ZERO Percentiles Requirement to be a Super Specialist Doctor- a Cruel Joke


          MUMBAI: With hundreds of medical super specialty course seats vacant, the authorities have removed the qualifying mark criterion for aspirants. So, rock-bottom scores or a zero percentile would be acceptable for a course at this level.

            Such decisions appear to be   cruel joke to the life of patients. A wise decision would be to review into reasons for vacant seats for example- policies, fee structure, facilities, demand for the course, and disillusionment of students by existing system or falling percentages to be a super-specialist doctor.  

          Imagine, an opportunity is available to a patient, to decide the doctor as based on his route or marks for entry into medical college. Whether patient will like to get treated by a doctor, who   secured 20% marks, 30 % marks or 60% marks or 80% marks for medical college.  Even   an illiterate person can answer that well. But strangely for selection of doctors, rules were framed so as to dilute the merit to the minimum possible. So that a candidate who scores 15-20 % marks also becomes eligible to become a doctor. That is now further diluted to nearly Zero percentile. Answer to that is simple.  To select and find only those students, who can pay millions to become doctors,  and hence marks and quality of doctors don’t matter?  

   If the society continues to accept such below par practices, it has to introspect, whether it actually deserves to get good doctors. Paying the irrational fee of medical colleges may be unwise idea for the candidates, especially those who are not from strong financial backgrounds. But at the same time unfortunately, it may be a compulsion and entrapment for students, who have entered the profession and there is no way  forward.  

So, rock-bottom scores or a zero percentile would be acceptable for a course at this level.

      Society needs to choose and nurture a force of doctors carefully with an aim to combat for safety of its own people. If society has failed to demand for a good doctors and robust system, it should not rue scarcity of good doctors. Merit based cheap good medical education system is the need of the society. This is in interest of society to nurture good doctors for its own safety.      The quality of doctors who survive and flourish in such system will be a natural consequence of how society chooses and nurtures the best for themselves.

    MUMBAI: With hundreds of medical super specialty course seats vacant, the authorities have removed the qualifying mark criterion for aspirants. So, rock-bottom scores or a zero percentile would be acceptable for a course at this level. “Seats have been going vacant every year. The government felt that as a one-time measure, in the larger context of things, we can even accept students with a zero percentile. This will not have any precedence. It is being taken up as a test case. After all, the entrance test was not conducted to eliminate students, but merely to grade them,” said a senior officer from the health ministry. With 748 super speciality seats unfilled after four rounds of admission this year, the Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) took the drastic step. As a one-time measure, any candidate who had taken the NEET super speciality 2021 exam can participate in the special mop-up admission round irrespective of his/her scores.

When admissions began this year, two rounds conducted by the MCC got a cold response. This led to a special mop-up round with the qualifying bar lowered by 15%. Yet, there weren’t many takers. Now the second mop-up round is open to all aspirants. India has about 4,500 super specialty medical seats. There is more vacancy in the surgical branches than the clinical ones. “Candidates have realised that having a broad speciality gives them a good career and money. Hence, many do not want to spend more time in pursuing a super specialty course,” said Dr Pravin Shingare, former head of the Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER). “If you look at Grant Medical College, 80% seats in super specialty have been lying vacant for 10 years. At GS Medical College, 40% seats in the last 4-5 years have been unfilled,” he added. But the trend has extended to the non-surgical branches too in the past three years. The bias in selecting programmes often is dictated by considerations that in the case of a surgical branch, a candidate needs to work with a team, have an operation theatre, but a clinical course allows the doctor to work independently out of a clinic.

Parent representative Sudha Shenoy said the problem also lies with the long bond that candidates need to serve if they join a government college. “Any candidate who joins a super specialty programme would be at least 30 years old. If they have to serve a 10-year bond, when will they start earning? So, government hospitals go off most students’ choice list. And when it comes to private and deemed institutes, the fee is out of bounds for most,” explained Shenoy

Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

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Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons              

Expensive Medical College  seat- Is it worth it?

Demonize Doctors: New Fad of Administrators- Accepted Norm for Populism? #Dr-Raj-Bahadur-VC-BFUHS Resigns


Dr Raj Bahadur, the vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) in the state’s Faridkot district Punjab, submitted his resignation to the Chief Minister’s Office late on the night of Friday, July 29.  He has resigned after state health minister allegedly forced him to lie on a dirty mattress at a hospital.

         Administrators, who have never treated a patient in their lifetimes, not only try to control treatment of thousands of patients, but project themselves messiah by demonizing doctors. Lowly educated celebrities and administrators have found a new easy way to project themselves on higher pedestrian by publically insulting highly educated but vulnerable doctors. The biggest tragedy to the medical profession in the present era is the new fad of administrators to discourage and demonize  the  medical profession for their popularity gains.
          Being  so distant from the ground reality, their role should not have been more than facilitators, but they have become medical  administrators. To control the health system, administrators have a tendency to pretend that shortcomings in the patient care can be rectified by punishing the doctors and nurses.
          Such vulnerability to insult is intrinsic to the doctors’ work, makes them sitting ducks, an easy target for harassment and punishments, if administrators wishes to do so. This vulnerability is exploited by everyone to their advantage. Administrators use this vulnerability to supress them. It is used by media and   celebrities who projected themselves as Messiah for the cause of patients, and sell their news and shows by labelling the whole community of doctors as king of fleece tragedy based on just one stray incident. 

