Tag Archive: doctors


Doldrums


Nowadays, people (including friends and family) ask me, “So, what are you up to these days, doctor? Which hospital? Are you a specialist yet?”; and all I can give is a wry smile and tell them about the situation of Indian medical education system and the NEET case..

The above question has entered the category where you don’t ask a woman her age or a man his salary; or, in this case, a doctor about the NEET case/results!

Yesterday I saw a comment on my post by a concerned mother asking me about updates on the NEET-UG case. I gave her a site that I thought would help ease her stress, although in my heart I wanted to tell her to discourage her daughter to enter this profession.. I think most of my peers would agree with me.. Poor girl! She still has time to take a safer and better path! :-\ Such is the discontentment amongst medical students now..

Medical education is tough. Requires a lot of hard work. And its time consuming too! Tell me another graduation course that takes almost 6 years of study.. Most doctors dedicate the best part of  their life to serve the community.. And this is how the government and corporates reward us.

It’s all about money.. All about the profits. It’s no more about the merit or honor or the compassion.. It’s just “good business”. And the business has become so good that every time I see a research by a doctor, I wonder, is this research transparent? Or, is it just another hoax to perpetuate a disease or situation to profit!?  Health is no more the wealth, money is..

If you don’t agree, tell me why should this (30 billion dollar scam) happen?

The idea of NEET (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test) became quite popular amongst most medical students.. It promised something that was a rarity before it — transparency, standardization and increased seats.. Students got bored of the type of questions that were being asked in the AIPGMEE.. Students started studying more for exams.. The exam started becoming more crooked.. And the students started studying much more.. A vicious cycle that had led to the situation where the questions in AIPGMEE didn’t make any sense, and students had stopped going to hospitals for internship and started going to coaching institutes to crack exams.. And then there was the competition.. AIPGMEE just had a percentage of seats from just the government colleges! And there were individual state exams. So, a student had to spend a lot of money and energy on filling numerous forms for entrance to different exams.. And all exams had different standards.. So, one needed to buy specific course/guide books for all these different exams.. And if you have gone through the above link on 30 billion dollar scam, you’d know that corruption was so deep that the exams were not transparent anymore (except AIPGMEE and some others).. So, there were people profiting from every part of this “business”. Be it the politicians’ private hospitals, or be it the authors of so many guide books and their publishers, and also the coaching centers! With NEET, all get stripped out.. The “business” goes kaput! I’d say a serious blow to a lot of jobs! With NEET there’d be one standard exam.. Students won’t need to purchase so many forms and give so many exams. Just one transparent, standard exam.. And since all the colleges in India will have to give all their seats, there’ll be an increase in number of seats and fairer opportunity. I agree, the exam that NEET took this year had very bad questions. But they could become better eventually. I also realized that they were not the usual bookworm questions. They were more practical questions. If NEET could actually inculcate asking such questions, won’t it be good? Students would start going for internship, instead of cramming infinite knowledge for nothing. I think they would produce better doctors..

But then we have the NEET case.. It looks like some institutes are asking for their rights to conduct their own standard of exam and teachings. They are against this national standardization.. Yeah, one has the right to use their own recipe to make their own cake and the right to sell it in the market.. But this is making of doctors we are talking about, not the making of cakes, are we?

OK, FINE!! You filed a case.. Now what? Court is taking it’s sweet time to give a verdict. A verdict was expected on 17th January, but the case is still going on, as of 18th April…. And still no verdict. This article was a call to the Health minister to look at the situation seriously.. But I am yet to see any effect.. But then something amazing happened!! Supreme court to drop the NEET case for a day to take up a rather important and critical (in the most sarcastic of senses) case on banning internet pornography. Check here.

Now there were some bomb blasts in Bangalore, as if the world was not already ending, and that too so close to some political party’s place with elections near.. Damn these terrorists! Don’t they get some other time or some other place! :-\

Anyways, life of most medical students, including me, have entered the doldrums. I, for instance, appeared in an interview out of the frustration of waiting for the results. Although I supposedly cleared the interview, I never got the joining letter after the medical check-up.. When inquired, was said that it was maybe due to my eye power.. Board regulations there was +/- 4 D. And I have -4.5 in one eye! Most other students have been asked to commit for 6months or something to get a job, which they can’t because of the delayed results.. So, no job, no results.. On the funnier side, I hear a lot of them are misplacing their admit cards for the exam!! Lol!  Can it get any worse?

