-By Dr Naresh Purohit 
(Executive Member - Federation of Hospital Administrator, - Principal Investigator - Association of Studies of Health Care )

Todays doctor is in a predicament. Medicine is a science which has many probabilities and possibilities. A patient places what is most valuable to him-his very life in the hands of the doctor. It increases the responsibility of the doctor and is expected to exercise a very high degree of skill and care.

Medicine is a hot mess of human anatomy, physiology, sociology, psychopathology, drugs, hope, and compassion. The patient narrates a story- his perception, for a doctor to make a diagnosis. Never forget that some diseases are incurable and one will not have much to offer. Doctors are human; they use their expertise to reach a cure with the help of modern technology.Their purposes are humble: "To cure sometimes, to heal often, to console always."

Todays society is run by money, everybody is after money. The greed for money is overwhelming! Doctors are no exception. There is no denying that doctors are afflicted today by the same corrupt practices that have permeated every aspect of our public lives.

Irrational prescriptions, bribes for referrals and unnecessary investigations are the most common forms of deceptions in Indias health sector. 

According to one study hospitals are 74% the least trusted, followed by pharmaceutical and insurance companies 62%, medical clinics 52%, doctors 50% and diagnostic laboratories 46% were other healthcare players whom people dont trust as blindly as they did.

There is a crisis of compassion.The humane, compassionate, caring doctor, who worries about patients welfare, who treats them with a "holistic approach," is a relic of the past.

There has been unprecedented violence against doctors. If hostile relatives take centre stage, the poor doctor is a sitting duck. The violence and abuse against doctors, both verbal and physical, is illogical, and the malady is fast becoming pandemic. It isnt easy being a doctor, it never has been. Today, the Indian Doctor is isolated, defensive and vulnerable.

The patient is not just a group of symptoms, damaged organs and altered emotions. The patient is a human being, worried and hopeful, searching for relief, help and trust. Trust has always been the basis of the doctor-patient relationship.There is a trust deficit. India has a little over one million modern medicine doctors to treat its 1.3 billion people. If patients cant trust medics then doctors are done.  Their relationship becomes adversarial.

The media has always looked at doctors with a jaundiced vision. While a doctor is expected to be altruistic, above temptation, he is not above suspicion, reproach and ridicule. 

Medics trust patients less too due to fear of litigation. Doctors are forced to practice defensive medicine, with increasing lawsuits and violence, doctors will be forced to practice where you document more than you diagnose and treat.

The need of the hour is a sincere, upright, concerned, kind, ethical doctor, whose primary interest is the patient; who is available, affordable, and empathetic; who touches them, holds their hands, examines them, cares for them, and treats them like human beings.