much about fibroids in breast and on uterus.
All the while she looks sombre and makes it look like a very big thing. I go to Internet and find many people have cysts in reproductive age and usually smaller ones are only monitored. So she gives 10 days of hormone pills and call me next during my periods. By now, I have already spent 500 on sonography and 1200 in digital mammography and her consultation fees.

I went again today where she prescribed me some pill for 21 days. She doesn't tell me directly that she is giving me OCP - oral contraceptive pill but makes it sound as if its a big, important course of medicine. I speak to her in English and most people can gauge my education through my flawless english so its not that i am a regular middle class woman who wouldn't know ' Oral contraceptive PILL'. Instead, in complicated way she explains how she is giving me tabs to suppress ovary function.Meanwhile, she keeps asking whether anyone has diabetes and blood pressure. Now come one, we are Indians - who doesn't have Diabetes and blood pressure after age 45 in India. What's family history has got to do with it?

I find family history a latest clutch to scare the shit out of patients- you need to be alert and i know few people who are insulin dependent at age 45 without family history of diabetes and people who have got cancer without any family history !By the way, its true certain diseases and disorders are strongly genetically linked- those are genetically transmitted diseases and they are usually the whole different ball game !Cancer in the family only marginally increases risks usually when it comes to breast and ovarian cancer along with other risk factors ! But there are many cancers which can happen to anyone without family histories too !So cancer is a bummer by and large !

On confirming that my Dad has diabetes she writes down a battery of blood tests- Like lipid profile ,TSh,Blood sugar and CA-125.Remember, this is after i have visited her thrice already.

Not only that, she tells me to do this tests at a particular pathology lab nearby. I have visited her in an hospital's OPD - and when i ask her if i can get it done somewhere else, she tells me- ' this is a lab,they do the tests here only while other places collect blood samples and send somewhere else to get the tests done. Now CA-125 is  a costly test- a marker which is elevated in ovarian  tumours but its also present in other indications. So she was asking me to go through a battery of blood tests without any reasons or symptoms but just for the heck of it.

Maybe she thought these tests are routine- people do them anyway in those fancy health checkups packages i might else well make some money out of it !

The point Satyamev Jayate brought out was- what doctors are doing hand in glove with chemists and pathology labs to earn more money through commissions . So i guess , Indian doctors have begun to do away with any propriety and are openly practicing and forcing emotionally the patients to go through tests.These blood tests will cost me Rs1650. I have already spent Rs 2400 on just a regular ovarian cyst.

I have from childhood visited eye doctors because of my very high myopia and now because of Dad's Glaucoma history. There the same story repeats !

I have more than my share of doctors - Indian doctors think patients in india are dumb stupid people ! They don't think its important to 'explain ' or be ' appropriately truthful' to patients. Heck, they don't have time for it !

What i don't understand is why these 'uncaring ,dry and cut people become doctors. In India , its only because of family history- doctor father /mother begets doctors, prestige and to make money.

To make money there are so many professions- you can even eat commissions there and no one will say anything ! Why become a doctor ? Doctors are supposed to be- 'Next to GODs' . That means limited money,only patient's well being in mind and appropriate care and truthfulness. Medicine is the only profession where there is no room for dishonesty- i mean zero !

Its a cycle - Pharma makes drug at pennies ,markets it at thousands,advertises to doctors, chemists get their profits, pathology labs need their full profits plus an extra amount to pay the doctors.So, pharma cos greediness gets passed on !

Just like a toothpaste is made in pennies and sold for 50 times more price- established generic drugs can be provided at fraction of costs- same goes for laboratory tests.And do we even need fancy hospitals to go die or pick up a nosocomial infection - we just need scrupulously clean and well maintained huge hospitals !
I am writing this for 2 reasons- be alert and don't get scared when a doctor scares you- nowadays he is only after your money and in maintaining a corrupt system. I am going to change my doctor and will never recommend her. 

Don't become doctor, or nurse or even physiotherapist to make money especially if you have no empathy or any care giving abilities. Go become a banker/stockbroker or even lawyer for full on cut throat money making spree. Do jobs where you require very little conscience if you don't have any values!

If you are a patient :

Be frank, read on the Internet.I recommend Web MD and Mayo clinic website for appropriate information.Be cynical, doubtful and don't trust a doctor blindly unless of course he has earned your trust !

Ask questions- indian doctors don't answer clearly and frankly ,still do your homework and get second opinions.

Learn to read between the lines- and know your body.

Don't do any tests unless asked by the doctor- Its a waste of money, and unnecessary load. Those preventive health check ups are another money making rackets. And doctors are going to run the tests any way all over again !

 Its only human beings who can see death and disease as profit making business.Since greediness is uniquely human, i really don't see a way out ! Its a jungle out there and the worst animals are humans!!

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