Some are of the opinion that maybe they won’t give results this year. But that is not possible.. Let me tell you why. In medical post graduation one has to work in the hospital, and are known as Residents. PG is a 3 years course. So, apart from the consultants/Senior doctors who work in the hospitals, it’s the Residents and nurses who actually do the mundane.. So, if you see, almost all hospitals are working because of the 3 year Residents in each department.. Now if results were not declared, there’d be no 1st year residents! And it’s the 1st year residents who do the maximum work in most hospitals. And usually 3rd year residents don’t give much time because of their upcoming final exams. So, with no 1st year and no 3rd year, all burden will land on 2nd years.. All hospitals will become under-staffed!! And if that does happen, I won’t be surprised if the 2nd year residents go on a strike because of increased work load!! Lol! And that will result a load on the senior consultants and 3rd years.. Maybe the hospitals would just stop… Phew! Nah! Don’t think that’s gonna happen.. They might delay results or might even give a bad verdict, but results are coming soon..

So, the question isn’t whether they will give or not. The question is whether the verdict will be a fair one. It has become so hard to speculate at the moment!

Medical students are fighting for their rights. Trying to trend #SaveNEETPG on Twitter so as to make mainstream media to cover this issue.. But after covering the sting operation, media seems satisfied with the issue. Nobody wants to cover the issue.. We are writing online petitions to support the cause.. Have written 2 so far..

  1. https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/government-body-save-neet-pg?utm_campaign=share_button_mobile&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition
  2. https://www.change.org/en-IN/petitions/justice-jagdish-sharan-verma-request-for-intervention-in-the-case-affecting-the-rights-of-90-000-indian-doctors

As it is the Doctor-patient ratio is very bad in India. There’s shortage of doctors! I want to ask the Government, why can’t they increase the number of seats? Why can’t they open new recognized colleges? Why can’t they increase the expenditure on health? I have heard if you ask them, they’ll give you it in terms of Rupees and say ,”See, we have increased the expenditure”.. But what they would not show or see that the %GDP used is still 1% by the government.. ONE PERCENT!!!  And it’s been 1% for ages!! Check my post “Health in India” for the data I dug out from WHO database. You will see the other countries I have compared with, have happily revised their expenditure and increased it!

Jacques Fresco, social engineer of The Venus Project,  rightly said that you can’t talk about ethics in a Monetary Based Economy. I think this is exactly what is happening. One may unearth millions and billions of dollars from Swiss accounts, and “scams” might become like “spam” in India, and 90,000 medical students might die trying to save NEET PG, but elites are busy making more and more money.

Whoever had said that the world was ending in December 2012, had a very shrewd sense of metaphor and cruel sense of humor with respect to the medical students in India.

Hoping against all odds that Supreme court may give a fair verdict and corruption might be decreased if not ended. Till then, we are fighting for our rights. If you are reading this, you might as well open the aforesaid two petition links and sign them. It doesn’t matter if you are a doctor or not. Do help us win this fight against corruption.

 Hoping for a better and healthier tomorrow.

 🙂

Health in India


Hello party people! 😀

Let me tell you a story to chill the bones and it’s not the song Dance of the Death by Iron Maiden.. 😀

Recently, a sting operation had uncovered the selling of medical post graduate seats in India. Can you believe that? I was quite shocked.. No, not because I came to know this for the first time that seats were being sold, but that the price they were being sold at, and that seat bookings were done for the future as far as 2016!!

CNN-IBN covered it live the other day.. These guys went in with a camera and asked these hospital people if they could get a seat in PG in their college. And these guys happily told them that they could get whatever they wanted.. Every department had their rate like some Continental Restaurant Menu card! Pediatrics, Radiology, Medicine, Surgery, etc.. Up to ₹2 crores!! 2 freaking crores.. 2,00,00,000!! That is ₹20million!! Approximately US$ 363,899! Donno what they’d be serving for desserts though! And that’s for one seat.. And then perhaps there’s some provision for early bird prizes, too! I mean bookings have be done for seats up till 2016!! Advanced booking… Something like a pre-release sale or something. Can you imagine how lucrative this business of seat selling is? And the best thing is that they won’t give a receipt.. So it’s tax free!! 😀

And then there was a lot of heated arguments of what the problem is.. And I think the problem comes to just few of the following very important things:

  • Doctor-Patient Ratio: India has an abysmal, to say the least, Doctor-Patient ratio. In my last post titled “Satyamev Jayate” I had given the data of how for every doctor there is 1953 patients in India as of 2012. Thus, the number of doctors are very less..
  • Medical Institutes: The number of Medical institutes are very less. There are 355 Medical Colleges in India.. Out of which 161 are Government colleges and 194 are Private colleges.. With even full turnover of doctors at 44250 doctors per year from these 355 colleges      the doctor patient ratio wont come down enough.. But that of course never happens..
  • Expenditure on Health: The % of GDP used in health services in India is 3.9% as of 2011!

