There are thousands of diseases in the world, but Medical Science only has an empirical cure for twenty-six of them. The rest is… guesswork.”Doctors, Eric Segal
The above quote from Doctors has always remained with me. Medicine is an imperfect science. The more you know, the more you realize how ignorant you are. 100 years before during the Spanish Flu pandemic, masks were advised to protect yourself, now again with Covid pandemic all we have is masks, and the concept of quarantine which is as old as the plague in middle ages.
Doctors are always blamed for being insensitive, eccentric and in general aloof. The truth is all doctors care about their patients. Yes, social interactions do become painful for most of them because at times they carry the trouble of not just your patient but so many others, in addition to the multiple other responsibilities they have. It is not easy to be amidst pain and misery and not get affected by it.
Over the past couple of years, having been involved in administrative work as well, I have seen multiple patients complaints about the delayed appointment, long waiting time, delayed labs etc. Most of the times, in that capacity we just apologize to the patient, yet there are times I wish to rant out. There might be a patient or two ahead of you in the queue. A doctor cannot just shoo him or her away. Someone ahead in line, might be dealing with a cancer or other more serious diagnosis.
Many a patients do hide their histories, drug, alcohol etc. I once remember a young girl with abdominal pain denying history of sex, whilst her diagnosis was a ruptured tubal pregnancy. Her denial only delayed her being whisked to OR.
“These days doctors do not have any skills, they just resort to costly lab investigations and ultrasound.” Doctors do fear screwing up. From a doctor’s perspective, in the modern era of evidence based medicine, a wrong diagnosis is a costly lawsuit and the loss of license to practice. So yes, the doctors do take utmost care before pronouncing the diagnosis.
During the covid surge, we would get phone calls from patients who would be waiting for their results. At times, my staff would get frustrated attending those calls. Should they just ignore the calls and keep working. Those patients would not realize that we too have staff shortages. It is pandemic not just for you, but for us as well. Imagine the plight of the staff in a hospital built for a capacity of 100…attending to 10 times its capacity. Patients would be unreasonable, rude and arrogant too. “Don’t understand what you all do, can’t get a report in 12 hours… for a test which takes 2-3 hrs.” was a common statement in those times! All i could do was to not let such negative feedback stress me up.
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