       The painful incident of Dr Raj Bahadur’s   humiliation unmasks the everyday struggle of the doctors in the present era. His resignation  after the public insult  depicts the plight of doctors – being undervalued and demonized by administrators, forced to work as a sub-servant to bureaucrats, irresponsible policing, blackmail by goons and vulture journalism-all have become an accepted form of harassment.  The incident has unveiled the despondency, moral burden of mistrust that doctors carry.

  Sadly, the society is unable to realize its loss.

    Bullied by  administrative systems,  indifference of Government and venomous media has made it impossible for health care workers to work in a peaceful environment.  Is there any punishment for the  administrators for mismanagement or poor infrastructure or lack of funds? Looks impossible but punishment to the sufferers is on the cards.

     Medical students or aspiring doctors should be carefully watching the behaviour and cruelty by which doctors are governed, regulated and treated by administrators. Mere few words of respect and false lip service during Covid-pandemic  should not mask the real face of administrators, indifference of courts and harshness of Government towards medical profession. Choosing medical careers can land anyone into the situations, which are unimaginable in a civilized world. Role of doctor associations, parent institutes has remained more or less weak, spineless and not encouraging.

     Hence by selective projection the blame for deficiencies of inept system, powerful industry, inadequate infrastructure and poor outcomes of serious diseases is shifted conveniently to doctors, who are unable to retaliate to the powerful media machinery.

Faridkot district, submitted his resignation to the Chief Minister’s Office late on the night of Friday, July 29.

 

       New Delhi: The vice-chancellor of a medical college in Punjab has resigned after state health minister allegedly forced him to lie on a dirty mattress at a hospital.

Dr Raj Bahadur, the vice-chancellor of Baba Farid University of Health Sciences (BFUHS) in the state’s Faridkot district, submitted his resignation to the Chief Minister’s Office late on the night of Friday, July 29.

Hours earlier state health minister Chetan Singh Jouramajra had asked him to lie down on a dirty mattress during an inspection of Faridkot’s Guru Gobind Singh Medical College and Hospital, which comes under the BFUHS.

A video clip of the incident that circulated on the social media, showed Jouramajra place a hand on the veteran surgeon’s shoulder as he pointed towards the “damaged and dirty condition” of the mattress inside the hospital’s skin department.

The minister then allegedly forced Bahadur to lie down on the same mattress.

Though the vice-chancellor himself did not confirm his resignation, highly placed sources in the health department confirmed the same to multiple outlets. When approached for comments,  reports that The Tribune Bahadur said, “I have expressed my anguish to the Chief Minister and said I felt humiliated.”

Reports have it that chief minister Bhagwant Mann has expressed his displeasure over the incident and spoken to Jouramajra. Mann has also asked Bahadur to meet him next week.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Bahadur additionally said: “I have worked in 12-13 hospitals so far but have never faced such behaviour from anyone till now. I shouldn’t have been treated this way… it affects this noble profession. It is very painful. He showed his temperament, I showed my humility.”

Bahadur is a specialist in spinal surgery and joint replacement and a former director-principal of Government Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh. He has also been the head of the orthopaedic department at PGIMER, Chandigarh.

Asked whether new mattresses had been ordered for the hospital, he said: “Two firms sent their quotations and the rate finalisation needs to be done. It is a 1,100-bed hospital and not all mattresses are in bad condition. This mattress shouldn’t have been there but hospital management is the prerogative of the Medical Superintendent.”

Speaking to reporters at the hospital, Jouramajra said: “My intention was not to do any inspection. In fact, I am visiting various hospitals to see what the requirements are so that we can fulfil them.”

Various quarters, including the Indian Medical Association, have criticised Jouramajra.

PCMS Association, a doctors’ body in Punjab, to,  in a statement, strongly condemned the “unceremonious treatment” meted out to Bahadur. PCMSA said the way the V-C was treated was “deplorable”, its reason notwithstanding.

The body expressed its “deep resentment” over the incident and said “public shaming of a senior doctor on systemic issues is strongly condemn-able.”

Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes        

 21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons              

Expensive Medical College  seat- Is it worth it?

NMC’s Opaque Policy on Medical College Infrastructure of Disastrous Consequences


        Quality of medical education is a deciding factor for the kind of doctors and hence the character of the treatment that patients are going to get.  Transparency about the infrastructure and faculty of medical college are important and the deciding factors about the credibility of the institute. But the new opaqueness (by National Medical council- NMC) in the system displaying the critical details about medical colleges can have deleterious effects on medical education. The medical students are blind about the claims made by a medical college during inspection for recognition and permission to admit students, which may be not true. There have been many instances and several complaints of ghost faculty in private colleges and mass transfer of faculty during inspection from one government medical college to another.  Not only medical students pay millions to have a seat in private medical colleges, they invest their prime life time in studying medicine. Such opaqueness has a potential to ruin their careers. Medical students will have to work harder to get true information and more careful, about the institute they are getting into.  

