MEDICINE TODAY…PN

My blog is going to be a pean of praise for an extinct species called the GP.

Our generation had the advantage of having a family doctor who knew all about you from your babyhood, through childhood infections, your marriage, kids and their problems. The GP could diagnose from a point of strength as s/he knew what problems existed in the whole family, very often the clan. So asthma, allergies, diabetes or BP problems could be something you developed or had been handed down from previous generations.

What was most important about a GP was that they made house visits. The medical bag was an iconic image and a well dressed physician came calling to diagnose and prescribe medicines. Very often they carried the medicines or asked a family member to pop into the dispensary and collect dispensed medicines.

The Compounder in a doctor’s dispensary was an important personality who knew equally well in terms of illnesses and recurring ailments. In some cases, the Compounder was also the secretary who maintained a card in which your medical history was recorded. Some well to do doctors also had secretaries who maintained your medical history. A doctor would spend time in a day recording or dictating a patient’s current problems and that would go into the record as well.

The GP was a familiar personality in my life till recent years. We are part of a government service that is available to retired government personnel. We visit a dispensary and the doctor gives us our regular medicines. The services for a senior citizen are made easy to access and avail. however, no home visits are made.

In our Senior Citizen’s facility we have a in-house nurse who is familiar with our problems. Till lockdown started, we had a doctor coming to our premises and would consult for a fixed fee. Now, our consultations are online with strange doctors who keep changing every consult.

Doctors would check your pulse, put a stethoscope to your chest and back, make you cough, breathe deeply, look at your eyes and nails. Today doctors look at your reports, ask you for symptoms and write up more tests. They barely listen to what you have to say about your aches and pains.

You go to a specialist for advice based on your symptoms. Already even in a particular speciality, say like orthopaedics, there are further distinctions as docs specialiose in knee replacement, hip replacement, spinal problems and reconstruction/trauma specialists and so on and on. In fact, you dont have GP’s anymore…you have Internists!

The Doctor is IN!!

The much told joke is with so much focus on parts of a body soon you will have doctors specialising on the left leg and right leg, left eye/nostril/ear and the right side as well. even in dentistry there are so many different specialists I have difficulty in recognising the doctor with my mouth wide open and different doctors drilling in and out!!

The internet maybe has taken the place of the Materia Medica or your friendly neighbourhood GP.

To wind up, in today’s hyper Covid Corona world, this is a meme doing the rounds. So where are the doctors?

This is my take on this week’s Friday blogs post suggested by me. The other bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, Raju,  RamanaShackman Srinivas and Conrad

To see what many others have to say about this matter that affects all of us, do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say.

https://shackman-speaks.blogspot.com

https://jconmem.blogspot.com

https://rummuser@rummuser.com

https://ceezone.wordpress.com

https://www.gaelikaasdiary.com

https://sanjanaaah.wordpress.com/

About padmum

You could call me Dame Quixote! I tilt at windmills. I have an opinion on most matters. What I don't have, my husband Raju has in plenty. Writer and story teller, columnist and contributer of articles, blogs, poems, travelogues and essays to Chennai newspapers, national magazines and websites, I review and edit books for publishers and have specialized as a Culinary Editor and contributed content, edited and collaborated on Cookbooks. My other major interest used to be acting on Tamil and English stage, Indian cinema and TV. I am a wordsmith, a voracious reader, crossword buff and write about India's heritage, culture and traditions. I am interested in Vedanta nowadays. I am now an Armchair traveller/opinionator/busybody!
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9 Responses to MEDICINE TODAY…PN

  1. Conrad says:

    I come from small town life in my youth. The GP not only knew us and cared for us, he knew the events of our lives. He knew the psychological waves of our experience. He knew the full context of our well being.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rummuser says:

    The doctors every where today are the most overworked and under appreciated of all professions. What they and the other frontline people are undergoing is simply superhuman in most cases but, there are as always, bad apples in the profession and the less said the better about them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • padmum says:

      Yes…and they have reached their limits. There was talk when the virus began about 50000 daughters whose foreign degree had not been recognised by IIMA… Senior doctors like Trehan and Shetty were talking about regularising these doctors after they took s standard exam…nothing about this matter has come in the news..that’s a huge work force.
      No doctors now like our Doctor Mama, Angichi, Kamu Mami, KVT, Jamdar, Borges, Vasu, your Poppat…well..best is to get used to what is available!

      Like

    • ceezone says:

      It’s not just that; I think in India we have a serious deficiency of good training for Doctors, so competence levels are also iffy. This is not exactly the bad apple problem, though sometimes related, the issue is of developing a high quality health care system. Oh, blast, I shall just look GGracious again to feel better.

      Like

      • padmum says:

        The concept of holistic approach to wellbeing is done and dusted with. The defensive and often virulent reaction of Allopathic doctors to alternative healing systems is interesting to observe… sometimes I feel that the are scared that the patient will heal inspire of their treatments. The world is now waking up to the fact that chemotherapy and radiation therapy are not really all that it claims to be. Bless you.

        Like

      • padmum says:

        I think more than theory, doctors in India gain hands on practical experience treating the huge volume of patients.

        Like

  3. ceezone says:

    So true, much to mull over. And yes, the GP of the previous century is an endangered species. You’ve certainly picked an important issue, not limited to the medical profession, namely Over specialisation. This is quite often is a major impediment to good palliative care. It is not as though we have different selves (souls) for different body parts. But it’s as mad as it looks at first sight, the specialisms start with systems: Nervous, digestive etc…. Of course they don’t end there, and the specialists mostly inhabit a corner of that specialism; BUT the patient doesn’t feel well, all over (Usually)

    Liked by 1 person

    • padmum says:

      The concept of holistic approach to wellbeing is done and dusted with. The defensive and often virulent reaction of Allopathic doctors to alternative healing systems is interesting to observe… sometimes I feel that the are scared that the patient will heal inspire of their treatments. The world is now waking up to the fact that chemotherapy and radiation therapy are not really all that it claims to be. Bless you.

      Like

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