Category Archives: Humor

The Price Of Love

© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

He tied her to the pole, abusing and insulting her.
Wielding a knife in his hand, he slapped her once more. “You are supposed to be the honest one” he shouted, “I am a man. You were talking with our neighbour. What did you say to him? Did you two fix up a place to meet secretly?” he was trembling with anger.
She looked into his eyes, and replied “Don’t you talk to other women? Doesn’t your mother talk to other men? Do you always talk about that? I was asking him about his sick wife”.
Pulling her by her hair, he said menacingly in her ears: “Look, don’t compare yourself to me. I am a man. You are supposed to be the one who gives up everything for me. Do you think I don’t know how ‘those’ women behave? You have chosen to marry me. I can do what I want”. She didn’t reply. What could she say to a paranoid, suspicious person who had one way communication? The option of violence wasn’t open for her.
As it became dark, his mood changed. He started speaking soft and sweet. He untied her from the post so she could cook. She could not eat well, the humiliation and insults, the allegations and violence wreaking havoc in her mind.
Silence fell upon the dark. The next day’s work awaited her at dawn, so she skipped the sobbing and tried to sleep.
“Make love to me” he ordered. She tried to comply.
He raised his voice “It should come from the bottom of your heart. Don’t pretend. Love me madly, deeply, and let it show in your action”.
Silently, she replied “I can’t. The only one thing that could have made me truly love you was true love from you too”. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
This is the current scenario between the society and the good medical professional today.
Take for granted that the whole medical profession is one’s slave. Make allegations at every possible opportunity. Be suspicious and paranoid. Hold a doctor guilty for any news anywhere without logical enquiry. Make them overwork under the sacrifice tag. Disrespect them, beat them up, ask them questions as if talking to criminals. Presume every other doctor and every big hospital is a fraud.
Then, when one has a health problem, expect them to be truly, deeply compassionate, loving angels who will do the best because they are married to their principles of being good and kind to everyone.
If you expect the doctor to be truly nice and kind and compassionate to you, to make best decisions for you, ask yourself if you deserve that. No amount of money will buy you a doctor’s love and respect, no amount of hateful criticism or threats will compel your doctor to be compassionate.
A doctor’s real fees is the respect and trust you place in him / her. No amount of money is worth the value of your life. Pay with suspicion, threat and disrespect, and you destroy the compassion you truly deserve.
The doctor-patient trust is a coin with two sides, one side cannot be blank.
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

PS: I know the word “exaggeration”. Learnt it from some movies and TV shows that criticise doctors.

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Targets and Doctors: A Fatal Flaw