NMC’s college infra reports not public, MCI notes taken down too

NMC’s college infra reports not public, MCI notes taken down too

      The National Medical Commission (NMC) does not post college infrastructure assessment reports on its website and has also removed all previous assessment reports posted by the erstwhile Medical Council of India (MCI). So, students or members of the public cannot know what claims were made by a medical college during inspection for recognition and permission to admit students. Why are these assessment reports important? The reports reveal the date of inspection, the names and designation of the inspectors, usually experienced medical faculty from government medical colleges, along with their comments and findings. They reveal what kind of infrastructure existed or was claimed, including inpatient and outpatient load, number of beds and facilities in the teaching hospital and in the college. They reveal the number of faculty shown as employed by the college department-wise. With about 50 new medical colleges opening in 2021, a record for a single year, and especially unusual since it was the peak pandemic year, there were several complaints of ghost faculty in private colleges and mass transfer of faculty during inspection from one government medical college to another. “Not uploading assessment reports shields such substandard colleges with inadequate faculty and infrastructure. They just want to claim more colleges have been opened and that more MBBS seats have been created. It is a numbers game, quality be damned. In the case of private colleges, getting approval without adequate infrastructure or faculty is a windfall as they charge exorbitant fees from students. Usually, approval is given for 100-150 seats. Even at Rs 15 lakh per annum as tuition fees, the college gets to collect Rs 15 crore to Rs 22.5 crore from the first batch,” said a retired professor of a government medical college. “The MCI, which was labelled corrupt and non-functional, used to post the reports of assessments of infrastructure and faculty done according to minimum standard requirements each year,” said Dr Mohammed Khader Meeran, an RTI activist. In response to Dr Meeran’s RTI application seeking college assessment reports of academic years 2020-21 and 2021-22, the NMC said that “the information sought is very voluminous and scattered in various files” and that “it would disproportionately divert the resource of MARB (Medical Assessment & Rating Board) of NMC”.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

 21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

Expensive Medical College  seat- Is it worth it?

A Central Law Needed for Violence against Doctors: IMA to NMC


 

Medical professionals often face a trade-off between the Hippocrates Oath that they take and the necessity of their own well-being.

Unfortunately, abusive and violent behaviour by patients or relatives or those accompanying patients has become one of the attendant risks of the medical profession. It is no surprise then that the medical fraternity has once again called upon the government to enact stringent laws and their proper implementation to curtail this kind of behaviour with the National Medical Commission (NMC) proposing that registered medical practitioners (RMPs) refuse to take on such cases.

The NMC (which replaced the Medical Council of India) is a body that regulates medical education and professionals.

The NMC’s Ethics and Medical Registration Board has issued draft regulations inviting comments from the public, experts, stakeholders and organisations on “National Medical Commission, Registered Medical Practitioner (Professional Conduct) Regulations 2022”.

Comments and suggestions on the draft proposal can be sent by June 22.

A Central Law Needed for violence against doctors: IMA to NMC

“In case of abusive, unruly, and violent patients or relatives, the RMP can document and report the behaviour and refuse to treat the patient. Such patients should be referred for further treatment elsewhere,” the draft proposal says.

 “If a change of RMP is needed (for example, the patient needs a procedure done by another RMP), consent should be obtained from the patient himself or the guardian. The RMP who attends to the patient will be fully accountable for his actions and entitled to the appropriate fees,” it added.

Medical professionals often face a trade-off between the Hippocrates Oath that they take and the necessity of their own well-being. Sahajanand Prasad Singh, president, Indian Medical Association (IMA, a panel that represents doctors and their interests), said a doctor would be ethically wrong if he or she refuses treatment to someone in need. So the need of the hour is to have a central law to check such untoward incidents, said Dr Singh.

“The government passed an Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Act in 2020 which provided acts of violence against healthcare personnel during any situation akin to current pandemic to be cognizable and nonbailable offences. This law should remain in force forever. If the NMC wants the welfare of doctors, they should work in that direction,” he added.

“The commission or abetment of such acts of violence shall be punished with imprisonment for a term of three months to five years, and with fine of Rs 50,000 to Rs 2,00,000,” says the Epidemic Diseases (Amendment) Act, 2020.

Former IMA president Rajan Sharma, who led a nationwide protest condemning violence against doctors in India, said without a Union home ministry law against attacks on doctors, these proposals would do very little to prevent incidents against healthcare workers.

“There has to be strong laws to deal with the rising cases of violence. The regulations made by NMC should be in tandem with the stringent laws from the Union home ministry,” Dr Sharma said.

On his part, IMA general secretary Jayesh Lele, “It’s only a draft regulation, we are going to submit our important observations to the NMC.”

Anuj Aggarwal, general secretary, Federation of Resident Doctors Association of India, said the RMP Professional Conduct Guidelines offers some breather for resident doctors but has some way to go.

“The guidelines give rightful exceptions to patients with life-threatening conditions, which is justified. However, it is important to consider that most of the events in which a patient’s attendants turn violent are when the patient is very critically ill. So this proposal has no role to play in the majority of such scenarios,” he said.

Dr Aggarwal said that while it is a welcome step to curb the issue of rising violence against doctors, a central law would be a better and more effective deterrent.

The government did propose a central protection act and a draft was put in the public domain in 2019 for feedback but it was put on the back burner.

Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

 21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

Expensive Medical College  seat- Is it worth it?

Dr Manjula Case NHS-UK: Semantics-Regulator’s own Fitness to Practice Doubtful? #GMC-UK


Regulation of the medical profession has become a tool to oppress doctors.

