Why Are Doctors So Selfish? Guest Author Dr Aniruddha Malpani
The word doctor is derived from the word docere, which means to teach. This means an integral part of every doctor's job should be to educate their patients. However, lots of doctors are selfish, and want to hoard the knowledge. They refuse to share it with their patients. Thus, some doctors get irritated when patients ask them questions and they say things like, "Don't try to cross examine me. And if you ask me questions, that means you don't trust me. And that means you should find another doctor. And if you want me to be your doctor, you need to trust me and not ask me any questions at all."
While most doctors are happy to explain to patients what they are doing for them, it's not enough just to do this one on one in the privacy of our consulting rooms. As doctors, if we want to show society that we stand up for our patients, we need to be much more generous with our medical knowledge, and share it with the rest of the world. The best way to do this is through a website, because your website allows you to reach thousands of people all across the country. You can provide this information in local Indian languages. Patients respect and trust you, and this respect and trust will increase even more when you're willing to be open and share information with them. Not only will this help to improve the standing of doctors in society, it will also show that we doctors care for our patients and put their interests first.
If we want to be thought of as being thought leaders, we should also be seen as being transparent. We should show that we are willing to share the specialized information we have with our patients so they can look after themselves better. Doctors are considered to be medical experts. Sharing our wisdom with our patients will strengthen our standing in society even further. As doctors, we acquire a lifetime of medical wisdom; and then when we die, we carry it to our grave, which is such a shame. Why aren't we willing to be generous and to share what we have learned - not only with our medical students and with other doctors but with the rest of the world as well.
Patients appreciate this kind of openness, and it will help to reassure them that their doctor is willing to put their interests first and share the information he has with them. If doctors don't learn to do this, patients will continue to treat us with suspicion, which will get progressively worse over time. We now have an opportunity to redeem ourselves by being generous with the knowledge which we possess and quite frankly, the more of this we give away, the more we will get back in return. After all, what's the point of being an expert if you don't share your expertise with others?