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ISSN: Print -2349-0977, Online - 2349-4387

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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 54-55

Physician-patient relationship: Quo Vadis?

1 Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Abhilashi Ayurvedic College and Research Institute, Abhilashi University, Chail Chowk, Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, India
2 Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, IPGT and RA, Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Date of Web Publication26-Oct-2015

Correspondence Address:
Rohit Sharma
Department of Rasashastra and Bhaishajya Kalpana, Abhilashi Ayurvedic College and Research Institute, Abhilashi University, Chail Chowk, Mandi - 175028, Himachal Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2349-0977.168245

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How to cite this article:
Sharma R, Prajapati P K. Physician-patient relationship: Quo Vadis?. Astrocyte 2015;2:54-5

How to cite this URL:
Sharma R, Prajapati P K. Physician-patient relationship: Quo Vadis?. Astrocyte [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Jun 5];2:54-5. Available from: http://www.astrocyte.in/text.asp?2015/2/1/54/168245

Apropos the recent editorial that nicely narrated the basic ethics in physician–patient relationship, particularly the responsibilities of the physicians,[1] it is high time this topic is seriously discussed and exchanged among medical fraternity.

In the present context, a senior physician who puts it very bluntly, expressed thus: "How long the Indian doctors will keep fooling themselves and be fooled by the so-called society, that you are demi-gods when everybody is interested in painting them shaitan, haivan, looters, and so on. Please don't be trapped this self-centered society/malciety/fakeciety. How many of you feel that patients and their relatives are fair to you in the period of crisis, i.e., when the patient is serious or about to die? Is anyone wants to have fair attitude towards you? Seldom any! Because you are the most unwanted person sucking their hard earned money as they have no budget for it. If you stop charging any fees, be available at the time of their choice, satisfy the ego of fake society, doctor patient relationship becomes good. How many of you are facing fake consumer protection cases?"

One more senior physician expressed: "I am not saying that don't be honest to your profession and your patients but be honest to yourself, your family and colleagues. The irony is that you are made to realize by media, administrators, politicians, lawyers, judges and others that fault is in doctors, and you start believing too. Where outcome is decided by God there is consumer protection law and where by men itself, no such law. Since you are toothless community and no right to punish anybody, you will be tormented by such persons but please don't snatch your commonman status from you," he further added.

These opinions, not uncommon, reflect the underlying distress among present physicians and the pressing need to discuss the understanding of responsibilities, ethical considerations, and physician–patient relationship. The opinions are true to a major extent but what about doctor-to-doctor relationship? The backbiting, the professional rivalry, the instigations, the casually dropped comments about wrong treatment, the tie-ups with labs and diagnostic centers, the liaison between general practitioners, the exorbitant charging for coronary stents? Arenot these things giving fodder to the lay public? Doctors are now under a microscope.

The society treats doctors as "second to God," and I believe, we doctors take that for granted and become super arrogant. We forget that if we are providing services, we are getting "paid"for that. Doctors are not god, they are human just like patients, and mutual respect is essential for better outcomes. It is an onerous responsibility which while fetching accolades and enhancement of respect in successful cases backfires and injures us professionally and personally, in failures.

In Western countries, the rights and responsibilities of physicians and patients are well defined and posted in visible areas. I believe the education has to start from the medical school and reinforced during residency/postgraduate training years. Better communication and transparency helps to build a healthier community. The problem lies in our medical education system. They teach us subjects and not the bed-side manners. They teach us which medicine to give, not "how"to give. They teach us how to diagnose, but not "how to inform"the diagnosis.

A physician should be honest to his/her profession and understand the responsibilities. His role is not restricted only to prescribe the drugs, but the role is multifarious, touching all aspects of patient's life. The roles could be as philanthropist, counselor, dietician, pharmacist, health educator, advisor, or friend.

Despite all such anguish among physicians, one would pose a question to those who subscribe to this ethos, being a doctor, how many of us honestly practice the Hippocratic Oath or our medical ethics? How many of us have displayed the "rights and responsibilities of physicians and patients" in the waiting area of our clinics, nursing homes, tertiary care specialty hospitals, medical colleges, charitable trust hospitals, polyclinics, etc.? I believe, these are not rules and regulations, but common-sense practice which has to beincorporated in our behavior and must be reinforced in the behavior of our patients, only then our society will be reconditioned toward respecting our, time, knowledge, skills, chargeability, etc., and only then our long-lost status of demi-gods will be reinstated.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Agarwal Y, Batra B. Of divinity, retro dynamics and basic edicts in physician-patient relationship. Astrocyte 2014;1:175-7.  Back to cited text no. 1
  Medknow Journal  


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