July 1st is celebrated each year as Doctors’ Day in India. This day has been chosen as a mark of respect to the contributions made by Dr. Bidhan Chandra Roy, who left an indelible mark in the history of medical profession in India. July 1st was his birthday as well as the day of his demise in the year 1882 and 1962 respectively. Dr. Roy was not only a physician par excellence, but also a freedom fighter, a leader and Chief Minister of west Bengal for 14 years.
In today’s world, sadly doctors do not hold the same place of respect as they did during the time of Dr. Roy and there is a steadily declining mutual trust and erosion of the doctor patient relationship. While patients often complain that doctors are proud, indifferent, do not give them expected care, take hefty fees, are dominating and confuse them with a lot of medical jargon; doctors are also bitter about the increasingly aggressive attitude of patients, who are willing to fight at the drop of a hat, do not respect doctors or their work, always blame doctors for everything without understanding the disease and its consequences. This scenario is not good for society at all as hospitals and clinics are supposed to be safe havens for the treatment and care of the sick and diseased, and we can’t afford to let them turn into battlegrounds.
Violence against doctors is becoming global phenomenon. Of late incidence of violence against doctors has increased. Very often we hear doctors being molested, thrashed and abused by lay public for a trivial fault, or no fault of theirs. At least in one instance, a doctor was shot dead by angry relatives.
Preventions: 1. The most important step is to restrict entry of public. At no stage hordes of relatives should be allowed at the patient's bedside. Entry should be strictly by passes and this must be implemented through good security, preferably by ex-army personnel. 2. Security guards must be placed inside the hospital at sensitive areas like ICU, Operation theatre and casualty.
3. Much needs to be done to improve doctor– patient relationship. This must begin by the doctor informing the relative of what is going on. As the patient is being investigated diagnosis need not be given out. There should be no hyper bole nor understatements. Under no circumstances must the previous hospital or referring doctor be criticized. Words such as ‘You have come too late’ must not be used. This puts the blame on the patient. Who then retaliates by criticizing doctors. In desperate situations patients must be given a choice of calling another doctor (second opinion) if they feel so. The suggestions of organ donation must only be made in brain death. When the prognosis is serious the senior doctors must talk to the relatives. Security must be provided to the doctors at all times and at all places when they are at work. 4. The Medical Association has taken up with the Government the need to make violence against doctors a non billable offence. Unfortunately the law has not implemented during many instances.
BRIEF BIODATA, DR. VIDUSHI SHARMA, MD (AIIMS), FRCS (UK)
Dr. Vidushi Sharma did her basic medical education (MBBS) from All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India. She then did post graduation in Ophthalmology from the prestigious RP Centre for Ophthalmic Sciences, AIIMS, New Delhi. Thereafter pursued ophthalmic education in UK and obtained FRCS degree from the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, UK. She then joined as a Senior Resident in the Oculoplastic Unit of RP Centre AIIMS and worked there for three years. She then pursued her interest in Oculoplastic surgery further at the Sydney Eye Hospital, University of Sydney, Australia and did a fellowship in Oculoplastic surgery and Pediatric ophthalmology subspecialties.
Dr. Vidushi returned to India and set up the SuVi Eye Institute and Research Centre (www.suvieye.com) with her husband, Dr Suresh K. Pandey, at Kota, Rajasthan, India in February 2006. She has p