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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 219

Changing attitudes

Department of Psychology, Rajasthan University, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Date of Web Publication30-Sep-2015

Correspondence Address:
S Kapoor
N-12, Malviya Nagar, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2395-5414.166324

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How to cite this article:
Kapoor S. Changing attitudes. J Pract Cardiovasc Sci 2015;1:219

How to cite this URL:
Kapoor S. Changing attitudes. J Pract Cardiovasc Sci [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Jun 4];1:219. Available from: https://www.j-pcs.org/text.asp?2015/1/2/219/166324

Dear Editor,

The Editorial “Bedside evaluation in the era of imaging” in the previous issue of JPCS,[1] has a statement: “Bedside evaluation: It reflects the involvement of the doctor in the simple question of what ails you and what best can be done for you under the circumstances?.” It reminds me of my experiences as a patient.

I am a breast cancer survivor. I was operated by Dr. P. K. Wanchoo at the SMS Hospital, Jaipur, in 1982. During his visits to the ward, where I lay recovering after the surgery, Dr. Wanchoo would always speak words of encouragement to me. One day, I was in very low spirits. Though a very senior and busy doctor, Dr. Wanchoo took out time to take me out for a short ride in his car. I immediately felt better, seeing the world beyond my ward. A simple gesture like this, changed the world for me and made me look at doctors in a new light.

It must be acknowledged here that there has been a manifold increase in the number of patients over the years and this has made it difficult for the doctors. There is, thus, a pressing need for opening more hospitals. Notwithstanding this, at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences where I am presently undergoing treatment, I have been witness to and beneficiary of the commendable commitment of the doctors and the supporting staff toward their patients, irrespective of class. This needs to be emulated.

A patient visiting his doctor for consultation may land himself in one or the other of the two situations. In one, he may encounter a somewhat reserved person sitting in the doctor's chair who notes his name and age and then ask him about his complaint. He is in a hurry and starts writing the prescription even while the patient is struggling to explain the symptoms accompanying his complaint. The doctor then gives the prescription to the patient asking him to take the prescribed medicines and return with the reports of a number of tests advised by him. The patient leaves, frustrated and unhappy, carrying the feeling that he was not properly examined. In the other situation, the patient may face a doctor whose very first expression puts him at ease. The doctor makes a couple of inquiries about his life in general and then listens to his complaint and the symptoms. After a brief clinical examination, he writes a prescription and asks him to take the prescribed medicine for a few days and then return back. If considered necessary, he may also be advised to take a couple of tests. The patient leaves, happy and satisfied that he has been carefully attended to.

Another issue, I wish to talk about is technology in Medicine. While technology is very important in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, as already emphasized in the aforementioned article,[1] the significance of clinical examination of the patient cannot be minimized. I will narrate here an incident from my life. Being a breast cancer patient, I was required to undergo 6-monthly and later yearly tests after the initial treatment. After about a decade in 1992, radiological tests in a prestigious hospital were interpreted as showing malignancy in my thoracic vertebrae. I was immediately rushed to Dr. P. K. Sethi, eminent orthopedician, famous for his “Jaipur Foot.” He looked at my radiological reports and then examined me in various positions and postures. Finally, he wrote “unambiguously” that he saw no evidence of malignancy and opined that it was “Collapsed Vertebrae.” I subsequently approached Dr. P. B. Desai, the then Director of Tata Memorial Hospital, who made an independent assessment and confirmed the diagnosis. Twenty two years later, I still live.

“The Good Physician treats the disease; the great Physician treats the patient who has the disease.”

–William Osler

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There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Kothari SS. Bedside evaluation in the era of imaging. J Pract Cardiovasc Sci 2015;1:7-8.  Back to cited text no. 1
  Medknow Journal  


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