Today, let’s talk about the practitioners of the noblest profession in the world. No, not teachers. Doctors! I have always believed that there are two types of doctors. First, the best kind – those who talk to you nicely, give you maximum information in the little time you consult with them, who really look like they want to see you get better. Money is not of concern to them. These are the kinds you’d see practicing in remote villages or among Doctors without Borders or the decrepit looking clinic in city. The second type is those we tolerate because they are the best in their field but way too snooty for comfort. During a consultation they will speak as little as possible, just sticking to the point. There are probably 3 lines with which they can run their entire conversation: What’s the problem? Get these reports done and see me in two days. Take these medicines and see me in a week. To extract one more word from them, you may have to pay them in gold jewelry or organs, perhaps.
And then there is one more — the third that I hadn’t encountered until that fateful day. It’s like we discovered an extinct species minus all the rejoicing. The third kind is like the 2nd kind of doctor but only that he would give Hitler a run for his money. He behaves like a dictator to a small country. This guy will be very curt and at the same time give you a whiplash with his tongue. If only he had a firing squad at his disposal, many of his patients would be delivered of their trauma quickly. He being curt doesn’t mean that you can run away with your vocabulary. No Sir, he won’t let you even complete your sentences!
So, it transpired that we took this well-meaning reference of an elderly gentleman we knew for a problem as trivial as elevated readings of liver and thyroid tests. Hence, there we were sitting in the hallway of this great doctor’s office with a string of fancy alphabet and impressive alma maters attached to his name. After paying a princely consultation fee, we were anticipating a wonderful knowledge sharing session. We were very impressed when there was a mini session with another doctor before we met this biggie. Imagine this guy has another doctor and not a nurse to take down the history of a patient like smoking habits, drinking habits, exercise regime etc. It’s a different matter that we seemed to know more than the rookie doctor. But, what the heck, he has his personal staff in this big hospital! That must count for something.
Finally our time comes. The door to the hallowed portals opens and a gruff voice calls out our name. Throwing a distinct smirk at the poor souls still awaiting their turn, we enter the lair gingerly.
The doctor doesn’t even lift his head from my husband’s reports. We quickly take our places without much fuss. He raises his head and asks the inevitable question: “So, what’s the problem?”. We’ve done this many times before with many doctors. We’ve got the ball. And just like my pet Labrador, we run with it.
Husband: “Doctor, we regularly do a routine body check. And this time we see strangely elevated values….”
Doctor: “Yes, your TSH is too high.”
We had painstakingly put all the reports of the past few years under the current report. And, we were thinking that the doctor could get a context by seeing the past reports. But wait, he is already scribbling some medicine name in a prescription. We see our highly interactive session going down the drain.
Husband: “Doctor, can you please see my past report. It’s…”
Doctor (quickly, as if he was anticipating protests from me): “I only see the current reports.”
Husband: “But, I don’t understand how I ended up with such high values. I’ve been taking my medicines regularly.”
Doctor: “Values don’t lie; people do!”
*Applause! Whatte dialog*
Husband: “I remember missing my medicine once or twice in a month. Surely, that can’t…”
Doctor: “You miss your medicine and ask me to explain the high values!”
Husband: “But once or twice a month surely can’t cause such a high swing…”
Doctor: “Do you forget to brush your teeth or go to toilet in the morning? Then how can you forget your medicine?”
Great! He is scolding us! And I am thinking that isn’t it the job of the doctor to probe him further to find the reason for the swing in values? Why should we be probing him? And why doesn’t he let my husband complete what he was asking?
Husband (He is already getting close to his wit’s end with this doctor): “Doctor, I expect you to tell me what is wrong with me, and what I can do to get better…( He meant in a holistic way but the doctor butts in as expected)
Doctor: “With your kind of drinking, smoking and lack of exercise this is bound to happen.”
Husband: “But doctor we walk regularly for close to an hour! We also take care of…”
Doctor: “What is the use? When you don’t follow other good practices, what is the use of walking?”
Husband (Whoa, that’s hard hitting. And does he mean that he is latched onto the bottle?): “But doctor, I drink occasionally. I am not an alcoholic.”
