It was a fine summer afternoon. As usual the whole family was having lunch together while watching TV and I heard Bilqees Edhi saying:
‘I will make my children butchers but never Doctors’.
I was in my teens. I had been healthy all my life. The hospital, for me, was a place where I visited my old relatives only. Apart from that I had no interaction with people from this people’s profession.
Bilqees Edhi, as most of us know, is the spouse of Pakistan’s most respected man, Abdul Sattar Edhi. So when she talks people do listen. I was, as most teens are, receptive but intellectually lazy so my opinion was made about doctors by the influential lady on TV.
Some of us hate doctors while still seeking their help when needed and some of us see them as the “chosen men of God” and use words like healer for them.
A doctor’s job is very challenging. They have to look at the patient as nothing more than a malfunctioning body, detaching their emotions from treatment, and at the same time they have to be emphatic to the family to keep them calm. Doctors are trained medical professionals but at the end of the day-human beings. They get tired.
In my college days I used to organize trips for my class. As a professional, it was a part of my training to put the stay of the students first. One of the things I did was to give the driver a break after every four hours. The driver wasn’t just driving the coaster but the 24 people on it. The driver’s mental absence could threaten the lives of those 24 people. Same is with the doctors and they can’t, and shouldn’t, let people’s opinions guide their judgment.
We as a society look at everything with the blinding spectacles of emotion but the doctors are professionals. They spend more time treating patients than at home. What we experience rarely is their routine so it is logical to become a little cold. It is also a practical thing to not be emotionally attached with patients. It can cloud the doctor’s judgment and affect a patient’s life.
The flaws in our health system and the lack of awareness of it among the general public overburdens the system and the doctors. The worrying thing is that health is a serious affair and overburdening doctors threatens people’s lives and gives them a bad name.