Lots of them share intimate details about their lives with me and one common challenge most of them face is extreme stress. Lots of them are working round the clock and barely get any time for themselves or their families. Most of them start work early in the morning at 7 or 8 and keep working till 10 or 11 in the night. (If I was too work for that many hours, I would go crazy and my quality of work would suffer. Today's world is no longer about the number of hours you work, but what quality of output and results your produce. The smartest people are the ones who put in less time and get in the maximum results.)
In many cases, this also affects their personal relationships as they barely get any time to spend with their loved ones. In addition to this more and more people in India have started looking at doctors with suspicion. In many parts they also face violence and of course.
All this after they have spent a couple of crores and invested several years of their lives to learn and study. One doctor told me who was now in his 40s, told me that many younger doctors in their 30s are financially not secure.
All this makes many of them unhappy and stressed. Now when someone is stressed and overworked, do you know what happens to their quality of work? It certainly suffers. And when their quality of work suffers, all of us are at risk. See what happened in Max Hospital and so many times happens in Government Hospitals - patients instead of being healed suffer. I do not know the specifics of the cases, but I do know for sure that we as a society need to ensure our doctors are happier. Because only if they are happier can they truly help others.
I believe 99% of Doctors are good, there are only 1% who are bad and these are of the worst kind and the harshest action needs to be taken against them. But with the increase of social media, it is becoming easier for people to expose such doctors.
I remember, once my sister had visited a Doctor at a prominent private hospital in Bombay. She had an open bite and when she went to the doctor to get her teeth straightened and close her open bite, he started scaring her. He told her how it is a major problem and she will need to undergo surgery costing . He used every scare tactic possible to get her to pay up and undergo the surgery.
Luckily, she came home, we discussed and she took a second opinion. The second doctor told her all she would need to do is remove one or two teeth, get braces and her problem would be solved without any surgery. She took the advice of the second doctor, and today she doesn't have an open bite.
Not only she opted for the services of the honest doctor, she made sure she told everyone about the dishonest doctor. That Doctor and hospital both lost business and today one Google search on the hospital and doctor shows hundreds of negative reviews of people having had bad experiences. This hospital today is facing major challenges and might even shut down. They deserve it!
The biggest asset a doctor has is trust, once trust is lost everything is over. This applies not just to doctors and healthcare - but every other industry.
But at the same time the second doctor solved a problem my sister had and has lots of positive reviews and a thriving practice. As a society we all need doctors, but as shared, we need doctors who are themselves happy and healthy. We need to ensure they are rewarded financially, they have financial security and at the same time they have a happy life besides just being doctors.
This means they should have perfect physical and mental health, they should have happy relationships with their family, with their spouse, with their children and parents. They should be able to experience the world besides just going from hospital to clinic. They should be able to laugh more and enjoy more. I mean these are people who have spent years studying, learning and researching, they are people who help us right from the time we are born to the times when we have a toothache or fever.
I know society today doesn't have the same awe they did for doctors say 30 years ago, but its always nice to be kind to them and realize that while there might be a few terrible doctors, most of them are nice. I believe most of them became doctors because they have a passion to heal and cure disease. I believe deep down most of them are great human beings who want to be happy.
The next time a doctor has been kind to you and helped you with whatever problem you are facing, surprise them by doing something special. A small thank you note, a small chocolate - will help them realize they are truly making an impact!
I'm happy that doctors our family visit once a way. are happy, crack jokes and regularly take holidays! (Oh and when they take a holiday, they always divert their phone to another Doctor! So everyone is happy!)
We wouldn't want anyone to take risks going to unhappy doctors, now would we?
To a society with happier doctors and happier people!
Lots of smiles and loves,
P.S.: I would love to hear from all of you what you feel about a society with happier doctors? Do you agree with me?