Doctor: “Did I say that you were an alcoholic. Tell me, did I say?”
We slumped into our chairs. Suddenly, in my mind’s eye, we were errant 5-year-olds shaking like a leaf standing in front of a stern Principal.
Doctor: “I am increasing your drug potency. Take it for one month and meet me at the end of it with a fresh test report.”
The husband was looking very confused. Impatiently and with infinite patience (something I never have the benefit of witnessing) he prodded on in a last-ditch attempt.
Husband: “Doctor, what are the safe limits of alcohol consum..?”
Doctor: “Safe limits (he almost spat at us). There ain’t any. You stop, completely! Go to another doctor if you don’t like to hear the truth, like many of the morons who like their doctors to molly coddle them.”
*Did he call us morons?* We looked at each other horrified.
Now I am getting it. He knows that most of his patients don’t come back :)!
I was mortified. I did not open my mouth during this charged conversation while a carefully prepared list of questions languished in my purse.
Me: “Thanks, Doctor.”
The husband was clearly very angry by now. Somehow, I had to get him out of there without there being a blood bath.
And we left in a rush. The husband was shaken and fuming after this emotional atyachaar. We left for home with our bruised dignity. Just made me realize how the doctor gets people to give up the things they enjoy – food, drink, even life 😀 with his torture chamber treatment. His seriousness and rude behavior was a virulent virus that can annihilate all in its path.
Yep, this was one of the days when we paid to get whipped!
Disclaimer: This post is not intended to poke fun at any particular profession. The incident is true, and this particular Doctor had a huge attitude issue.
The post is written for Indiblogger’s #ConditionSeriousHai Contest held by Cadbury 5-Star!
I have encountered all these types. And yes, we have stuck to the type 1. We need to be informed and reassured from our doctors but we end up paying a bomb and come out dissatisfied.
I wish it were easier to find Type 1 so easily. I don’t know why but they are in such a rush to make you move on.
Did we see the same doctor? Lol. Yes, there is nothing worse than having a doctor who is rude and ill tempered. And strangely enough these kinds seem to be on the rise. Good luck for the contest Rachna 🙂
I certainly hope not :-). Yep, nothing worse than that. You feel sick and you are picked on for being that! Thanks Sid!
Sorry for the long comment.
Well, I can kind of relate to this during our visit to India this year, I had got bad coughs and fever. We then went to this doctor to whom my brother and my mother visit regularly. I enter this doctor’s room and then after asking me what had happened and after me finishing telling about my whereabouts and then my ‘ailments’, he then scrutinizes me from top to bottom and says, ‘you are over weight’. (Oh! really? as if I did not know that) and then he goes on to ask my age, takes my weight, height and then asks me if I have kids. We said we dint. He then continues saying ‘you are 33 and it will be too late’ and it sounded like my elders, however my elders have stopped asking questions as personal as that to us these days as we had made clear that they should not poke their nose in our personal lives. Me and my husband exchanged glances and we started to get ready for the battle almost smirking. I then said ‘We have decided..’ and then he interrupts me and then asks my husband ‘have you tested yourself’. I was fuming so much at this that I could have slapped him, the nerve of him. My husband was shocked. Seeing me fuming, my husband, a man of patience and peaceful nature says slowly with a voice what could not be interrupted ‘Doctor, we have decided not to have kids at the moment, so can you please check my wife with her cold and cough and give her necessary medications?’. You should have seen the shock on the doctor’s face; I could have laughed out loud. Then doctor says ‘please get yourself TSH checked’, my husband said it is done and his wife;s is within limits, we do it once in 6 months. There you go. He then gave me some antibiotics for which both I and my husband were apprehensive as it looked like a viral infection.
That medication did not help me at all.
Here I am in Czech Rep today, writing this comment, with bad dry coughs and slight viral infection. It seemed the antibiotics had made virus resistant and still lasted for a month. Only today I am slightly better. I will probably on medical leave for next week!
I am planning to ask my mother and brother to change doctor.