%GDP expenditure on Health (total)

 And Government just uses 1% of GDP in health services.

%GDP expenditure on Health by Government

 The above 2 tables show the data compared to some other countries..

Now why won’t there be corruption!

Every student after completing their MBBS want to get into an MD/MS/Diploma course.. The total number of seats are 21282.. So, of the 44250 MBBS students per year, only 21282 students get into a post graduate course! Not even 50%!! And the expenditure on health by India is also very low!

What can be the solution to the problem?

Increase the number of medical colleges. Increase the number of post graduate seats. Increase the expenditure on health..

And in India it is mostly seen that the private colleges are profit driven and thus are corrupt.. India needs to open more and more government colleges. Indian government should increase their %GDP expenditure on health from a meager 1.2% to somewhere around 6%. Is it asking much?

Right now this fight for getting into a post graduate degree is causing all the corruption.. Like it’s said, Scarcity increases profits.. Make seats abundant, there’d be less corruption. No chance for making profits.. And moreover when the expenditure on Health will be increased, Institutes won’t be bankrupt to think about profits through illegal means!

And after that, even the education system needs to be polished, so that good doctors are produced..

Hoping for a better future..

[Sources: WHO and MCI websites]

Doctor or Business?


A doctor has the huge responsibility of treating a patient.. Most people come to a doctor with a lot of trust, because their life depends on them.

But a doctor is as human as the patient. And to become a doctor, one needs to go through a lot of study and hard work. But a doctor is still liable to make human errors.. Sometimes it may cost a life or perhaps a severe disability. To a doctor it may be a statistical insignificance most of the times, but to a patient, or a family member, the harm done maybe be very dear. The following post by a friend shows how it feels to be a victim of such error at the patient end.

“It is over a year and four months today. We feel victimized- victimized by the utmost failure of a judicial system and lack of conscience on the part of an otherwise noble profession- the medical sciences. 

A year and four months ago a perfectly healthy woman was rendered blind for life after a supposedly harmless cataract surgery. This woman is my mother. She continues to be an example for all of us, till date- we may have a weak moment but she refuses to be put down. She may not have her job anymore but she refuses to let her idle moments make her bitter. She is still as much in-charge of the house as in her better days.

What irks me- to this day we read about the doctor practicing freely at eye camps meant for the less privileged- causing further damage with a promise to restore conditions at a higher price at his ‘private’ clinic. To this date he is associated with a prestigious organization which, I suppose, hasn’t bothered to check his track record yet. I’m only aware of three lives being ruined personally- the rest are just mere numbers to the onlooker anyway.

The local papers in Jamshedpur (Tatanagar) won’t run our request of highlighting the malpractice- we can’t buy them at a price the other party offered.

The lawyers we hired seem to be in need of endless amounts of money to print every possible piece of paper or notice for the past four months- we’re being milked dry. The police won’t move the file up till we can buy our way out of the pile.

All we have, all I have, is words- a social medium- where I can request each one of you, please be aware, please be careful.

People of Jamshedpur- it’s a humble request- the best way to curb medical malpractice is by not giving such insensitive people a market, a platform to clean their hands.

I urge you, request you- please stop this man by spreading the word, by not giving Dr. [name withheld] more opportunities to fill his pockets at the cost of innocent lives. Even a simple apology from this man would have made us think, but he refuses to either acknowledge or take responsibility for his actions.

We have been through the trauma of trying to save her eyes for a whole year- not everyone has the means and resources to fight. This plea for help ironically comes from a family of doctors and lawyers. I shudder to imagine what an average Indian would do.

Please help us! By helping yourself.”

What do you think is the solution to such a problem?

Satyamev Jayate


Hello.. Sorry I have been away.. Being a medical student isn’t an easy job. Not enough free time. Moreover I have shifted to a new city, so it takes time to settle down and stuff.

Moreover, it wasn’t just being busy that kept me away, I had nothing to post on.. Nothing very interesting.. Yeah you guessed it, now I do..:D

A new show has started on Star Network. It’s called “Satyamev Jayate”. It’s a show produced by Aamir Khan and his team. Aamir Khan himself is the show host. He takes up topics related to things that are prevalent in the society.. Like on the Sunday before the last Sunday, he took up the topic of dowry, and all the problems associated with such a practice.. The shows are brilliant and it strikes straight at the viewers heart.

