Second opinions: Is there a tactful way to handle them?

I gently refuse to give opinion if someone asks my ‘quick feedback’ based on just a single report or a single symptom. And give them the option of a detailed assessment.

If they’re family or a close friend, I try getting the whole picture over phone call, and for this they have to wait till I’m free.

For anyone else, they have to call the appointment number and follow the process. If they feel my advice would be valuable enough to justify the fee and the wait, they follow the process. If they don’t, they stop asking me random questions, and keep looking for some other willing soul.

After the consultation, it’s easy if my Assessment agrees with that of the other doctor. But if there’s conflict, there’s no easy way out of it..

Continue reading Second opinions: Is there a tactful way to handle them?

Old Strategies for a New Enemy

My big learning in this pandemic is that we need to use what we already know from years of managing respiratory diseases, rather than treat it like something very new.

We know that most viral infections get better with just supportive treatment.

We know that many doctors over investigate and over treat viral respiratory infections, including blood tests, X-rays, antibiotics, oral bronchodilators, alpha-agonists, and what not..

We know that many patients self-medicate, self-investigate, follow random advice from relatives and friends, and have many cultural taboos.

All of the above has just gotten much much more pronounced due to fear on all fronts..

At the same time, I know lots of doctors who are keeping the flame of rational empathetic medicine alive..

In my practice, only two things are new:

Continue reading Old Strategies for a New Enemy

The Art of Communication and Counseling for Ethical Practice of Medical Science

Most doctors in India practice ethically. However, it’s a growing fear among patients that most doctors practice unethically! There is, at present a huge Trust Deficit in the minds of patients when they visit our OPDs and Hospitals.

The Art of Communication and Counselling can help us bridge this Trust Deficit. Continue reading The Art of Communication and Counseling for Ethical Practice of Medical Science