Discussion always revolves around the trust of the patients on the doctor. But in reality, situation is getting different gradually. Empathy, sympathy, compassion and trust of the doctor towards the patient are important factors during the treatment. Everyday the news of assaults on doctors, court cases against doctors, negative projection of the medical profession in the media are viewed by doctor’s community anxiously. Recent senseless attack on doctor in Christian medical college Ludhiana is another example. Merely taking some action after protest will not solve the problem. It does not compensate for the damage done to medical profession. Also it erodes the trust and compassion of doctors towards patients.
Formal and informal discussions among medical professional at various forums have taken a center stage about the changing scenario. It gives a perception that patients are loosing faith in doctors. That perception is not incorrect. But what remains hidden is that every incidence of verbal, legal, and physical assault brings some kind of feeling of insecurity in minds of all doctors, who deal with patients.
This insecurity or fear of the uncertainty tends to affect the thinking process of doctors and the way they practice medicine or deal with the patients. Many will like to be defensive in practice, or try not to treat very sick patients. Why would someone try complex surgeries with risk involved? Few will limit themselves to follow protocols. Going extra mile with risk, which not everyone will like to take. Many will become health managers or do something else than do active clinical work. Who should risk his life while doing routine work? Brilliant students will not be inspired to be doctors.
Every incidence of verbal, legal, and physical assault is a trust breaker. It is not only erosion of patient’s trust on doctors but the vice versa is also true. As a rule of nature, as violence increases, compassion decreases. Patients might get their revenge for the disease, but they will lose compassion and trust of doctors in the long run.