Doctors, who know their subjects thoroughly and who really feel for his patients and listen to them with patience, have always been rare. Let me call them “manush-doctors”. Unfortunately, their breed is a rarity today.
I remember what Sachin Tendulkar’s father told Sachin: “As a parent I would be happier hearing people say, “Sachin is a good human being” than “Sachin is a great cricketer”. (Playing it my way: My Autobiography by Sachin Tendulkar)
How many times do we tell our kids to be good human beings first and then become a doctor or an engineer or a lawyer or a teacher?
Today, we have many “boro daktar”. A “boro daktar” is he whose fee is astronomically high, whose chamber is perhaps well-furnished and elegantly decorated and who drive expensive car. These are the criteria for becoming a “boro daktar”. He is heartless, rapacious, and arrogant. He has no time to listen to his patients. Even before a patient tries to explain his problems, this “boro daktar” starts writing his prescription. He has to examine as many patients as possible and rush to other chamber for filthy lucre.
The words ‘care’ and ‘sympathy’ are absent in his dictionary. His sole aim is to earn money as fast as possible. He has no scruples; he doesn’t have any feeling for his patients. And we also take pride in telling others: “Janis toh saatsho taka fees diye boro daktar ke dekhalam” (I’ve consulted a famous doctor. His fee is Rs 700, you know).
Our concept of ‘fame’ is utterly erroneous. It’s unfortunate that today a ‘good doctor’ is measured on the basis of his fees, how big his house is and what costly car he drives. In order to tell the world that he also does some kind of charitable work, the ‘good doctor’ holds free medical consultation camp once or twice a year. These ‘good doctors’ are pally with local party leaders and offer their service during ‘utsav’.
There’s no gainsaying the fact that medical malpractices prevailed in earlier days also. Doctors too used to deploy touts to get patients, they also looked for commission and put patients on operation table without any reason. Nursing Homes also did unethical businesses. But in those days, there were many good doctors for whom treating patients are more a ‘service’ than an earning tool. They had scruples and for them ethics really mattered. They worked silently away from media glare.
In today’s globalised world, consumerism is god. Values have taken a backseat. Doctors have no scruples. Conscience hardly smites them. Overpowered by greed and mindless profiteering, most of the doctors spend their entire life in chasing money and money only. And when they are in their late sixties, they decide to become a member of Ramakrishna Mission or Bharat Sevashram Sangha or listen to Sister Shivani.
There are exceptions, too. But their number is woefully small today.
(To be continued)