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Doctors beyond prescriptions

health Oct 16, 2021

Imagine an ideal doctor! What do they look like? The image in front of you is precisely, a white coat, a stethoscope, sitting behind the desk, ready to sign a prescription. This image would have been very much apt a few decades back. But, today, doctors have risen beyond being just medication advisors. Today, a doctor is not just a doctor, but also a counselor or even an entrepreneur. They have transcended their way into a broader arena of society.

A doctor, historically, has been considered as the one who helps you get rid of your pain. Patients, earlier, would go to their nearest doctor, state their issue and receive medical advice from the doctor, for which they would be charged a nominal fee. Patients would generally be familiar to the doctor, which also contributed to the prevalence of family doctors, back in the day. The doctors’ clinic would just be one room with their desk and patient chair along with a bed for examination. A patient too, would be satisfied with the services provided, content that a medication had been prescribed. The requisite degree of skill and expertise was all that a patient or their attendant expected of a doctor. Society looked upon the doctor to be standing on the pedestal of nobility and goodwill.

This painted picture of a doctor has long been proven archaic. Doctors and patients alike, today exhibit a very different scenario. From being an advisor, doctors have turned into professional consultants and analysts, following interrogation protocols and decoding details about their patients’ illness. Advancement of non clinical medical fields such as Forensic and Social Medicine prove that they are now not just restricted to the walls of their clinics or hospitals. Forensics allows doctors to be something close to detectives where they not only apply their knowledge of the human body but also acquaint themselves with legal aspects. Social medicine makes doctors look at the larger view of a disease from the aspect of an entire society. This makes them of immense use to a public health advisory panel of any country's government. In addition, emerging medical specialties such as clinical informatics[1] and clinical virtualists[2] have allowed doctors to take a dip into database management and telecommunication technologies which has substantially improved the structure, process, and outcomes of various facets of the healthcare system.

A doctor’s clinic has become a venture in itself- one that requires knowledge regarding where to build the clinic to attract a good amount of patients; the clinic must be close to a good pharmacy and somewhere where there is ample space for patients to wait and get examined or even get admitted. This is rather important, as although everyone’s ultimate expectation is getting cured, people have started to give weightage to the feeling of the healthcare service in totality. For instance, they find themselves at a more stable stand when they are admitted  through an organised admission process, made to go through a shorter waiting line and receive consultation in a well-equipped doctor’s chamber.[3] [4] More specifically, doctors owning clinics or hospitals become strategists and employment generators[5] [6] initiating recruitment of nurses, receptionists, cleaning staff, and assistants to provide a smoother healthcare facility to their patients.

This intense profession has evolved considerably through many chapters and has forced its doctors to evolve with it. Be it the newest technological treatment options or consultation through telemedicine, doctors have readily altered themselves accordingly. The pandemic, on the other hand, has changed the winds again. After the countless roles played by a doctor, today, they also harbor one of a “Soldier”. Together with the large array of other professionals in the health and social care sector, an army of personnel has been deployed - which carries the weight of the country’s safety on their shoulders. With scarce information and predominantly, misinformation on the ongoing pandemic, they have also played the role of prompt decision-makers. Their multifaceted impact on society, rightly puts them in the position of potential leaders. With such heavy dependence of countries on doctors and the dynamic progress of this field, one can only imagine what other roles await our doctors.

REFERENCES:

  1. McCoy AB, Wright A, Eysenbach G, Malin BA, Patterson ES, Xu H, Sittig DF. State of the art in clinical informatics: evidence and examples. Yearb Med Inform. 2013;8:13-9. PMID: 23974543.
  2. A medical virtualist's skillsde Araujo, Aline Lutz et al. The Lancet, Volume 395, Issue 10218, 111
  3. Al-Abri R, Al-Balushi A. Patient satisfaction survey as a tool towards quality improvement. Oman Med J. 2014;29(1):3-7. doi:10.5001/omj.2014.02
  4. Nebsu Asamrew, Abduilhafiz A. Endris, Musse Tadesse, "Level of Patient Satisfaction with Inpatient Services and Its Determinants: A Study of a Specialized Hospital in Ethiopia", Journal of Environmental and Public Health, vol. 2020, Article ID 2473469, 12 pages, 2020. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/2473469
  5. Who says tech startups are just for the techies? Doctors, especially those who are business-savvy, make great tech founders, too. https://www.medicaleconomics.com/view/5-step-process-go-doctor-startup-founder
  6. The role of real estate in the future of healthcare https://medcitynews.com/2020/01/the-role-of-real-estate-in-the-future-of-healthcare/


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Tanishka Kochhar

Through my writing I hope to bring my readers closer to the less talked about areas pertaining to health, and be able to change the way people think and do health.

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