Gosh, your doctor sounded like a real piece of work. I mean actually giving you unwarranted advice about children. Just reflects on how we Indians just itch to dole out advice. I hope you are feeling better, Bhavana. Looks like Bangalore weather did not agree with you. Take care! Oh yes, you mother and brother must reconsider their choice for sure.
Gosh! What an encounter!! We have experienced such doctors too!! Their indifferent and uncaring attitude really puts you off. In this age when most of us are well aware of the diseases/diagnosis etc, we want our queries to be answered, our anxieties to be lessened. But sadly we end up getting more hyper and dissatisfied!
Exactly, Shilpa! The sad part is that after all the emotional stress and paying so much money, you are still no better :(.
Ha Ha! Interesting experience – a doctor passing judgement on a patient’s habits, eh? Some of the old school doctors viewed themselves as life givers rather than paid professionals.
True, TF! That too on perceived habits. Self righteous people must not get into medicine. Passing judgments must be done in courts not on patients :).
HAHAHAHA, now that truly was something. Brought the memories of my last visit to the doctor back!!!
Wow, really? 🙂
That truly is something that often happens to all of us ! Doctors who treat patients like unruly kids instead of adults !!
Enjoyed reading it Rachna ! All the best.
Thank you, Ash! That is exactly how we felt like two little errant kids :).
Oh the nerve of the doctor…But what can I say there are so many like him…Earlier I never bothered so much but now when I take my parents to clinics I realise how hard it is to get them see all the reports and answer to queries….But thankfully there are some exceptions much to my surprise…Just last year I had been to Vellore with my dad…Ofcourse getting checked up there is a strenous process with queues for everything and sometimes doctors are so late, and as you said they never look at old reports… But there I saw that the doctors even HODs actually listen and answer all the questions that we might have… But I also know these kinds are rare and hard to find and maybe that’s why reaching the chamber of these almost extinct species is a long ardous process…
It’s an unending tussle to find that gem. There are some wonderful ones, like my kids’ pediatrician. We have known him for years and always rely on him. The kids feel so comfortable just seeing his warm smile :).
Woah,! Who is this doctor? Pass on the info so that we can all stay away! Been under the weather a bit ever since I got back from home so couldn’t spend time on the blog or IB. All the best for the contest 🙂
Oh Gosh! Will surely do. Hope you get well soon, Seeta !
Trust me… you guys still have it easy. I’ve been on the worst end of that stick… being the flunky of such tyrants who screw you and humiliate you in front of patients just to prove his superiority. Makes you feel absolutely worthless … think of it this way. You have to suffer him for 15 minutes. The junior docs have to suffer the ignominy for atleast a year.
I’ve seen doctors cry so many times after such tongue lashings…
I was waiting to see Doktor Roshan’s comment!
Of course, it must be a nightmare for their colleagues and subordinates. Reminds me of the terrible tempered boss that I had to put up with. But how can these doctors treat their patients this way. I was just too upset after this episode!
Can’t really comment on why they treat patients that way… it’s part of their inner nature, I guess. Maybe they’ve seen more than I have and so their hearts have hardened up … I know I’ve never been able to be that way with patients or juniors. Too late to start now – this old dog cant learn any new tricks now 😀
I am happy that you are an old dog of the lovable variety who will not pick on these hardhearted tricks :). I think, these folks are just plain rude or high on their ‘success.’
I completely understand what you are saying Roshan. I have myself witnessed a few such incidents where the senior doctors try and humiliate the junior docs and the nurses on duty in front of patients.
Rachna, our doc is the opposite. Every time we go, he repeats the same advice, chatter and jokes. He is a sweetheart though and whenever we visit we lip sync his words!
Doctors are some creatures! Roshan, what kind of a doc are you?
You, lucky you, Susan! My kids’ pediatrician is a fantastic person too. Warm and smiling! But this doc was something else. We never felt as insulted.
I’m an anaesthetist. The one who knocks u all unconscious 😀
Visiting a doctor for consultation is anything but funny, but your narration made it so amusing.
Good luck Rachna.
Thank you, Alka :). If there was anyone who was haunted by seriousness, this man was. I was silently praying for his family.
