Doctors & other healthcare workers are being hailed as saviours or superheroes especially in the COVID times. With all the glorious headlines flooding the internet thanking doctors, nurses, and health care professionals, it seems like the pandemic times could be the best for the medical profession in terms of public relations. But something seems to be missing for young graduates from the top medical colleges in India in their experience.
Something is missing to the extent that they are exploring non-clinical PG courses after MBBS. But why? There’s a difference between the picture our media portrays and the ground reality. COVID increased the presence of healthcare professionals in the media and stories celebrating their contribution are all over. But do we look at doctors with the same admiration and respect? The not-so primetime stories say otherwise.
After successfully securing a seat in top medical colleges in India, societal prejudices and violence welcome you to clinical practice
The cases of violence against doctors are far from reaching a tipping point. IMA even protested against the violence with around 4 lakh doctors in support. News 18 reported that medical professionals had been ostracized from society and many had been forced to vacate their flats because landlords fear that having a doctor on premises increases the chances of coronavirus.
Economic Times published the case of Dr. Sanjibani Panigrahi, a government doctor threatened by her housing society in Surat. Another example is of a house surgeon in MGM Hospital in Warangal, Telangana. He commented that many owners asked doctors to vacate their rented homes. In addition one owner claimed doctors to be dirty. He wondered if he worked hard to get to the top medical colleges in India and studied 14 hours a day for this?
Young doctors from medical colleges all over India are exploring non-clinical PG courses after MBBS
Incidents of assault & violence, whether at VIMS Hospital in Ballari, mobs in Indore chasing doctors, or the killing of a senior doctor in Assam have been viral on doctor’s WhatsApp groups. But, the central law PCPNDT is not strong enough to save the saviours. Bombay High court mentioned that from 2016 to April 2021, 674 cases of violence against doctors were registered.
The Indian Medical Association report of 2018 reveals that 75 per cent of doctors have faced some form of violence at some point in their life with ICUs and emergency wards being the epicentre of such abuse. Moreover, the day-to-day humiliation they face is nothing better than violence.
People never shy away from spending 200 -500 rupees for a haircut monthly in a decent salon but hesitate in paying even 500 to doctors from the top medical colleges in India. Similarly, people blame doctors for the exorbitant money charged by big hospitals. Although, government data clearly says that only 15% of the money spent on healthcare in India go to doctors.
Constant media scrutiny, promotion of unscientific temper, and dehumanization add further to professional alienation in the clinicians. A recent controversy surrounding comments by Baba Ramdev and IMA is one among many such examples.
Let's look at a study
This is a 2019 study conducted on various government medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh where 69.5% of doctors were exposed to some form of violence. Verbal abuse, followed by physical abuse was the highest incidences. This evidence shows that violence is common even in the top medical colleges in India.
To sum up, a clinician may feel cheated about the role and respect of a doctor in society. Likewise, there are thousands of others with similar thoughts. Young doctors graduating from the top medical colleges in India are exploring alternate non-clinical pg courses after MBBS & other medical degrees in huge numbers. These careers offer better respect, societal treatment, good career avenues, personal and professional development, among other advantages. Read more about non-clinical careers that offer better lifestyle here.