If you can make the God bleed…… then there will be blood in the oceans and the sharks will
– Ivan Antonovich Vanko
As offbeat as it sounds, it is true. Lets examine the case of the assault on doctors. As part of the medical fraternity you frequently see fingers being pointed at the illiterate, uncivilised and ignorant people as the sole cause of all the ruckus. I strongly agree.
It is these illiterate, ignorant, unaware simpletons who are the root cause of increasing assault on doctors and more importantly the distressing state of medical system. It is these ignorant people who by virtue of their ignorance, institute a semi-divine stature on doctors. Saying doctors are next to god, joining hands and pleading in front of them and what not.
I think it is demeaning for any human to be subjugated in such a way to any other person and such a power should only be yielded by someone greater. But why do these people do something so disturbing. I think it is out of fear, fear of loss of one’s dear one, fear that if they don’t resort to such flattery they will not be helped. But why do these people harbour so much fear??? Don’t they know that doctors are also just another human beings who just have been trained to do what they do.
Why do they fail to recognise that they are dealing with just another professional. You don’t plead to any other professional so why now. But thats how the things are…at least in this part of the globe.
But the story doesn’t end here. This little act, supposedly done innocently by these ignorant people, who forget about it the next fine day, goes down a long way in the life of medical professionals, who deal with these people day in and day out. And slowly, yet steadily, they become accustomed to it and start enjoying this new found source of pride. And being just normal human beings they tend to cling to it, though subconsciously. Remember the feeling when you
were in the 1st year and a patient used to greet you or thank you, just because you were in a white coat, there used to be uneasiness at back of your mind. Now when you are two or three years in this life, when a patient doesn’t greet you or doesn’t show you the “basic respect” or questions you, you feel offended and complain that the patient is very arrogant or non-cooperative. The traditional image of doctor in mind of people is that of a person of a tall stature, who should not be questioned/offended, whose every word is a gospel. It is these ignorant people who make the
doctors feel too powerful, allowing them to indulge in practices which brings shame to the entire profession. For instance charging exorbitant fees, advising unnecessary investigations/operation just to make profit, the entire doctor-pharmacy/path lab nexus which is nothing short of cartels and whenever questioned we aggressively defend our highly cherished ego and act arrogantly or play the victim card.
So when such an “angel” falls, these naive simpletons cant deal with it and sometimes resort to extreme step of assault.
So whose fault is it? Is it the fault of the ignorant patients who cant help themselves or is it the fault
of the doctors who get sucked into this cycle?
Now, I am not saying that assault on doctors is right. It definitely isn’t. In my opinion, the fault that lies with the patients, is that they expect extraordinary things from the doctors, just because of the exceptional reverence doctors command . Yes there are always exceptions when the fault lies primarily with the patient. But in majority of the cases there is a definite degree of fault of doctor, though to varying extents and that is perfectly OK. After all we are all just humans. What I suggest is that, till the society matures enough to deal with us, without giving us a coronet (in which case overstepping would be, by virtue of society, not possible), we simply step down from this pedestal of supremacy which our ignorant patients have so pompously conferred to us and which we so unsuspectingly consider an integral part of this profession, and expose our vulnerabilities to the society. Yes, it will be difficult but, when the society sees us as humans doing our job, their unreasonable expectations from us will fall and so, when we fall, which everyone does, at some point of time or other, eventually, we will not hit the ground too hard.