Thursday, April 17, 2008

Foreign medicine

Many years ago, there was a popular quack [qualified] in my neighborhood. He was known as German doctor. He came to be known by this name because his wife was German. How this made him a popular doctor, don’t ask me. He exploited all the beliefs of patients to his advantage. One belief that exists even to this day is that medication given by the injection form is better than given orally. Most doctors sooner or later will accept the patient’s belief and come to believe in it themselves!

This German doctor would ask the patient to choose between desi and foreign make. He would subtly suggest that the desi one is cheaper but of dubious value [those days with some justification] where as the foreign one is powerful but expensive. Needless to say the patients chose the powerful one. As I was very reluctant to inject when it was not warranted, I soon developed my own reputation as a no injection doctor! As education in matters related to medicine spread, patients of the type who knew the truth or who were afraid of the injections began drifting towards me. One of these was the German wife of this doctor. She came to me with severe menorrhagia [excessive bleeding during menstruation] that her husband could not stop with his powerful injections. I had to urgently hospitalize her and after stabilization get a hysterectomy [removal of uterus] done. She became my friend and patient and in the course of time her husband too became one and would send an occasional patient to me. Interestingly, I found him to quite knowledgeable despite the questionable methods he used to keep his patients happy.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In the ultimate analysis, truth prevails. The 'German' doctor lived most of his life having two standards-one for his patients and one for himself. While he has decided not to treat himself, the unfornuate patients of his have been left to fend for themselves.
Like in almost all professions, ethics seems to have taken the back seat !