Going by the norm prescribed by World Health Organisation (WHO) for people-to-doctors ratio for a country, the number of doctors in India at present has to increase tenfold. About 70,000 admissions to the Medical Colleges across the country reported for this academic year as well as the existing infrastructure for training them to be medical professionals together can help to visualise what it means to conform to the aforementioned prescription by the world’s agency that oversees the global healthcare scenario. As if to meet the wide gap between the need for medicare professionals and the reality of their present strength nationally, quack doctors are having a field-day all over the country, Mysuru also hosting them in worrisome numbers. While the factor of human frailty dogs even the highly rated practitioners of medicare in the country as well as in other countries with claim to superior quality of healthcare, the feature of lay people rushing to the quacks for medical attention has dented the image of the profession itself. Incidents of the families taking their ailing members to medical institutions with tariffs in astronomical proportions and lose their kin despite all efforts at saving them only worsens that image.
Whether the number and nature of illnesses were far less than they are today or knowledge about them, their causes and appropriate treatment itself was scanty is a matter of conjecture to decide on the reality. Thanks to paucity of that knowledge and also highly limited diagnostic means and methods in days gone by, doctors were rated for their soft attitude towards their patients and their kin. That feature deserves a bit of pondering about.
In addition to the steadily growing list of illnesses bugging the humankind, even as the names of a great number of them sound befuddling even to the cognoscenti, not only the branches of their study, called specialisations, but also the curriculum have expanded to an extent that training of medical professionals has tended to be a daunting affair, not to forget the cost that the parents of the aspiring students are required to cough up. The healers in white coat have to be not only doing their best in attending on their patients but also seem to be doing their best in the context of instances of the kin of patients creating scenes in the hospitals accusing the doctors of negligence, resulting in outrage and assaults on the attending doctor as well as fixtures of the institution. Bad apples are part of workforce not only in the medical profession but also in others.
In the backdrop of the aforementioned scenario, the measure of rolling out a month-long orientation by the Medical Council of India (MCI) with doctrine comprising medical ethics, professionalism, communication skills, stress management, interpersonal relationships, gender sensitivity and presentation of the case to the kin is most timely to restore the sagging image of the profession itself.