So there is this viral post on how a doctor in India wont let his kid be a doctor. Its true and is a pervasive feeling among a few doctors. The cat is out of the closet I believe. So what has brought it to such a pass. The answer I believe is complex but lemme just try to join the dots. Here goes
Dot 1: Medical education till the early 2000’s was almost no go for even brilliant kids. I mean it was grueling and the few seats available were in state-run colleges where every seat was worth its weight in gold. Private colleges were far in between and mostly down south. Subtle changes in norms and rules slowly led to the mushrooming of tons of half-baked and ill-conceived medical colleges most of them hours away from habitation (literally). Result was an overall fall in quality but increase in quantity. But there were not enough PG seats, so many either get frustrated studying or work long hours as junior docs at pathetic pay scales.
Dot 2 – Incubation Period: Given the fast expansion of healthcare and super-specialties it’s impossible for any doctor to earn decent enough or be settled before an average of nearly 12-13 years. Big deal han!! Deal is that those are your golden years. Even PG is not enough is a common refrain. You mostly work 18 hour shifts in stressful conditions leaving so little time for anything that approximates as enjoyable, while you are lucky enough to even get that chance given how few places that offer super-specialty training.
Dot 3: The arrival of corporate managed hotels aka hospitals have done immense damage to the classical doc-patient relationship. It has become transactional and open to scrutiny by those who can’t tell chest from the abdomen. The high pedestal that doctors could occupy is long gone. Not only is faith a victim in the BUSINESS of health, it’s also probity that goes right out of the window. Fun part is that most hospital conglomerates will easily tell you that doctors’ salaries do not form even a minuscule amount of their total expenditure. Only a few specialties actually get paid any royal sums. Thus we collect all the brickbats while making very little out of the Business. SAD.
Dot 4 – mORTAL cOMBAT: Physical harm is very real danger that you must be ready for everyday. The general lack of trust and a feeling that every misstep is malpractice just accentuates the danger for every practicing doctor.
Solutions to these problems must be found and could start with a combined MBBS+MD course to at least churn out doctors that can practice straight up or climb the ladder at corporate hospitals. Law enforcement rather that newer laws are probably the need of the hour to curb violence against medicos. How about making it a non-bailable offence nationwide. Well would be glad if you guys come up with more thoughts and ideas.