Monday, November 25, 2013

Maligning Doctors on social networking site: A trend to be discouraged

Maligning Doctors on social networking sites: A trend to be discouraged

Hitesh Gopalan MS(Orth),

Fellowship in Joint Reconstruction(Lilavati and BreachCandy Hospital, Mumbai),
Fellowship in Sports Surgery(Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan),
Visiting Lecturer, Centre for Evidence Based Orthopaedics, McMaster Unviersity, Canada
Editor, Orthopaedic Principles A Review
Editor, Handbook of Orthopaedics
Editorial Board Member, Journal of Orthopaedics, Indian Journal of Orthopaedics
SICOT India Core Scientific Member
Clinical Assistant Professor, Orthopaedics and Traumatology

There is no doubt that medical profession is facing grave challenges. It takes years to become a doctor and once you become a doc, you need further training to refine your skills and provide the best possible treatment.An incident that happened in Delhi recently Show how aggressively people can malign you.

The  story goes like this:

Patient A was admitted to a high profile hospital in Delhi, India. The patient complained of pain in the ankle following an injury and Xrays were ordered. Xrays showed a lateral malleolar (outside bone of ankle)fracture. The doctor after careful examination and review of Xrays suggested that it would better to operate on the ankle as there was a high risk of late displacement,  and the potential for a less than optimal function of the ankle if NOT operated. Now, this is the season of "Second opinions". Everyone wants to go for a second opinion, third opinion and probably a 'n'th opinion. It is very well understood in medical and orthopaedic literature that a single fracture can be treated in many different ways. Sometimes an early surgery can get the patient back to his job quickly. Modern day Orthopaedics is all about bringing a patient back to his normal function at the earliest.We are talking about "Restoring Motion and Resumption of work", in every conference in India and abroad.

Now patient A and his family goes to many doctors and take 'n' of opinions. And possibly many of them had a more conservative approach and recommended against surgery. Patient A and his relatives now plan to malign this doctor in the  maximum possible way. They make an image and write a few words that puts the doctor in bad light, that they wrote his name and hospital affiliation and posted in multiple facebook profile 'walls" and "groups". What is surprising is that they even created an application to make these posts go " viral". The post was shared by 22000 people.

There is no doubt that this is quite rather an unusual behaviour by a group of paranoid individuals who want to show the medical profession in bad light. All of us must rise to the occasion and see that we protect our fellows and friends in medicine,  especially if you hold the highest level of medical ethics close to your heart. The only way is to educate the public that there is a long way that one has to travel to become a doctor. There are countless nu mber of exams,  failures and hardships in this journey.  Before you put down a doctor think for 5 minutes about the sacrifices a doctor endures during his lifetime. Take one minute of your time to share this post on your  facebook and twitter profile. Tweet #SaveMedicine. Share it so that it reaches 22001 people. Share the following Image as well.
 Tweet #SaveMedicine

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