At the start of any venture it is difficult. Medical profession is no different. Especially true when there are so many of us competing for the same custom. The memory of my first patient is still vivid though it occurred some 35 odd years ago.
She came in wiping perspiration off her forehead. Her opening remark was that I should fix an awning in front to prevent the sun shining in. I had not even thought of that as a necessity. After this opening gambit she settled down to the business of finding out my antecedents. After confirming that I am a qualified physician who uses allopathic medications she took out a bundle and small note. Inside the bundle there were foils and small bottles of leftover medications. She said, referring to the note she had in her hand, ‘doctor these are all medicines I bought but have not used and the market value is Rs----- [this she had calculated after consulting with her chemist]. I am willing to give them for Rs--------- which you can see, is less than 50% of the value’. She sat waiting for my answer. Taken aback, I told her that I am not a dispenser of medicines and therefore these were of no use to me. She must have read the disappointed look on my face [as I realized that she was not a patient] as I too did on her face [because I would not buy her medicines].
She grabbed her bundle and giving me a rather pitying look went her way.
I sat wondering if this was what general medical practice was all about?