  Dr Manjula Arora case (NHS-UK) unmasks the everyday struggle of the doctors in present era. Being undervalued and demonized, forced to work as sub-servant to administrators and regulators are considered new normal and has become an accepted form of harassment.  Fatigue and burnout are thought to be routine side effects of being a doctor or nurse.   The unhindered over-regulation has left no stone unturned in spreading hatred and creating an environment of mistrust against the medical profession.  Single stray or a trivial incident   is projected    as an example to portray poor image of medical profession as generalization and as a token of the ‘excellent’ work done by administrators and regulators.   Doctors have become soft targets because of their nature of work as they deal with life and death.   Any trivial issues such as semantics used by Dr Manjula Arora (in this case) were blown out of proportion  and   GMC finds this  as an  opportunity  to send a strict message to the whole profession.  Such incidence  show that regulators and administrators  can use the nature of doctors’ work to be  used against medical profession to make saviours as an  easy prey for  punishments   on the pretext of  dishonesty, negligence or semantics being used  as  legal weapons by law-enforcers, even in case of a perceived bias. In the process of such ‘tokenism’ administrators prove their relevance to the system.

       Regulation of the medical profession has become a tool to oppress doctors. Driving the narrative of doctors as “perfect” beings causes more harm to the doctor-patient relationship than not. Constantly seeking to attain perfection is the very approach that leads to burn out, and more mistakes- causing patient harm.

Dr Manjula Arora’s case

Dr Manjula Arora’s case

Dr Arora has been a doctor since 1988 and is of good character. She asked her employer for a laptop. For context, most employees would reasonably expect their employer to provide work-related IT equipment. She was told that none were available, but her interest would be noted for the next roll-out. Many people would interpret this positive response to mean that they would get a laptop in due course. Clearly if her employer did not intend for her to have a laptop, they could simply have said so. Dr Arora spoke to her IT department about getting a laptop and said she had been ‘promised’ one.

And that’s it. That is the entire extent of her ‘misconduct’.

One could regard her statement as a minor exaggeration, or loose terminology, or careless language or verbal shorthand over a trivial subject.  But no one  should consider it to amount to ‘dishonesty’ unless interpret it in biased manner.

The tribunal took a different view. They concluded that ordinary, decent people would consider her use of the single word ‘promised’ as dishonest.  The tribunal further decided that this so-called dishonesty amounted to misconduct.

They also considered that the misconduct was serious.

They decided her fitness to practice was impaired, and that it was necessary to suspend her to send a message to the profession.The regulator has a difficult task. Good regulation protects patients. Poor regulation harms patients, because doctors will run away from a toxic regulatory environment.

Manjula Arora case: the GMC stumbles again? -BMJ

      The case of Manjula Arora, a GP in Manchester, who has been suspended for a month for supposed “dishonesty” about a laptop, was picked up by a few colleagues, and social media did its work of ensuring the pick-up rate increased exponentially.  One always worries about the latest “MedTwitter” controversy. But this one has come on back of seething annoyance among many doctors about our regulator—the General Medical Council (GMC)—and its perceived bias, with cases such as those of Hadiza Bawa-Garba and Omer Karim still fresh in our memories.

Couple this with the recent Medical Workforce Race Equality Standard (MWRES) data confirming a clear association of increased referrals and convictions on the basis of racial background—or indeed country of origin as regards training—and this case lit the touch paper.

If one considers the publicly available details of the whole trial, you have to scratch your head and wonder how it got to this stage?   Would this happen if the name of the individual was, for example, Michael Andrews?  

The relevance of this case stood on two things—any harm to the patient population, which, to me, should be the primary aim of the GMC, and then dishonesty and disrepute brought upon the medical community.

This ruling makes it clear that there is no risk of harm to the public: “The Tribunal considered that no issues in relation to patient safety had been identified in this case. Dr Arora is a competent clinician, and there is no necessity to protect the public.” That should have ended the issue. But the complications started when interpretation about honesty came into the picture.

“The Tribunal attached significant weight to the fact that Dr Arora’s misconduct was a single incident in relation to the use of a single word, with no evidence of any other similar episodes of dishonesty before or after the event.” If you go into the details of the case, it becomes even more murky, as it’s the interpretation of a word—subjective at best— against the background of someone for whom English is not their first language. But it was deemed enough to warrant a month’s suspension according to the tribunal: “this period would send an appropriate message to the medical profession and to the wider public that Dr Arora’s misconduct, albeit relating to a single fleeting moment of dishonesty and not a planned deception.”

This raises a multitude of questions. Firstly, there is the principle that one fleeting moment of dishonesty could result in suspension. If that’s the standard, then the profession is indeed in trouble, with the GMC now making subjective judgements and being an arbiter of what is deemed to be honest or not. Where does the line get drawn? Discussions about patients or conversations about whether Santa exists or not?

Secondly, and more importantly, there is the suspicion of bias in how that law is being applied. Daniel Sokol has written a recent column which discusses the notion of doctors as the “saintly being”; the epitome of perfection at all times. Yet, within all of us exist the same prejudices and flaws as for the rest of the population. Sokol suggests that doctors have to be “scrupulously honest—in and out of work—unless the situation obviously allows for ethical dishonesty.” Yet he makes no mention of the fact that the GMC seems to apply that principle unevenly across the board. I accept that it can be difficult to see the “problem” others are complaining about, but I can assure you there are very few international medical graduates who have read about Arora’s case and not thought “I know why this has happened.”

