Doctor Sahab, Listen to Me First!

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Good communication isn’t just for being friendly with patients. It’s also a vital skill for doctors to understand the patients’ concerns. 

We all are indebted to a long list of doctors who treat us for the ailments and make us move on in life without pain and suffering the ailments would otherwise cause. 

Indeed, doctors play a significant role in our lives. A doctor is a person with extensive knowledge in the domain of medical science, who applies and dedicates his knowledge and skill to diagnose the medical problem faced by the patient and then attempts to prevent or cure it. Since ages the greater role of doctors in a society can’t be underestimated. There are huge contributions these apron-wearing brigades make for any society.  A patient’s ability to enjoy life after his/her illness makes a huge difference. When any patient resumes his/her service after an illness, it highly benefits his employer as well as society in general. Doctors save lives and help patients minimize pain, recover from a disease faster or learn to live with a disabling injury. There are some diseases that claim an entire population. Communicable diseases and other epidemic conditions are a huge threat to the health of a common people. It’s the services of our great doctors that curb or control such appalling situation. 

When I was in 12th standard and while playing cricket, my right leg was injured. I was bed ridden for months together and my condition became very critical. Some of the doctors gave me wrong clues for my ailment and it was frustrating for me and my family. But there are doctors who have that magic touch to uplift our health and confidence. In my case, a good doctor namely Dr. Me’raj Bakhtawar with high motivation, good treatments and friendly approach could again make me stand up despite the fact that the veteran doctor belonged to a different specialization. 

A big episode very recently again shook me in my life. I was diagnosed with jaundice; it became very critical and life threatening. But Allah (swt) has a solution for every problem His creation faces. I was blessed to find a great doctor who not only treated me well but shattered many myths about the ailment. A prominent doctor namely Dr. Riyaz Saif in Jammu and Kashmir with humble nature could easily read the patients ailment and treat them to perfection. The great quality doctors should develop is to bring confidence and listen to their patients keenly rather than looking solely on profit margins. 

Recently I had an opportunity to spend good time in Delhi with my dear friend from J&K who is very humble and a bright doctor at AIIMS. I could easily witness the sacrifices of doctors through his dedication and involvement to his service. Doctors are busy day and night without fail. While discussing the noble profession once he said that that nobody wishes to join critical care now and many times he has seen doctors being beaten to pulp by the attendants. We must understand that doctors are also humans and that doctors can only try harder to save a patient. We have to control our emotions. I have myself witnessed that the attendants hardly control themselves when they want to sleep during night hours but it’s the doctors and the staff who are on toes to take care of any emergency during those odd hours . Do they deserve ill treatment for this great service? Life of a doctor in critical care is not enviable. Neither is he/she able to sleep properly nor is able to give proper time to family. No doctor may wish to see his/her patient dying and not everyone is a corrupt doctor.

It is a fact that man is turning into a greedy and selfish being. The recent strike by Jammu and Kashmir doctors of Govt. Medical College gives us clues how things are changing rapidly and social service is given the least preference now. The patients in its six associated hospitals were left at mercy and without any medical care. Our state has a history of mismanagement and flawed job policies. But how can our great doctors be so irresponsible to stop their duties and make poor patients suffer? We have seen doctors commanding huge respect in the society but with the modernization and self centric interests taking the precedence, the monetary incentives now matter most for many doctors than the respect. They can go to any extent with huge fee charged for consultation and prescribing any worst medicine just to please the Pharma dealers for gifts and freebies. Slowly and steadily this noble profession of doctors is losing its command and worth in the society. It is mainly because of shortcuts and wrong approaches on part of some greedy and self centric doctors. 

Doctors have bigger responsibilities to serve the society in right ways. Most important doctors must treat their patients with compassion. Researchers have found that patients who feel that their doctor has made a genuine empathetic connection- will actually experience a reduction in pain. If a patient feels they are being cared for by the right doctor who has taken an interest in their wellbeing, their body will suppress their awareness of the pain and they will experience a faster recovery. On the other side, the stress of having a bad doctor who doesn’t show an interest can actually prolong the patient’s suffering. Empathy is a very powerful tool in the hands of a good doctor. Patients always want to feel that they are in safe hands. 

Doctors must also focus on effective communication. Good listening and communicating skills are critical to being a good doctor. Good communication isn’t just for being friendly with patients. It’s also a vital skill for doctors to understand the patients’ concerns and offer right solutions. Doctors should give the patients the time they need and deserve. They should not only be honest, but also offer hope, even when a situation is difficult. They have a duty to prescribe the right medication, tell patients about the advantages, disadvantages, risks and alternatives regarding a proposed treatment or operation, and provide adequate follow-up to the patient within a reasonable amount of cost and time. Moreover it’s the responsibility of veteran doctors to mentor the less experienced doctors and be ready for best guidance and support. The profession of doctors is noble one and they must promote it through their noble efforts and serve the society better. 

 

 

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