10 Tips for Doctors to be Effective
- Jagannath Chatterjee
1. It is time to question the biggest fallacy of modern medicine that chronic diseases cannot be cured. A physicians duty is to heal the sick. Anything otherwise should be cynically questioned. When a patient visits a doctor s/he effectively seeks a cure. The doctor should equip her/himself with all the knowledge necessary to cure the patient. Otherwise s/he fails in her/his duty.
2. With the word cure comes the responsibility to understand the origins of disease. If the current paradigm is ineffective to provide answers and cures then it is the duty of every doctor to question it severely and put the system on the right track.
3. The industry's ubiquitous role in every sphere of medicine should be countered. Funds should be so managed that all possibilities should be researched and not just conformist views. Doctors should be taught about all probable pros and cons. Medicine should be patient friendly and not doctor, system or industry friendly, as it is currently now.
4. The doctor-patient interface should undergo a sea change. The doctor should never erroneously assume that s/he is the only person to know all and that the patient knows nothing. It is also necessary that the doctor lets the patient take relevant decisions by providing her/him with relevant, accurate and unbiased information. The doctor has never been granted any authority by the society to take all for-the-greater-good decisions on behalf of the patient.
5. In case of doubt the doctor must remind the patient of alternative methods of healing available instead of unduly experimenting with the patients health.
6. Preventive social health sans medicine is the best option to keep a society healthy. In fact Gandhiji has categorically stated that a healthy society is characterised by two factors; the absence of jails and hospitals. This yardstick must assess our progress.
7. Doctors should be aware of all non medical options to keep the population healthy and should be capable of effectively practice them to the advantage of the society.
8. Doctors should be proactive and collectively oppose all factors that introduce disease into society; be it mental, physical, emotional or moral. They should oppose all unhealthy practices, toxins, corporate machinations, social evils and constantly strive to educate the society about their adverse effects.
9. Doctors should be well versed in patient rights and guide patients when the latter are faced with a crisis. Currently doctors are more interested in saving their own skins.
10. We are constantly reminded of the ancient Chinese practice of paying doctors only for the period when the subject is healthy. If the subject falls sick, the monthly remuneration of the family physician is stopped till the patient is cured. Putting this into practice should revolutionise medicine.