There is professionalism, but there is humanity too, and I would propose that driving the narrative of doctors as “perfect” beings causes more harm to the doctor-patient relationship than not. What is honesty? Saying to patients that they need to wait for another 16 hours to get a bed, or holding the hand of the elderly frail lady, comforting her and saying “I am sure something will come up shortly”? It brings back the concept that being a doctor is a vocation. Constantly seeking to attain perfection is the very approach that leads to burn out, and more mistakes—causing patient harm.

Finally, if the role of the GMC is to protect the public from “single moments of untruth,” as this destroys the view among the public that doctors are saints (although I am pretty sure the public don’t see doctors like that in modern life), then there needs to be a discussion of that concept, of the overreach into personal lives, and of where the line is drawn as regards the GMC’s intrusion and inordinate application of that principle. I would suggest the role of the regulator should be for the rare circumstances when there is an interest in behaviour not being repeated or where it cannot be dealt with effectively by an employer.

I work with the GMC closely these days, and I find it immensely frustrating to see such cases as they undermine some significant hard work that is being done by individuals who are determined to change the narrative that the GMC is biased. I would encourage all concerned to look into this case, review it, learn from it, and offer support to Arora. There is a lot of work in hand to repair the damage from the Bawa Garba case, and this case could reinforce those sentiments, which we must avoid.

The intention may once have been for doctors to be Superman, but modern times and the foibles of individuals only permit a Batman. It’s worth remembering neither of them work to harm the public.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

 21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

Expensive Medical College  seat- Is it worth it?

A comparison of imparting Justice Vs Health: Grave injustice to medical professionals


        Justice is needed for satisfaction of soul and peaceful mind, is of same importance what is to the health of body. Justice delayed gives a sense of hurt and pain to soul. Pendency in courts simply reflects the grave injustice people are living with.

 Pendency in courts casts a ‘pall of gloom’, presents a hopeless situation: AG

          Justice and Health- Both are crucial for happiness of the living beings as well as society as a whole.  Hospitals are full of patients and so are courts with litigants. None of the people go to hospital and courts happily and everyone invariably wants early relief.

   Compare the situation in courts with a hospital.  Once a patient visits hospital, he will be treated almost instantaneously; irrespective how many patients’ doctors might have to examine in a day or night. There is almost nil pendency in hospitals, be it day or night, emergency or routine cases.

     Now can we expect similar treatment at courts? Do the people visiting courts are imparted justice in real sense.  Doctors get few minutes to decide. Most of the time, for the investigations and the treatment few visits are required. But there is no pendency. In Government hospitals, even appointments are not given. A doctor sitting in outdoor will see hundreds of patients. On emergencies night duties, doctor will not be able to count how many he/she has stabilized or numbers treated.

      Even in such chaotic systems, doctor can be punished, dragged to courts or assaulted for unintentional mistakes, that are  almost always secondary to load of patients or inept infrastructure.

     The work at hospital continues day and night, 24 hours and 365 days, despite almost always lesser number of doctors and required manpower. Systems in hospitals  are designed and maintained meticulously   to have no pendency what-so-ever situation is.   Larger number of patients go back home treated well and very few unfortunate patients are unable to recover, but still whatever is required- is done invariably.

Pendency in courts casts a ‘pall of gloom’ , presents a hopeless situation: AG

NEW DELHI: India’s top law officer K K Venugopal on Friday said litigants’ fundamental right to speedy justice lay in tatters and implored country’s top judges to take drastic measures to arrest their waning confidence in justice delivery system caused by monstrous pendency of 4.8 crores cases, many for decades. When we look at the pendency, a pall of gloom settles. We find that we are in a hopeless situation,” Venugopal said, “How has the justice delivery system deteriorated to this extent? If you look at the pendency over the years, we realise that over a lakh of cases are pending for more than 30 years at trial court level and 10-15 years in HCs. How do you believe that so far as litigants are concerned they would have confidence in the justice delivery system?” “But against whom the poor litigant can complain, or an under trial who is incarcerated for a number of years which he would have undergone had he been convicted and punished? Do they file a case for enforcement of their fundamental right? But against whom?

44 million pending court cases: How did we get here?

       There are about 73,000 cases pending before the Supreme Court and about 44 million in all the courts of India, up 19% since last year.

According to a 2018 Niti Aayog strategy paper, at the then-prevailing rate of disposal of cases in our courts, it would take more than 324 years to clear the backlog.

Grave injustice for medical professions:

  1.  A doctor making wrong diagnosis (gets few minutes to decide) can be prosecuted, but courts giving wrong verdicts (get years to decide) are immune?

     2. Compare the remuneration of lawyers to doctors. Doctors gets few hundreds to save a life (often with abuses) and lawyers can get paid in millions (happily).

      3. Doctors treat the body and larger is still not fully known about mechanisms. Still doctors can be blamed for unanticipated events. Whereas  law is a completely known and written subject.

   4. If health is citizen’s right so should be a timely justice.

         Despite doing so much for patients, still people’s behaviour to doctors and hospitals is not respectful. Doctors are punished for slight delays and people and courts remain intolerant to unintentional mistakes. But people can’t behave in the same manner to courts and legal system and keep on tolerating the blatant injustice for years. 

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

 21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

Expensive Medical College  seat- Is it worth it?

   

Why buying a medical college seat & paying millions may be a blunder?


