Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A morning without the cuppa



Now yet again another note of annoyance and quetch !
The previous week one morning sans the customary cups of hot strong tea, I drove to the hospital.
I was at the Cosmopolitan Hospital for a general physical check up. Fondly known as “executive check up”, considering the decent amount that is charged for the marks on ones physical status.
The procedure through the withdrawal of blood, urine, ECG and X-raying was swift and well conducted. Then came the check on the main engine or motor! The cardio specialist was perhaps in his early forties and well built. A handsome doc who I’m certain turned many a female heads while during his Medical school days. He was quite busy and loaded. But was swift and quite efficient in his physical check on me. He ensured my blood pressure reading was accurate by repeating the process thrice and he did the check himself. He did not ask the nurse to strap the BP apparatus on me. He told me that the diastolic and systolic values were quite identical on all three occasions. His rapid fire questions on my life style and hereditary appendage was over in no time. I guess he smiled inside when he heard my reply to his enquiry on my intake of spirits. Did he strike a chord, a rapport in my answer-“brothers in arms”, perhaps! He was very quick and efficient with the Echo test which he did himself and again did not ask the nurse or someone else to perform. He gave me his interpretation of the test forthwith and did not show any air of secrecy and ‘why should the patient know” attitude of some physicians. He sent me for the TMT and it was done by another person. His summing up of my test reports was quite friendly and well analysed. He was quick as time was a premium factor for him. But at the end one felt a sort of comfort that one was to a physician who takes his job and the person who visits him with the necessary attitude, however cramped he is for time.A relatively clean chit vis a vis blood and urine samples they tested.

The nurse then sent me to a general Physician, and I still cannot understand why the heck she wanted me to meet that fellow.

He was in his sixties and not for once did I recall him look at me in the face. He perfunctorily set the stethoscope on my chest and withdrew it immediately as if something stung him. He threw a few questions at me (that sounded like out of a recorded tape dictation) even without taking a glance towards me. I wonder if he knew I was a man or woman. He seemed to be a person quite fed up with his job or was he not, was it indifference? 

I wonder if doctors cannot see the necessity to receive and look the patient in the eye, what kind of analysis, diagnosis can happen? And can visits to such physicians erase ones apprehensions even if the verdict is all clear? Doctors seldom deem it necessary to explain the diagnosis or the treatment procedure to the patient even in the language a lay person can comprehend. Some doctors keep an air, and they disapprove or frown upon any questions regarding the diagnosis, prognosis or the medications they prescribe. And asking any can evoke response and disquiet severe than the hullabaloo ignited by the WikiLeaks.

In the final summing up, I have a clean chit apparently, and the vehicle can move on.

12 comments:

Insignia said...

Ahhh what a right post at the right time Anil. I have an appointment coming week for comprehensive executive medical check up :-) I like the jargon and want to keep repeating it.

Doctors; some of them are so friendly. My gynecologist once greeted me with a "Hi, long time no see". I was visiting after couple of months. It caught me off guard. I was like "people dont visit hospital frequently! Its not a social gathering!" That lady was so gregarious.

I have noticed few doctors as you say probably are fed up with their job and its a routine for them. Any questions from the patient is turned a deaf ear or explained with medical lingo which leaves the patient confused.

Insignia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sm said...

well written
someone are good someone are bad
some treat us by looking at our pockets

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

Nice. I know both versions. our family doctor belongs to the first category; quite friendly and jovial. I think it's more important for a patient to be greeted with a pat saying 'alright buddy, you are absolutely fine' than all the medicines. After all, at least for me, hospitals are scary but what if the doctors have a matching attitude. It doubles the misery, isn't it?

kaalpanique said...

hey.. may be he just had a bad day! u never know!

deeps said...

Like any job it s another job too…
And like anyone they have reasons to sneer & fume
As long as you are not at the end of the Q and the momentum is painstakingly slow...oops that will be a terribly bad day to take an appointment to see your doc...
i anyway hate having to wait more than 30 mints..
Hope you have a pleasant experience next time :P

dr.antony said...

It is a difficult job Anil. I know that is no excuse. The younger they are, probably they have more enthusiasm. There is some amount of monotony in any kind of work. You are going to the hospital once a year for your check up. And he is sitting there doing the same thing every single day, and probably doesn’t enjoy it much. But the difference is, we tend to see this career as something different, and expect kindness and compassion from every doctor. I haven’t seen any such gestures from any other offices, whenever I needed any service. It is all totally impersonal service. At the bank, if the teller doesn’t smile at us, we don’t care. We just need to get the money. We are all human, and not all can be the same. It is good you at least found someone you were happy about. He probably would be at a higher pay role and might even be paid ‘per patient”
The hospital where I work now, every single doctor is unhappy. This is a government hospital and there are no incentives to work. Doctors have been asking for better terms and nothing had been granted.
I know it is not right to take it on to the patients, but then, who else is there to see the unhappiness? Who else cares about doctors?
Doctors in private practice or at private hospitals probably would appear to give you better care and service. For them, every patient is a source of income and it is necessary for them to entertain and retain the client. So, don’t be misled by their charms. He probably would smile at you and ask for a set of unnecessary tests, judging from your looks, that you could afford them.
This doctor you mentioned has spent a lifetime with his personality and you won't be able to change it. Therefore, your choices are to either learn to work around it, or to find another doctor.
The truth is that his difficult personality may not be a true reflection of his abilities as a doctor. He may, or may not, be a good practitioner, able to meet your medical needs. He may come across as the best surgeon / cardiologist / or any other "gist" there is, and maybe he is. But maybe he is not. Communication between the two of you is critical, so be sure that his ego doesn't inhibit your ability to communicate about the important aspects of your illness or condition.
Some of the best students from my batch, who held many university records, could never make it in clinical practice. Mediocre and below students who had good communication skills, have made their own big hospitals. Unfortunately, patients are not interested in the clinical acumen of doctors, and don’t even care if they are asked to shuttle around many specialists and hospitals for their minor illnesses.
Unfortunately, that is the way it works.

dr.antony said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dr.antony said...

