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IS YOUR DOCTOR GOOD ? (January, 2005)

Most people develop trust in a doctor or maybe distrust sometimes at the very first visit. But often it takes several visits by one or more members of the family before this smooth and healthy relationship develops. This feeling of trust, in fact mutual trust, between doctor and patient is an important component for effective and beneficial medical and even surgical treatment. Often this feeling of trust and a little respect by the patient towards his doctor develops somewhat instinctively. But this is blind trust; it is trust based on mere hunch; it is trust which may be created even by an incompetent doctor by his smooth and sweet talk ; it may be trust created by external trappings in the doctor's clinic or hospital or it may be as a result of modern techniques of image building or advertisement. Hence it is better that you try to objectively and critically evaluate your medical professional before deciding on taking treatment or services regularly from him/her.

Here are a few guidelines and hints to select your "Doctor"...

Qualification and experience :
Is your doctor qualified to give the kind of treatment that he is offering, be it tablets, injections, dressings or surgery or any other service? If he is qualified to practice "Homeopathy" or "Siddha" system of Medicine, be wary of any allopathic medications or treatment offered by him. Similarly be vary of an "allopathic" doctor who prescribes medications of other systems of medicines.

Usually the qualifications of a doctor are indicated in the name board outside the clinic or in his letterhead, in which he writes his prescriptions. Apart from standard qualifications like MBBS, MS OR MD, MCH, DM etc in allopathy, qualifications like BSMS are of other systems. There is also MD degree offered in "acupuncture" etc. There are so many other degrees or diplomas offered by other agencies and these often only add some letters after the doctor's name and nothing more. Some degrees/diplomas offered by other countries like, FRCS, MRCP, MCh, FACS etc are held in fair degree of respect, though most of them are not recognized by the Medical Council of India.

Degrees/qualifications recognized by MCI entitles the doctor for registration with them and a Registration Number is allotted to such a doctor. Only registered medical practitioners are allowed to practice medicine. So while consulting any doctor consciously make a note of his qualifications, years of experience after qualification and current affiliations to any other major medical institution, either teaching ( medical college) or non teaching ( private or corporate hospitals). Often affiliations to other larger institutions are expected to give the doctor more exposure and experience in his practice. Attachments to teaching institutions also involves teaching students of medicine and surgery. And teaching is the best method of learning; such a doctor is more likely to be more knowledgeable and abreast with the great strides and developments in all disciplines of medical science occuring every day.

Several other and equally and more important aspects of choosing your doctor will be included in our forthcoming newsletters.

Be healthy; be well informed.

Dr. M.Mohan Rao, MBBS,MS,FICS,MCH,

Surgeon (Retired) & Director,Dr. U Mohan Rau Memorial Hospital.


Updated on 01.01.2005.

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