FAMILY DOCTOR: PERILS OF PANACEA

It is 10:33 p.m., and the deadline to submit this article is 11:59 p.m. Guess why was I not able to make it in time? Because a patient of mine had constipation, another had the ‘pains’. What pain, I don’t know. Yet another suffered from heartbreak, though he was single most of his life. I vaguely remember screaming internally that these aren’t the things you tell your family doctor, kiddo! And here I am, on the precipice of throwing myself off in an eternal abyss of insanity, held just in time by the relentless questions by my friends, who, for some reason, like to be called ‘patients’. I don’t like that term, you know, because I am the one being patient here, buddy.

           While a plethora of research exists on the humans on the receiving end of the treatment being optimistic about the prognosis of the most deadly of all diseases, who reads research anyway? Pfft… Nerd weirdos. Doctors obviously exist as prophets to cure and heal human beings and sometimes the pathogens from a variety of diseases. Wait, did I say prophets? I meant puppets. Puppets cure and heal themselves from a variety of injuries inflicted upon us by the patients’ disappointments. This proclivity to be the best of the hitters stems from the never-ending expectations of the patients. I wish I was making this up, but once a kid asked me whether he can transplant a unicorn horn instead of his hair. That kid was 30 years old. He resides in a state mental institution currently. He gave a permanent scar on my left forearm, which surprisingly is very similar to what I think a unicorn’s horn might have given. Or maybe he was trying to tell me the design he wanted. But let’s not get into the painstakingly moral dilemma of saving the saviours.

          Instead, let me tell you a little something known as logic. That is just a glorified word for what you don’t have when you take Sildenafil with Diltiazem (Google it!). So, this weird thing wants you to be rational and have a scientific basis for your speech! But just like Bhai’s movies (which I don’t give a buck about), and much like what people think happens with their tax money, patients have a knack of putting it down the drain. Because what better doctor there is than a crowdsourced artificially intelligent software predicting your prognosis based on heuristic algorithms? A 5.5-year medical degree means nothing, ya noob! If you have a cough, obviously it’s ‘bronchial’ cancer. If you are about to give birth to a second child, obviously you are not a ‘primary’. That is what they mean by primi, by the way. For all those who didn’t attend lectures and wasted UG time romancing…… with something that rhymes with Sparrow or SPAMS. Pfft… Nerds. 

          But you know what, I don’t want to be all narcissistic (but my psychiatrist says that I am one). I am bound by the Hypocritic Hippocratic Oath. I love treating patients. That is what my minuscule incarnation means in this momentary universe. I may not be from a family of doctors, but I am a doctor of families. Families whose (irritating but painfully sweet) kids hug me when they see their father not suffering from pain anymore, or because they are temporarily cured of that haemorrhoid, or that cute little grandma thanking me as if I chose that her daughter-in-law is blessed by a baby boy (at last)! Humans indeed do have some warmth attached to them that can’t be measured by scientific thermometers. This is the warmth that a man feels when he can breathe peacefully at night because of something that I read in the second year, or a grandpa, abandoned by his sons, and who gets treated for the most trivial of reasons and isn’t lonely anymore. This is the superpower that we all have. This is the privilege that we get from studying and posting how much we study on Instagram. The boon of patience is not by the patients but is for the patients and of the saintly old bald bespectacled morbidly obese guy known in social circles as the ‘Family Doctor’. 

P.S. It is 11:10 p.m. and I must go now. Someone wants to ask whether they can drink alcohol after getting a COVID Vaccine.

Written By:

Dr. Nitish Nadkarni

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