Gifts and doctors

Long ago when I went to a skin specialist I was mesmerized by the items displayed on his table — the pen stand, table calender, paper weight. tea coaster set etc.. It’s not that I hadn’t seen these things before, but these were different, and I hadn’t seen such good ones anywhere, for sale. Little did I know at that time that  these are the most basic things the doctors get as gifts and there’s TOO much more to it than we can see.

Few years back my nephew started working as a medical representative for a certain company and I got to see the actual things that these fellows, I mean doctors, get as gifts — vegetable choppers, twisters or figure trimmers,corele breakfast and dinner sets,beautiful torches, cushions with silk covers, ready to wear shirts, rotating chairs that they sit on { I’ve a feeling that some greedy doctor must have ‘placed an order’ for the last one as I’ve seen only one chair so far} I can’t mention all the things  here as it would make the list too long. Things used to be stocked up at home along with the medicine boxes which made the room look like a godown. While the doctors are given these gifts as they are basically meant for them, the near and dear ones also get them! [Don’t ask how] Even I have lot many of these and people keep asking me where do I buy them because these are not seen in shops.

Though I loved all these gifts that I got from my nephew, I always used to wonder why do these doctors have to be gifted so much? Now I realize how naive I was! Everything is fiercely competitive in this world and the more you promote yourself and please the concerned people your sales are bound to go up. Look at the way movie stars come on T V shows for the promotion  of their new films. Like everybody in business even the pharma companies have found out ways and means to sell their products–by way of gifting the doctors heavily. Recenly I read an article in a newspaper which said that the doctors are gifted international holidays (!) apart from the other usual things.No wonder, the doctors who accept all this ( why’ll they not? ) have to oblige the gifters and prescribe the medicines of those companies. I don’t know for sure, but I’ve feeling that these companies gift the medical shop owners also so that they stock their medicines and suggest them as an alternatives to some other company’s medicines. Now a days ‘fixing’ of all kinds are going on and this should not come as a surprise. All of us would have noticed at some time or the other that the medicine a doctor prescribes are definetely available in the pharmacy next to his clinic. But if go to a shop a few meters away from ther and ask, you may or may not get all of them there and the pharmacist will definetely ask you to buy an ‘alternative’ which he has.

But the one thing that I find funny is that inspite of all the nice gifts that the medical reps bring along, they are always made to wait for hours before they get an entry to the doctor’s chamber. I wonder why act pricey–oh, we are not waiting for your gifts type behaviour–when you are taking everything like a jolly good fellow?

To say the least, in today’s medical world where most of the doctors are wholely and solely focussed on money making, service has no meaning. We keep reading so much in the newspapers and saw and heard so many people on Aamir Khan’s show- and I’ve seen several doctors from close quarters during my brother’s illness that I just cannot forget that bitter experience. I think the Hipocratic oath that these doctors take ‘swearing to practice medicine ethically and honestly’ is just a hypocracy by all means and I’m sure, Hipocrates must be turning in his grave to see that the his name is being used derogatorily, thanks to these doctors.

My apologies to all the honest and good doctors who are there serving and helping people selflessly. We keep reading and hearing about these angels too, but their numbers are dwindling by the day.

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September 27, 2012 · 6:50 am

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