Targets and Doctors: A Fatal Flaw
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
“What will you become when you grow up?” a common question heard in childhood. Always weary of doing the routine and fond of a little spice in life, I had kept a list of answers to surprise and occasionally shock the questioner uncle / aunt, based upon the spontaneous dislike they generated by other questions and general behaviour and replied something like “It’s a secret” or “It depends upon when in future” etc. There is no better revenge than vagueness for some. In the moment when they paused to react to that vague answer, I would make an innocent face and ask “What was your percentage when you were my age?”. Then the explanations of how things were more difficult and in general marks were lower back then were very entertaining! Curiously, those uncles / aunties did not ask me further questions. Target hit.
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
For the better and polite class of grown ups, I had the standard answers that my parents would like: Doctor, Scientist etc. The real answers were too “out of the league” for the culture I grew up in then. One thing was sure: the big-eyed respect that the words “I want to be a Doctor” evoked from the listener was sure better than any other response.
Somehow the wish to become a doctor caught hold better, probably because of parental influence. Once I completed MBBS, I loved the actual interaction and started realising the enormous satisfaction potential that the skill generated. The ‘high’ of vast complicated knowledge sharpened daily by experience was superior to the ability of a non-medico to understand or praise it. It was an autonomously growing satisfaction.
Then came the thought that I want to learn more. There are better skilled people, who could treat better than me. Getting admission to MD Medicine was very difficult, there was no question of paying in private colleges as we could barely even afford the govt. medical college fees. A lot of somersaults later, I got admission. There was an explosion of medical knowledge and wisdom suddenly, and there was no choice but to comply. Good and bad patients, good and bad teachers, good and bad friends, good and bad times were all drowned by the prime necessity and survival technique of every genuine doctor: Study!© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
Ego is greedy. Mine too. After MD, there was a desire that I want the highest specialisation: DM. More battles. More scars. All worth the title. With that degree, it felt like I have won the world.
At that time if anyone had said I worked for a financial target, I would have declared a war.
Many more steps in education later, I woke up to the naked reality: however good a specialist you become, you have to either have your own multicrore hospital, or work at someone else’s. Basic medical practice is far different from specialty practice, which requires more time, more investigations, intensive care and complicated treatment strategies / surgical techniques.
When one joins a private hospital, one realises this more intensely: there really are good and bad specialists. Some are very thorough in their academic base but cannot convert that in good patient outcomes or numbers. Some are very sweet and courteous with patients but they lack proper skill, knowledge or experience. The spectrum is wider than one can imagine. Obviously like in every profession, some think of earning more money as their primary aim.
Anyone who owns a hospital must invest many crores of their private money, directly or via bank loans. Sometimes the govt. helps in reducing the cost of land. But in each case, the maintainence cost of any hospital runs usually in lakhs to crores, more with each bed added. Intensive care beds are the costliest investment.© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
When the owners of any hospital invest crores of rupees, they have targets to return their loans., to maintain the expenses that run in crores again: right from 24/7 failproof electricity and water arrangements to the availability of medicines, stents, catheters etc. in the hospital premises. The nursing, reception, helper, technician staff (in most major hospitals, the staff runs in thousands) must be engaged in three shifts, and paid in time commensurate with other establishments/ professions.
The only help that comes from the govt. is initial subsidy in land / water prices. There are no tax relaxations for any hospital/ staff. 20% of all services and beds are reserved for the poor. (If anyone has doubts that the poor-reserved services are not utilised, they can verify with the charity commissioner any day). On top of this all govt. employees must be seen at pathetically low rates, and even that amount is usually pending to be paid for years if not decades.© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
Add to this the profiteering that the medical insurance companies have created: on one hand twisting the arms of private hospitals to provide specialty medicare at bare minimum rates, while on the other hand declining many deserving patients medical coverage due to idiotic reasons.
In this scenario, the last thing that a corporate / private hospital can afford is a non-performing specialist, whose salary runs in lacs of rupees every month (which is what that cadre deserves).
Most corporates / private hospitals are aware of this, and usually support a budding practitioner till his practice picks up. After that, the least he / she is expected to do is to maintain that level of practice or increase it, returning the investment that the hospital has made in his growth. The provision of a furnished room, electricity, washroom, cafeteria, parking, staff and salary to a non-performing or underperforming doctor is not affordable for every hospital.© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
This generated the word “Target”, which was quickly coloured villainous by many. Which financial endeavour can be run without setting financial targets? If anyone is naïve enough to think that all hospital owners will invest their hard earned crores for charity and leave the returns to fate, they must get examined by a qualified practitioner. If the hospital cannot generate enough profit money, there won’t be any growth in medical technology. If they cannot repay loans, the hospital will be confiscated by banks.
Many hospitals of excellent doctors have closed down because they could not sustain the charity they attempted. Indian poverty and healthcare need is beyond the capacity of even the govt. to cope up with, so to expect a private company / doctor / hospital to provide free / concessional high quality continuous medical care to everyone can only be a fool’s dream. This applies to the MRI centers, diagnostic facilities, labs, physiotherapy units etc. where multiple crores are invested.
Some hospitals realised the potential of profit making in this “Target setting” and turned greedy. Mostly good specialists do not stay at such hospitals. Even if most hospitals pinch most doctors to achieve certain numbers, not every specialist works to achieve that target. I know many who would rather keep their ethics and be good clinicians, still staying in the lesser favourite class of management, rather than selling their ethics to shine among the administrators.
The notion that “Every specialist in every big hospital is working to achieve targets by deceiving the patient” is a fatal flaw developing in the mind of our society . Fatal because this also generates fear of going to the right specialist or reaching too late for them to be able to save life.© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
If I cannot afford a Mercedes, I will drive the car I can actually afford, rather than blaming and maligning the entire car industry. Many other cheaper, equally safer options are available for travel.
The problem is, everyone wants the best, highest class of super specialty medical care in luxurious set-ups, at the price list of a sarkari dawakhana. Most doctors who studied in govt. hospitals know that the quality of doctors is very good there too, but if we give that option to the patient, they say “No, not in sarkari” because they want to avoid long lines and “general population treatment”.
As the doctor is the only responsible face that the patient sees in the hospital, many obviously end up thinking that every penny they pay is going to the doctor, at least in percentage. Many will be surprised to know that a doctor usually gets less than 10 % of the total hospital bill as his fees in most cases.
Few will understand that the real “Target” that most doctors work for is to do good to the patient, to save lives. Millions of successful treatment and surgical outcomes from the corporate and other hospitals are a proof of this.
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
Dedicated to the private hospitals started with the aim of making available specialty medical care for the society and caught up in unfair, unjust allegations because everyone wants free healthcare.
PS: There are greedy doctors and hospitals, like in every other profession. This article is not about them. It is wrong to advise patients unnecessary procedures / tests to achieve financial targets. This article is to explain to the society that target setting is essential for any hospital where recurring investment in new technology and maintenance is also the responsibility of the owner.
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The Sweetest Pinnacle Of Life

