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Doctors are super-rich and lead lavish lifestyles. Really?

Dr. Amit Dalla, an alumnus of Apeejay School Charkhi Dadri, Haryana, and a consultant Dermatologist, dispels 5 common misconceptions about medical professionals.



Dr Amit Kumar Dalla

Hailing from Haryana, Dr. Amit runs his own clinic in Charkhi Dadri. He did his MBBS from Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) Rohtak and MD from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh (PGIMER). In an interview, Dr. Amit busts many preconceived notions members of our society have about this noble profession.

1. Doctors are super-rich and enjoy lavish lifestyles

This is one of the biggest misconceptions that the general public has about us. As with other professions, your pay increases with experience. Initially, you have to put in the hard yards. Also, becoming a doctor is not a cakewalk. There’s cut-throat competition for admission to medical colleges and you have to spend a fortune. The starting salary of a doctor in a government hospital is around Rs 70,000 per month and for a Doctor of Medicine (MD) it’s around Rs 1.25 lakhs per month and that too after studying rigorously for a decade. Will you call that fancy or out-of-the-world?  Now, even big cities have high doctor-population ratios. In fact, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Goa have more doctors than the WHO norm of one for 1,000 people. A career in medicine won’t make you rich instantly. That’s why, many new doctors from India go and work abroad for better opportunities.

2.  All doctors are hale and hearty                               

Another common misconception about doctors is that they are always in good shape, but doctors too like the rest of us suffer from health issues. Diseases such as hypertension and diabetes are common in doctors. They are certain branches of medicine where you are occupied from morning till evening and you don’t get time to work on your fitness. The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has increased stress and anxiety issues among doctors. Most of them barely get any family time due to extended work hours. Still, doctors are more aware about their health these days. They go for routine-checkups and this helps in the early detection of diseases. 

3. Doctors know everything

Yes, with experience doctors become proficient in their field, but they still have to constantly update themselves by attending numerous medical conferences and online webinars. Medicine is an evolving field: you have to be on your toes all the time. You can’t put a full stop on your learning. A doctor is a life-long student.

4. Doctors are solely responsible for their patients’ health

Doctors work in partnership with patients. Our job is to actively listen to, and respond to, their concerns. We guide them to the best of our abilities. If patients don’t heed the guidance provided by their physicians for various reasons, then doctors can’t do anything. As a patient, you should participate actively in your treatment, take your medication on a regular basis and not miss your follow-up appointments.

5. Terse doctors are incompetent  

If you are in a government setup, you have to deal with a huge influx of patients. Sometimes, you lose your patience due to work pressure or other external factors and it’s assumed that you are an incompetent doctor. I don’t think this is an issue in the private sector. Being terse doesn’t make a doctor bad. Doctors, like all of us, have good and bad days, as well as individual personalities. Any industry can have incompetent professionals, but overall most doctors are personable, great listeners, and empathetic to the concerns of their patients. 

Dheeraj Sharma is Asst. Editor (Newsroom). He covers events, webinars, conducts interviews and brings you exciting news snippets. He has over 10 years' of experience in prominent media organizations. He takes pleasure in the small things in life and believes a healthy work-life balance is key to happiness. You can reach him at [email protected]