That must have been quite an experience. All along I imagined our pediatrician shouting at me, “You wouldn’t have found it necessary to give her enough water. Otherwise how will she be dehydrated. Mothers these days I tell you are only bothered about their looks and gossip.” 😀 Poor chap must have had a real bad time with his wife is what I feel. 😛
It was, Rekha :-)! I can laugh about it now but it was sheer torture when it happened. Imagine doctors preaching and jumping to conclusions. Didn’t we have the neighborhood aunty for that? Thanks for reading! Indeed, I feel really sorry for their families.
This is seriously unacceptable!! He probably thought he was giving his patients some tough love, but didn’t realize that it came across as being downright rude. I once went to a doctor with my son. He was really rude and talked to me very angrily without letting me say anything. When my husband (also a doctor) walked in, he recognized him and then his tone changed completely and became all sweet and syrupy. It was disgusting!! We went to another respected doctor, who was really nice and soft spoken. There are all kinds!!!
Aha, so they are not always rude. They reserve their ‘best’ treatment for their not-so-privileged patients. Indeed, there are all kinds. I am not venturing close to this one any time sooner.
No wonder I have a ‘serious’ problem with doctors. All my doctors hate me! 😛 I create a huge ruckus and thus, the hate-hate relationship results in me not visiting them more than often.
I have come across some really nice ones too, Priyanka. But this guy was a piece of work! Good to see you here :)/
What a strange encounter! Did Gurdev return to this ‘moron’ or intends to? I know my answer but would still like to confirm!
You already know the answer, and I am confirming it here. I meant it when I said, “I was worried about a bloodbath.” 🙂
We tend to treat or believe doctors as demigods. As we are not doctors ourselves, we do not know what is going on in the body. So, they think themselves next to gods. Doctors, police, I believe they all have the same feeling about them. Here, every doctor is sweet…but most of them don’t treat on time. They don’t diagnose or treat you on the first sitting..your disease has to get worse and then the bell rings for them. I hope Gurudev has seen another doctor and got the answers for his questions 🙂 You should have given that fella a piece of your brain.
No, not at all. We don’t treat them as demigods. But when you consult a specialist, you do expect them to tell you things not to shut you up. There was no disease here. Just a health check up report which showed certain random readings going haywire. We will be consulting another in a few days :-).
No re. I was talking about the docs here in US..
I had liked the docs back in US. They are open to discussing things and at least listen to you :-).
My childhood was spent exclusively in the company of such doctors 🙂 Accounts for the fact that I avoid doc.s like the plague unless condition REALLY serious hai 🙂
haha I avoid doctors too. But with these readings, we felt better to check out with a person who is supposed to decipher them for us. Alas!
What an idiot..!
I didn’t want to splash your page with my colorful french hence the rather tame word above but trust me, I muttered some choice expletives.
This one was surely raised on vinegar instead of Mother’s milk. Pacca. Poor beggar.
Thank you, Dagny. I was smarting for two complete days after this ‘encounter.’ And then I had to write about him. I sometimes wonder what kind of people inhabit this planet.
Hai ma! Itna gussa!! Jeez what a weird doc..your spouse is a very nice person…If the doc had been like this to RD, there WOULD have been a blood bath 🙂
Hugs to both of you..and I hope you get a super nice doc soon!
hehe I hope so too, R’s mom! We will be consulting one, hopefully nicer one, this weekend :-).
I must say you both were very patient ! I am extremely impatient when doctors get too much involved or behave too rude !
Once a gynecologist scolded my mum like below !
She is 27. She must get pregnant now. I wonder why you are not encouraging her. I interfered and told her because its me and my husband who has to decide when to have and when to raise the kids doctor with an extra pleasant smile.
She was silent and we didnt go there after that!
Oh yes, we were. The man was so weird. He wouldn’t allow us to even complete what we were saying. And he was older too. Somehow, that stops me from getting nasty. Good for you! What is the problem with these gynaecs and their advice on children?
The third type is really dangerous. I am amazed, how your hubby maintained his cool in all this. Very amusing. All the best.