It is a difficult job Anil. I know that is no excuse. The younger they are, probably they have more enthusiasm. There is some amount of monotony in any kind of work. You are going to the hospital once a year for your check up. And he is sitting there doing the same thing every single day, and probably doesn’t enjoy it much. But the difference is, we tend to see this career as something different, and expect kindness and compassion from every doctor. I haven’t seen any such gestures from any other offices, whenever I needed any service. It is all totally impersonal service. At the bank, if the teller doesn’t smile at us, we don’t care. We just need to get the money. We are all human, and not all can be the same. It is good you at least found someone you were happy about. He probably would be at a higher pay role and might even be paid ‘per patient”

Doctors in private practice or at private hospitals probably would appear to give you better care and service. For them, every patient is a source of income and it is necessary for them to entertain and retain the client. So, don’t be misled by their charms. He probably would smile at you and ask for a set of unnecessary tests, judging from your looks, that you could afford them.
This doctor you mentioned has spent a lifetime with his personality and you won't be able to change it. Therefore, your choices are to either learn to work around it, or to find another doctor.
The truth is that his difficult personality may not be a true reflection of his abilities as a doctor. He may, or may not, be a good practitioner, able to meet your medical needs. He may come across as the best surgeon / cardiologist / or any other "gist" there is, and maybe he is. But maybe he is not. Communication between the two of you is critical, so be sure that his ego doesn't inhibit your ability to communicate about the important aspects of your illness or condition.
Some of the best students from my batch, who held many university records, could never make it in clinical practice. Mediocre and below students who had good communication skills, have made their own big hospitals. Unfortunately, patients are not interested in the clinical acumen of doctors, and don’t even care if they are asked to shuttle around many specialists and hospitals for their minor illnesses.
Unfortunately, that is the way it works.

dr.antony said...

It is a difficult job Anil. I know that is no excuse. The younger they are, probably they have more enthusiasm. There is some amount of monotony in any kind of work. You are going to the hospital once a year for your check up. And he is sitting there doing the same thing every single day, and probably doesn’t enjoy it much. But the difference is, we tend to see this career as something different, and expect kindness and compassion from every doctor. I haven’t seen any such gestures from any other offices, whenever I needed any service. It is all totally impersonal service. At the bank, if the teller doesn’t smile at us, we don’t care. We just need to get the money. We are all human, and not all can be the same. It is good you at least found someone you were happy about. He probably would be at a higher pay role and might even be paid ‘per patient”

Doctors in private practice or at private hospitals probably would appear to give you better care and service. For them, every patient is a source of income and it is necessary for them to entertain and retain the client. So, don’t be misled by their charms. He probably would smile at you and ask for a set of unnecessary tests, judging from your looks, that you could afford them.
This doctor you mentioned has spent a lifetime with his personality and you won't be able to change it. Therefore, your choices are to either learn to work around it, or to find another doctor.
The truth is that his difficult personality may not be a true reflection of his abilities as a doctor. He may, or may not, be a good practitioner, able to meet your medical needs. He may come across as the best surgeon / cardiologist / or any other "gist" there is, and maybe he is. But maybe he is not. Communication between the two of you is critical, so be sure that his ego doesn't inhibit your ability to communicate about the important aspects of your illness or condition.
Some of the best students from my batch, who held many university records, could never make it in clinical practice. Mediocre and below students who had good communication skills, have made their own big hospitals. Unfortunately, patients are not interested in the clinical acumen of doctors, and don’t even care if they are asked to shuttle around many specialists and hospitals for their minor illnesses.
Unfortunately, that is the way it works.

anilkurup said...

@ Insignia
Good luck !
If a doctor is fed up then he must quit. The profession cannot be equated with the many other


@ sm

Most of them look into the pocket. They have invested much to be certified and the returns has to be in relation to the bullish trend in the market.


@ Arun
A patient looks up to the doc and the reciprocal attitude is not of compassion and care . There may be exceptions.


@ Kaalpanique

A bad day for the doc?
Imagine the inpatients who have to go to such docs.

@ Deeps,

No certainly not. It is not like any other job. Such attitude and thinking is the problem.


@doc antony,
I strongly disagree with any notion that the profession of physician can be equated with any other. I feel that there are two professions that needs to be respected by the person practising and by the people partaking its benefit.They are the profession of a physician and a teacher.
Investing in ones medical education with the eye to reap millions is ethically wrong. There are many other ways of earning fat lively hood. Why be a doc and fleece people. And if it is monotony that has set in well then quit.
One can invest in stocks rather than spent on medical education and perhaps make more. One can also indulge in other nefarious activities if making money is the only motive.

Certainly doc your profession cannot be bracketed with other lines. Definitely not. Doing so is inviting wrath and curse of the many hapless.

Haddock said...

all that hulla bulla for nothing ?