Last Sunday his topic was doctors and the malpractices they do.. It was a brilliant show as ever, bringing tears to everyone’s eyes and stuff.. And he’s not absolutely wrong.. The malpractices that happen in India are obnoxious!

After the show medical students like us had our discussions. I even talked to non medicos.. And they were pretty scared! One even suggested that we should start going to Ayurveda doctors instead! The reason was that the program was biased..

Doctors form a community which is respected by all Indians. Every doctor who can heal a patient is treated with respect. Some are treated like Gods! And then there are some who are the cheap stuff. They’re in for the profit and play with people’s lives.

The point is whenever you are in for profit, you play with people’s lives.. With most professions it’s indirect, with doctors it is direct! So if a building falls down and 100s are killed, you don’t know who to blame! The engineer, the contractor, the cement guy, the metal guy, blah blah.. But if a guy loses his life because of a doctor, well, u know who to kick!

In the show Aamir Khan talks about the number of licenses cancelled in the UK to those in India.. In India no license has been cancelled in the recent past.. This fact amazes the audience because that would mean that all doctors in India are either so good that there license hasn’t been cancelled or the system is corrupt!

It’s true that license in India are not cancelled as strictly as they are in UK.. But did he miss a point?? YESS!! He did!! And did the audience miss the point?? OF COURSE THEY DID!! But did they ask the question? UK is a “developed” country and India is “developing”. To most it is a difference of attitude, but basically it is not ATTITUDE that makes us a developing country and UK a developed country! It’s STATISTICS!! I won’t go into much details of it as you may find enough on the net already. But there are few points I’d like to emphasize.

Let us talk about the Doctor to Patient ratio.. I got this on the net. Click here. It’s an old statistics.. But u can still see the difference! Great Britain has 1 doctor for 400 patients and in India there is 1 doctor for every 1,700 patients!!! I couldn’t find the recent statistics of UK, but for in India as of 2012, there is 1 doctor for every 1953 patients.. Reference. it’s not just poor, it’s abysmal!! More so when u compare the salary!! For UK I got this on Payscale (Click) and for Indians (Click).. Comparing the lowest salary on both the charts Rs. 165,703 for Indians and £ 34,258 (Rs. 3,004,464) in UK!! Can u see the difference!! A doctor in UK gets over 15 times the salary for 1/4th the patient load when compared to an Indian doctor!! Also try comparing the least of UK and highest of India. See the difference? Can Indians afford to lose doctors!! NO WAY!! If Indian government starts to cancel licenses like UK, the already abysmal number will go down further more!! So what does the intelligent government do?? Lets not cancel license, at least the statistics will show proper!!! But is that a good thing?? I think not! But yeah, it’s the best thing that they can do right now considering the resources and corruption prevalent in the country!

Very truly put by Dr. Gulati.. The doctors are not to be blamed totally.. It’s the government and the whole social system, if you ask me! Doctors are said to do a noble job and it’s called a noble profession.. But are doctors paid right? The priority of health in this country does lie at the bottom! Are not doctors human!!?? Don’t they deserve to live properly and enjoy!!?? One may say that doctors earn the most in the country! True! But did u calculate the number of hours a doctor puts in to earn that much?? I have heard my non medico friends bicker that they were made to work for over 8hrs in a day!! Doctors have to work 36hrs at a stretch in India!! No sleep no rest!! And still earn as much as any other non medical guy!

PEOPLE SHOULD BECOME DOCTORS NOT FOR THE MONEY!! Yeah right! If a patient dies, the attendant kicks us; work for inhuman hours per day and get paid less; and when all’s tolerated, people come to you after watching a show and tell you “doctors are pathetic!” ARE WE NOT HUMANS!!! When somebody is treated badly, they give that in return. And it’s not just for doctors! But if a doctor becomes bad, the society suffers more than ever! So doctors should have a good moral of conduct.. Well, I say, give them enough money to have a good conduct. Make health a priority in this country. Make a proper education system so that those who want to become doctor to heal, and not to profit, become doctors.

Aamir Khan did an excellent show highlighting the evils of the medical institution. What he didn’t realize that what he has done is made his audience panic! Now everyone who has seen the show will be afraid of getting treated by a doctor. All they will think is that doctor is profiting! But I ask you, are the doctors to be blamed for what’s happening or is it the government and the social system? And I didn’t even take up the pharmaceutical companies and their way of work here! Hahahaha! Try this for instance (click).

I, Doctor


I had since my childhood days, as far as I can remember, always wanted to be a
doctor.. And I very much loved kids, and I still do.. So I always wanted to be
a “child specialist”–that’s what I knew it was called.. 😛 As I got
older, I came to know that there was something called MBBS and then there was
an MD Pediatrics and that’s when u become a “child specialist”..

