The Art of Practicing Medicine

A patient-doctor conversation

Kerry: Am I drinking too much? How do I know if I am addicted? Can I drink daily or a weekend shot can cause more damage to my health?

Doctor: Occasional excessive drinking will certainly damage your liver….

… & so on goes the conversation until the doctor permits Kerry to have his share of drinks. This is one example of how we always seek for a doctor’s approval to continue living our habits unperturbed and in return we do not mind “paying” for the same.

A doctor is considered next to God. Whenever a patient approaches a doctor with this faith, the doctor’s battle is almost half-won because healing begins with faith. Then the doctor needs less effort to actually treat him.

The role of a doctor is indeed more human, he needs to be sensitive while using his medical sense, must do justice to the patient while being just to himself, strive for the perfect diagnosis of the patient just as he would expect for any of his close kins, and most importantly know his limits of treating and earning. Such an effective balance is more crucial especially in difficult cases where the possibility of misdiagnosing is more.

Of course, the confidence, maturity and experience that a doctor gains through years of training gives him the liberty to utilize his precious time intelligently. Eventually, he can quickly jump to the diagnosis and treatment within minutes of seeing the patient just to save time. This could even be at the cost of patient satisfaction if he is sure that someone else (an assistant) or the medicines itself would compensate for the lack of his personal attention and availability. A common case like viral fever or common cold definitely doesn’t need more than a few minutes of doctor’s attention and medications are more than enough to take care of it.

Come to think of it, a good study of psychology is also an important aspect of practicing medicine. Isn’t it an art to extract money painlessly from an already tormented soul?. On a serious note, what makes a doctor’s job noble is the very fact that they deal with suffering and help bring back a smile on the distressed face.

Some circumstances can put doctors in a real bad situation (especially in this part of the world) where a financially sound patient fools around with reasons for not paying the fees. So the doctor also has to ensure that he is not denied his dutiful wages, although he has the right to decide whether he wants to exempt people from paying him in some exceptional cases. Here lays the extra skill required by the doctor that he has to diagnose not only the illness but also the standard of living of the patient, if he desires to live decently.