The basic two-way communication between the Patient and Doctor is the prime part of interaction in the field of medical sciences in which patient share his/her complaints and discomforts regarding his/her health, mind, how he/she feels about, without any hesitation and on the doctor’s part that he must talk politely with a smile on his face asking his patient’s problem by creating an aura of faith and gaining confidence of his patient. That is a result of faith bestowed upon by the patient on the doctor, who is seen not only as a healer of one’s medical sufferings but also a counselor on personal and family matters.
These are known as one of the basic but important and prime etiquettes in the medical profession and ethics, but the picture & scenario is not always the same everywhere in the world.
If we talk about India, the picture of a doctor is somewhat ruined in eyes of the people over the past few years. There were many talks about the doctor being unethical and become money minded. Someone rightly said that ‘one rotten apple spoils the rest in the basket ’. Not all doctors are fraudulent but actually only a few; due to them the image of every doctor and this holy profession is destroyed.
One of the biggest factors for the creation of this bad image is the entry of the corporate sector into the world of diagnostic research and health care system. The cuts and commissions began from the diagnostics stage and then even in the referrals. Pharmaceutical sector started bribing the doctors to prescribe their products who have their own setups. This weakened the trust of the patients.
But not always doctors should be blamed; there are mistakes on the patient’s side as well. Another biggest factor towards ruining this relationship is patient load in the government and private setups and doctor-patient ratio. In India, one doctor is consulting 3 to 4 times more patients in every day than the number approved by guidelines for the physician due to an increased population which makes the situation even worse.
Patients who are visiting the hospital are frustrated and stressed out and somehow gets angry because of their own health complaints and waiting in longer in a queue for their turn and doctors are also not always available due to sacristy of time to focus only to their problems out of the whole lot of patients and give them more priority as in the eyes of the doctor all the patients require proper consultation, treatment, and counseling. Due to which they (patient) sometimes become intolerant.
Sometimes out of frustration they start arguing with other patients and creating a mess in the O.P.D. The situation in the wards is even horrible.
When a male doctor starts examining a female patient in the examination room without taking consent, that patient sometimes put false allegations against the doctor as he had touch with bad intention or exploited her which may lead to bad picture of the doctor in front of the society, may hurt his reputation and he may not able to practice for the rest of life.
When the life of a patient after a major trauma is saved, the doctor is praised for his excellence with blessings for patients and his family and sometimes treated as an incarnation of God who saved the life.
But on the other hand, during or after any major operation, if any patient due to any complications somehow dies or may not survive for long, the attendants and other family members of patient starts blaming the doctor/ operating surgeon that he is not a good doctor or he had not tried to save the patient or must be money minded and many other things and blurt out bad and insulting words about the him.
In many worst cases, the patient’s attendant came in the wards and slaps the doctor out of anger in front of whole staff and other patient or beat him with some weapon and sometimes security personnel is also not able to control them as they came in a group.
Actually, the major factor for the creation of this situation is a communication gap between patient and doctor. Some time doctor couldn’t hear or give time to every patient due to the sacristy of time and high patient load.
We as a citizen should not forget that Doctor is a highly educated, trained, dedicated, hardworking and efficient person of the health care system and how much pressure they face in hospitals and next to God who heals and tries to saves life of his patient without asking for anything in return and must respect his hard work and how much they do for the social whole day and night.
Patients should not lose their temper and become intolerant to release their anger onto the doctor for not doing what they want.
People must understand they are also human, not computers or robots that do everything correctly on command of the handler and according to them whether they are tired or not. I must mention here that doctors already do their duties more than required.
On the doctor’s part, In my opinion, doctors should be soft and polite while talking to every patient whatever is the situation that they should not feel ignored and disappointed which creates a bad impression in patient’s mind.
While attending any patient, a doctor must ask for the consent before performing an examination or procedure and starts only after the patient’s agreement. If the patient is a teenager or a small child then doctor ask from his/her parents.
While attending or examine a patient especially, female patients in which exposure of the body is mandatory, in that situation doctor must ensure that procedure that privacy of patient must be maintained and should be done in the presence of female nurse for doctor’s own safety.
This same thing applies to all female doctors while examing or performing any procedure on male patients that the examination part should in privacy in the presence of a male nurse or male staff and maintain their confidentiality So that patient should not feel shy while exposing his/her body parts.
The approach to the patient should warm and good so that the patient does not think that the doctor must have exploited him or her.
By doing these small things on a day-to-day basis every doctor can help and contribute himself in improving the status and image of the whole community of doctor and medical profession and bring a smile on faces of every patient.