    The painful incident of Dr Archana Sharma’s Suicide unmasks the everyday struggle of the doctors in the present era. Her supreme sacrifice depicts the plight of doctors- being undervalued and demonized, forced to work as a sub-servant to bureaucrats, irresponsible policing, blackmail by goons and vulture journalism-all have become an accepted form of harassment.  Her suicide has unveiled the despondency, moral burden of mistrust that doctors carry. Her death is the result of the apathy of fair justice that eludes medical community. Sadly, the society is unable to realize its loss.

    Negligent police, indifference of Government and venomous media has made it impossible for health care workers to work in a peaceful environment.  It may not be a good idea to opt for a medical career any more. In the present circumstances, when doctors themselves are doubtful about the advice for choosing medical career, some people are naïve enough to spend millions on securing an expensive medical college seat.  Problems faced by doctors are not only innumerable but are also so exceedingly complex that they are difficult to be analysed. Doctors feel so disgusted   about the entire system that they do not encourage their children to take up this profession which until now was one of the coveted ones, there must be something going terribly wrong with the profession.

Disadvantages of being a doctor, Drawbacks of Medical profession: 

Choosing medical career  or being a medical professional  a disadvantage to doctor in comparison to other professions?

  1. Medical courses are comparatively lengthy and expansive study course and difficult training with slave like duties. “enslavement of doctors”.
  2. Uncertain future for aspiring doctors at time of training: Nowadays, doing just MBBS is not enough and it is important to specialize. Because of lesser seats in post-graduation, poor regulation of medical education, uneven criteria, ultimately very few people get the branch and college of their choice.  They have to just flow with system ultimately.

3.Hostile environment for doctors to begin: Suddenly young and bright children complete  training and find themselves working in a hostile environment, at the receiving end of public wrath, law, media for reasons they can’t fathom. They face continuous negative publicity, poor infrastructure and preoccupied negative beliefs of society.

  • Difficult start of career: After a difficult time at medical college, an unsettled family life and with no money, these brilliant doctors begin their struggle. Even before they start earning a penny, the society already has its preconceived notions because of negative media publicity and half treats them as cheats and dishonest. Their work is seen with suspicion and often criticised.
  • The fear and anxiety about the actual treatment, favourable and unfavourable prognosis of patient, keeps mind of a doctor occupied.
  • Blamed for all malaise: The society gets biased because of the   media reports and some celebrity talking glib against medical profession. The blame for inept medical system, administrative failure and complexity of medical industry is conveniently loaded on doctors. These lead to formation of generalised sentiment against all doctors and are then unfortunately blamed for all the malaise in the entire healthcare system.
  • Personal and family life suffers: Large number of patients with lesser number of doctors is a cause of difficult working circumstances, and the frequent odd hour duties have a very negative impact on the family and personal life of the doctor.
  • Risk to doctor himself: Repeated exposure to infected patients in addition to long work hours without proper meals make them prone to certain health hazards, like infections which commonly include   tuberculosis and other bacterial and viral illnesses. Radiologists get radiation exposure. Because of difficult working conditions, some doctors are prone to depression, anxiety and may start on substance abuse.
  • Unrealistic expectations of society:  Every patient is not salvageable but commonly the relatives do not accept this reality. Pressure is mounted on doctor to do more while alleging that he is not working properly. Allegations of incompetency and negligence are quite common in such circumstances. These painful discussions can go to any extent and a single such relative every day is enough to spoil the mood for the day.
  • Retrospective analysis of doctor’s every action continues all the life: It could be by patients and relatives every day in the form of “Why this was not done before?” Every day irritating discussions, arguments, complaints, disagreements add to further pain and discontentment, in case the patient is not improving. Or it could be by courts and so many regulatory bodies. If unfortunately there is a lawsuit against a doctor, he will be wasting all his time with lawyers and courts, which will takes years to sort out.

The decision taken in split seconds will be questioned, which  in retrospect  may not turn out to be the best one. But later retrospective analysis along with wisdom of hindsight with luxury of time  (in courts) may be labelled as wrong if a fault-finding approach is used. This along with general sentiment and sympathy with patients makes medical profession a sitting duck for lawsuit and punishments. Even if the doctor is proved to be not guilty, his harassment and tarnishing of reputation would be full and almost permanent.

  1. Physical assault, routine instances of verbal abuse and threat are common for no fault of theirs. Many become punching bags for the inept medical system and invisible medical industry. Recently, even female doctors have not been spared by mobs. Silence of prominent people, celebrities and society icons on this issue is a pointer towards increasing uncivilized mind-set of society.
  2. Medical industry may be rich but not the doctors: The belief that doctor’s is a rich community is not correct. Although decent or average earnings may be there, but earnings of most doctors is still not commiserate with their hard work viz-a-viz other professions. Doctors who also work like investor, a manager or collaborate with industry may be richer. But definitely most of doctors who are just doing medical care are not really rich.
  3. Windfall profits for lawyers and law industry at the cost of doctors is a disadvantage for medical profession:  It is heart-breaking to watch  zero fee and fixed commission ads on television by lawyers in health systems in certain developed countries. They lure patients to file law suits and promise them hefty reimbursements. There is no dearth of such   relatives, lawyers who are ready to try their luck, sometimes in vengeance and sometimes for lure of money received in compensations.  This encouragement and instigations of lawsuit against doctors is a major disadvantage for medical profession.
  4. Overall, a complex scenario for doctors: There is increasing discontentment amongst doctors because of this complex and punishing system. They are bound by so many factors that they finally end up at the receiving end all the time. They are under Hippocratic Oath and therefore expected to work with very high morality, goodwill and kindness for the sufferings of mankind and dying patients.  They are also supposed to maintain meticulous documentation and also supposed to work under norms of medical industry. They are supposed to see large number of patients with fewer staff and nursing support while still giving excellent care in these circumstances. And if these were not enough, the fear of courts and medico-legal cases, verbal threats, abuses, and physical assaults and show of distrust by patient and relatives further makes working difficult. Additionally there may be bullying by certain administrative systems at places, which use pressure tactics to get their own way.