Becoming a doctor has always been an exciting thing for me.. Knowing the human body,
meant knowing  oneself.. Even the idea of
treating and helping others seemed such a noble job!  Moreover I amused myself with the fact that I
was born on 8th May!! World Red Cross Day!! 😛 Doesn’t get better does it! 😀 I
was good in mathematics, physics and computer science! Every reason to become
an engineer!! A software engineer (I still like programming if I get the tools
though) perhaps.. But I chose medical!

As I learnt biology, my interest in medical science grew.. I got into MBBS and my
life changed! I realized something that I am gonna share with my readers (you).
The question that hammered me: Are doctors disrupting/changing the natural
course of evolution? Is treating and intervening in every possible medical
situation ethical? Ethical in what sense you might ask.. Read on..

People fall sick every time in their lifetime.. In ancient times, it was thought to be
a punishment by God.. But as science developed, the medical fraternity came
into being.. Healing and taking cure of the sick.. Not a very major thing.. But
as it developed, and in today’s corporate world, doctor is also a profession
that is trying to reap profits.. Profits?? Yeah.. Not in a major way, but a
subtle inevitable way…

One thing I always heard from my parents as a child.. Mom used to wonder, “how many
number of diseases has increased in the recent years..!??” and Dad would
give the most logical reply I believed, “Actually new knowledge of many
unknown diseases has increased which couldn’t be diagnosed earlier..” I
marveled at the science as I believed in knowledge. Always had a hunger for new
knowledge.. And then I read this research on “why the incidence of
Cesarean Section has increased in the recent years?”

My first reaction to the question was, “Ah! The ladies these days.. They can’t
tolerate pain! They want it the easy way.. Who wants to suffer the pain of a
normal labor!! I mean if u were to know that NL(normal labor) will cause pain,
u would happily prefer anesthesia and undergo CS(cesarean section).. So while
you are sleeping, you get yourself a baby.. Nice and easy!” ALAS! I was
wrong.. One of the researchers had actually suggested this, but had been
rejected by a new more relevant reason.. According to the newer reason, babies
born to CS done in the past, directly or indirectly increased the incidence of
CS in the future.. For doing a CS there are some indications.. A group of these
indications are called ABSOLUTE INDICATIONS.. These are considered important..
As in, if these mothers are given a trial of normal labor, the baby could die….
Think of it this way.. If natural selection was considered, these babies were
NOT MEANT TO BE BORN!!!  So?? Doctors
help in giving birth to babies that were not meant to be born! For example, a
thing called “contracted pelvis”.. A mother with contracted pelvis
will have a child, who, if female, in turn will have a contracted pelvis
herself, further being a future candidate of CS herself!! When considered the
population and other indications, such determined “future
indications” of CS increase manifold.. Well I donno what YOUR reaction is,
I was pretty much shaken!! Since, I applied this to other diseases as well!

And this applies mainly to the branches related to Obstetrics and Pediatrics, I think..
Take for example a congenital disease that is treated so that the child lives
up to reproductive age and gives offspring.. His/her children will have the
same disease maybe or maybe a carrier.. And future candidates for another
congenital anomaly.. But this is just a “what if?”.. I am yet to come
across any research related to this.. But I’ve seen infants going hypoxic and
doctors trying in vain to keep the kid alive.. And, of course, they do manage
to keep the kids alive.. But what about the long duration hypoxia? It could
have destroyed some part of the brain.. This baby could grow up to become
mentally retarded or have epilepsy! Future candidates.. So what do u do? Let
’em die!!! That’s not ethical!! But keeping alive a child with a hereditary
disease, who might have a miserable life ahead, or may give birth to abnormal
children in the future, is that ethical?

I think, doctors have “artificially” manipulated the whole path of
“natural” evolution… I was so conflicted!! I hated for becoming a
doctor.. I was always curious about learning things, mostly nature and its
beauty.. But manipulating, and increasing diseases, well I felt awful!

But then I matured.. Call it maturity, or call it “accepting the status quo”..
I thought, well, we are humans, right? We are a part of Nature too, right? So
even if we manipulate, it’s not strictly speaking “artificial”, now
is it? So it’s a “natural” thing.. 😉 Maybe it was MEANT TO BE this
way.. 😀 I don’t hate myself for being a doctor now..:)

Well this was a journey for me.. Thought of sharing, so that even you could think on it
and wonder and wander.. 😀

Ciao! 🙂

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