Thanks, Jas! Well, since this doc was recommended by a friend, we tried to be kind to him though he offered us no such treatment. He was even nastier if possible.
I don’t see my long comment here. I wrote a few days back mentioning all my great experiences with doctors!
Sandhya, your comments are up on the top. You commented through the Facebook plugin that shows before the other comments. Thank you for sharing your eye-opening experiences.
I have my own share of experiences with doctors but I dont think they would get close to this. Boy!! Pay money and get all this! Phew!
I tell you, this was sheer torture, Jaish!
In Nov 2011, while working in Delhi, I came down with Typhoid. By the time I reached Kerala, I was in a critical stage. My family took me to a private hospital. The doctor there, a very senior guy, just checked me, gave me some drips to keep me hydrated. Upon his probing, I painfully explained how I was having persistent high fever for many days and how a doctor in Delhi gave me paracetamol tabs along with vitamins to beat it. I was convinced something is wrong and that is how I switched doctors and it was the second doctor who gave me the correct diagnosis and asked me to rush to Kerala. The doctor to whom I was narrating this story cut me short, and this was his take, “that is the problem with you people, you never complete any course, and change doctors, then blame doctors.” I felt bad, not because he said that, but because I had to expend considerable bit of energy even to speak. Luckily for me, he was going on a vacation, and the doctor who finally treated me turned out to be a gem of a man and being treated at Govt. hospital meant I did not end up with a hefty bill….:).
Kudos to both of you, for having handled the guy with all the patience at your collective disposal 🙂
Oh Gosh, your experience was terrible, Deekay! Imagine having to deal with a doctor like the one you had to in your depleted state. Thanks heavens you found a better one subsequently. We will be seeing a new one in the coming days. Hopefully, that one will be better. Thanks for sharing your experience. While the consultation unfolded, it was a miserable time :).
Okay, that was funny, and even though I am laughing at what was torture for you, you penned it well. I would have stuck my bubble gum on the ‘Dr’ on his name plate. He seemed far from one. Wishing you better doctors reading your reports and good luck for the contest! 😀
Thank you, Sakshi :). I loved the bubble gum suggestion of yours. Dang, I wish I had done it :). Not only was his age a deterrent but the fact that someone we mutually knew had recommended him. But, yes it was difficult keeping G in check :). I hope to find a better one soon as well. We will be going to another one in a couple of days. Thanks so much for reading!
Gosh! There are some really nasty doctors who wouldn’t speak to the patient for more than a minute or so, even though the poor patient has to wait for his turn close to some three hours. And this I speak from my own experience. All they would do is chart out a list of tests and medicines, and thus, paving way for unending visits to the doctors. Guess, gentleness and empathy are virtues that don’t fit on most of doctors nowadays 🙁
So completely agree, Muses of the Heart :(.
How terrible. I would have just walked off in a huff ! Thankfully all the doctors I have enocountered till now have been good to me !
Yep, it was an embarrassing situation especially because he was recommended by someone known to us. You surely are lucky to have found good doctors always.
God! Some people surely know how to spoil your day. I am glad you held on to your dignity and did not yell at him. Most importantly, I am glad you didn’t take him seriously. I know people who go to doctors with problems like these and return wondering if they will ever be alright. Stay away from that doc, I say.
The experience was dismaying, I have to say. But then we chose to put his behaviour behind us. I guess mulling over his attitude would cause more grief. Completely staying away from him for sure. Thanks for reading, DC!
Rachna,you know,there goes a saying that one must consult a Doctor and a Lawyer only if one trusts him/ her.
Yep and sometimes you may place undue trust in them which may not be honoured sadly. Thank you for reading, Chowlaji!
Congratulations for the Point & Shoot, Rachna! 😀
This was a serious profession and a serious incident detailed very seriously, by you. 😛
Very well done! 🙂
Thanks a lot, Poonam :D.
There is no cloud without a silver lining.
wonderful that the unpleasant experience has won you a prize!
Thanks so much, Anita :D.
Quite interesting. I do believe when a doctor speaks kindly and has some humor half our problems are cured 🙂
I agree with you, Dilip. In this case, our problems were elevated :).
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