       It may be a  naïve idea  or just a blunder to pay millions to be a doctor.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

 21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

Expensive Medical College  seat- Is it worth it?

The Book-‘At the Horizon of Life & Death’:Blackmail of Doctors by opportunist goons, legal industry, Vulture Journalism


      While doctors are usually blamed for any mishap, be it natural poor prognosis or genuine complications, rarely people get to know their side of the story — how a dying patient affects their psyche, how they deal with these patients and their kith and kin, what are the kinds of abuse and threats made when they are not able to save a life despite their best efforts.  Book describes stories the blackmail doctors face from opportunist goons, legal industry and vulture kind of journalism. Every day blackmail by legal industry, journalist and local goons, similar to what Dr Archana Sharma went through and others doctors are  facing have been described.

         Dr Pankaj Kumar, Director Critical Care at a Delhi Hospital, India has come out with an insightful account of these very aspects of a doctor’s life.

    The 300-page book (English) contains 20 stories divided into three parts viz – Larva & Pupa Syndrome, Hope & Fear & Medical Lawsuits. The book is available worldwide on Kindle Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Tolino, Kobo, Scibd, BorrowBox, Baker & Taylor , Vivilo, Overdrive  etc.

         His book ‘At the Horizon of Life & Death’ is a Reality Fiction that reflects the sensitivity involved in dealing with patients facing death.

     Through the eyes of its protagonist Dr Anand, the book captures significant moments in the treatment trajectory of critical patients. The book tries to create awareness regarding pertinent issues faced by the medical professionals like demoralisation, expensive medical education, the extreme pressure and suicidal ideation, the plight of the nurses and support staff, assaults and violence and the medico-legal intricacies involved in day-to-day practice among others. The author has also taken care to guide aspiring doctors to make well-informed career decisions.

     Part One (Larva & Pupa Syndrome)-  talks about the expensive medical education, and the issues students face in medical college.

    Part Two (Hope & Fears) talks about the beginning of doctors’ professional journey, the disease demons they face while dealing with critical patients, dilemmas of doctors and patients near death situations.

    Part Three (Medical Lawsuits) is about how doctors are always working under the threat of medico-legal lawsuits.

        While stories are fictional, the scenarios and the problems in them are very real — things that he faced or saw his colleagues facing.

     Medical profession has become victim of mistrust generation and blame culture. Everyone keeps harping about the few black sheep in the community, while larger good work of doctors is not highlighted enough.

    The stories span from Dr Anand’s initial days in the emergency room and capture his struggles in complex medico-legal scenarios over the next four decades. This book is an effort to bring back focus on the treatment of the patient as opposed to the mistrust, legal frameworks and policies surrounding the healthcare practice.

Suicide by Dr Archana Sharma has exposed the blackmail; medical professionals are going through in current era. Doctors have become sitting ducks for punishments complaints, blackmail, and legal complexities besides every day harassment. Negligent police, indifference of Government and venomous media has made it impossible for health care workers to work in a peaceful environment.  It may not be a good idea to opt for a medical career any more.

More naïve would be to pay millions to be a doctor.

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

 21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

Expensive Medical College  seat- Is it worth it?

Sitting Ducks for Blackmail- May be Unwise to Become a Doctor 


      Suicide by Dr Archana Sharma has exposed the blackmail; medical professionals are going through in current era. Doctors have become sitting ducks for punishments complaints, blackmail, and legal complexities besides every day harassment. Negligent police, indifference of Government and venomous media has made it impossible for health care workers to work in a peaceful environment.  It may not be a good idea to opt for a medical career any more. In the present circumstances, when doctors themselves are doubtful about the advice for choosing medical career, some are naïve enough to spend millions on securing an expensive medical college seat.  Problems faced by doctors are not only innumerable but are also so exceedingly complex that they are difficult to be analysed. Doctors feel so disgusted   about the entire system that they do not encourage their children to take up this profession which until now was one of the coveted ones, there must be something going terribly wrong with the profession.

More naïve would be to pay millions to be a doctor.

     Stark reality of complex medical scenario hits the studious and meritorious medical students on the face when they come out of college and start working in present environment. After a difficult time at medical college with slave like duties, an unsettled family life and with no money, these brilliant doctors begin their struggle. They work at various hospitals to gain more experience and slowly acclimatize themselves to the real problems of this profession. They realize that the actual medical world is far different than what was apparent from inside the medical college. Suddenly they find that their lives undergo a sea change. The goals that were taught in the medical college are now just not enough and they actually constitute only smaller part of a much larger system. And the scenario seems to getting worse for doctors with each passing day.
There is increasing discontentment amongst doctors because of complex and punishing system in addition to the unrealistic expectations of society which takes the enthusiasm out of these young bright doctors. Every day now, the informal discussions with colleagues regularly dwell more on problems faced by doctors, rather than real goals. There are routinely instances of verbal abuse and threat for no fault of theirs. Some unlucky ones get physically assaulted as well. Sometimes there are threats of dragging the doctor into a lawsuit which sometimes do really happen. Even if court, after years of deliberation, does decide in favour of the doctor, the harm to the doctor in the form of mental harassment and tarnished reputation is already done and that is something which cannot be undone even after he has been proved innocent.
Even if such events don’t happen to everyone, the very fear of such possible scenarios and their possible complications always lurks in the back of the mind and affects the treatment because the doctor tries to be doubly safe. The fear and anxiety about the actual treatment, favourable and unfavourable prognosis of patient always colours the final decision in treatment. Many become punching bags in place of inept medical system and invisible medical industry. Everyday irritating discussions, arguments, complaints, disagreements add to further pain and discontentment.
And if these were not enough, these problems have been further compounded by unnecessary utterances by celebrities against doctors, negative projections by media who never acknowledge the great work done day and night by doctors. Stray mistakes by some doctor, or treatment failure due to a poor prognosis and sometimes due to system failure are projected and widely highlighted by media and celebrities to tarnish image of all doctors .Though these do sensationalise their news and promotes their business, but the repercussions are heavy and it breaks the trust of the public in their doctors. This eventually does harm to innocent public in the long run but has also done enough irreparable damage to the medical profession.
If children of current generation do not hold the profession in high esteem, then obviously they wouldn’t want to be part of this profession. And if brilliant students shun this profession, then how would society get good doctors? If there is always fear in their mind, no one can do justice to his job and this you’ll all agree, applies to all professions

Disadvantages of being a doctor, Drawbacks of Medical profession: Choosing medical career  or being a medical professional  a disadvantage to doctor in comparison to other professions?

     Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

 21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

Expensive Medical College  seat- Is it worth it?

Any Fine Morning can be Harbinger of Doomsday for doctors #lady-doctor-suicide


Working of a doctor and nurses is not free from risk to themselves which can be verbal, physical as well as legal assaults. Everyday globally, the doctors and the nurses greet the new day and return to their work of taking care of their patients, knowing well the risk involved. None of the   doctors can guess which one fine morning becomes a harbinger to their doomsday, especially when serving an anarchic and hostile society. No doctor can anticipate which one patient can cause deadly harm to health care workers, while trying to save the one.  Unfortunate incident of PPH (Post-partum Bleeding – a natural complication of pregnancy) and subsequent agitation by mob and over-reactive FIR by hostile Police was enough for a brilliant Obstetrician to commit suicide in Jaipur.  Possibly doctors are not assured of getting justice anymore from our system.

Jaipur- A woman doctor booked for death of a pregnant woman in Rajasthan committed suicide

Jaipur- A woman doctor booked for death of a pregnant woman in Rajasthan committed suicide

Jaipur, Mar 29 (PTI) A woman doctor, who was booked for allegedly causing the death of a pregnant woman at a private facility in Rajasthan’s Dausa district, committed suicide on Tuesday, police said. Jaipur, Mar 29 (PTI) A woman doctor, who was booked for allegedly causing the death of a pregnant woman at a private facility in Rajasthan’s Dausa district, committed suicide on Tuesday, police said. Jaipur, Mar 29 (PTI) A woman doctor, who was booked for allegedly causing the death of a pregnant woman at a private facility in Rajasthan’s Dausa district, committed suicide on Tuesday, police said. According to police, the pregnant woman died at the hospital run by Dr Archana Sharma and her husband on Tuesday. An FIR was registered against Archana at the Lalsot Police Station after family members of the pregnant woman held a demonstration outside the hospital and demanded immediate action against the erring doctor. Stressed over the FIR, Archana hanged herself to death, police said. “The doctor was booked for the death of the pregnant woman due to negligence in treatment. Today afternoon, the doctor hanged herself to death at her residence above the hospital,” Additional SP (Dausa) Lal Chand Kayal said.

    The risk is generally underestimated, although often it may be major risk to life.  Majority of people, society and governing bodies and even doctors themselves do not perceive or acknowledge the possible harms to health care workers in present era.  But since these risks are increasing exponentially, they should be known to students, who want to take medicine as a profession. There are lesser set procedures, lack of awareness, not protective equipment or hostile society, lack of governance and laws and doctors continue to work in dangerous environment.

         Doctors have become punching bags for all the malaise prevalent in the system. A failing system which is unable to provide health to the people and security to doctors. The rickety system hides behind their hard working doctors and presents them as punching bags. The impunity with which attendant easily and brutally assault doctors is really appalling, should be shameful to law enforcing agencies.

            Role of media, celebrities, film stars and prominent personalities in spreading the hatred against the medical profession and creating an environment of mistrust is unpardonable. They project   single stray incident   as an example and portray poor image of medical profession as generalization just to earn money and fame for themselves. Doctors need to be careful and remain careful about saving themselves from verbal, physical as well as legal assaults.

Doctor- ‘save the patient but to save themselves also’.

Advantages-Disadvantage of being a doctor

     25 factors- why health care is expensive

REEL Heroes Vs Real Heroes

 21 occupational risks to doctors and nurses

Covid paradox: salary cut for doctors other paid at home

   Medical-Consumer protection Act- Pros and Cons

Expensive Medical College  seat- Is it worth it?

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