The Sweetest Pinnacle Of Life© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

To many students who are lost in their search for the right aims and goals in life, who trusted me enough to ask that question, I have suggested that they imagine what they actually want in their life at its Pinnacle.

Success, riches, fame, awards and accolades, a legacy, achievements are all good to show and leave behind oneself. The truth is far more than that. Love and care, affection and respect in one’s evening of life is what everyone deserves, but few are fortunate to achieve. For what good is s life that spends its aged years in desolation, isolation, despair of an uncaring, loveless family one has sacrificed much to bring up well?

Hollow words of “show- love” and “pretend care” are commonly employed everywhere, especially among the rich, educated and culture-claiming pundits of humanity.

One experience I have is worth sharing: that the poorest of the poor, like the farmer in the wheelchair here, are cared for with far more genuine love and affection than many. This family collected alms and help to get him to India, and never asked for any concessions, free treatment etc., always saying they were willing to do anything for the happiness and health of this grandpa. His son standing by his side is an illiterate farmer, but is caring for his father . quoting proudly “He brought me up!”. There is no smell of “I am obliging my parent” in his behaviour.

I have met hundreds of Arabic Muslim patients who care for their parents, sons and daughters equally well, willing and with total faith in the treating doctor. It does not change with their financial status. They insist on the parents staying with them, ask questions about their food, exercise, medicines, happiness and comply strictly with the given instructions.

They naturally do not know the words “Culture, Rights, Medicolegal, Elderly care, Nursing Homes, Mercy Killing etc.”. Rarely have I seen them unemotionally “okay” with a bad diagnosis of a parent.

This old man, in my personal opinion, is one of the luckiest human beings upon earth!

© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

Thank you, Mr. Naser Ali, Mr. Abdul Hakim Mohd. Al Malahi, Mr. Majdi Jamil Aiselwi, Mr. Ahmed Anwar Aqlan!

The Addiction of Bitching Allopathy

© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
“Allopathy is like a beautiful, gorgeous, much desired woman out of one’s league, you know. Those who do not get her keep raising questions about her character.” said Dr. Sen.
Dr. Sen is a specialist in heart diseases. Known for his witty and acid remarks with bitter accuracy, he was admired by a few who did not mind such remarks about themselves. Most others were scared of his sarcastic humour, and the weak minded hypocrites with bloated egos maintained a safe distance, lest he expose them.
My Bangla friends have always enriched my life with a class of academic excellence, superb literature, supergenius class films, exotic food and that sweet speech with the cute accent where even quarrels sound like speaking to an infant in a cradle! Of course one does not want to face an angry Babumoshai or his sister, for they can kill only with words. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
A middle aged patient had come to Dr. Sen with many heart related complaints: breathlessness, fatigue, chest pain, palpitations and swollen feet. He was found to have heart pump failure. If the heart does not pump blood forwards correctly, the impure blood stagnates backwards. If not treated in time, this can turn fatal. This patient already had diabetes blood pressure, but for many months now had chosen to avoid allopathy for the fear of side effects. He had been through almost every other proven and fake pathy.
Dr. Sen gave him standard medicines, and asked him to return after two weeks. The patient came back after a month. He appeared near normal now. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
“How are you now” asked Dr. Sen.
“I am feeling quite alright, doctor. Just after I visited you, I also went to Dharambaba’s ‘Health magic’ healing center. His medicine helped me immediately, I feel far better now. But I continued your medicine too. I have come to tell you that I want to stop your medicines now. I asked the assistant of Dharambaba, she told me I can continue the allopathic medicines along with their treatment”.
Dr. Sen removed his specs. He took his battle position.
“Do you know the contents or names of those medicines?” he asked the patient.
“No, but it is written that they have no side effects. The only problem is that they are very costly. Baba does not charge anything, he is divine and treats patients for charity. Even the western yoga is free, american yoga experts teach it at his center, I only had to buy their kit for clothes and music”.
The total that the patient spent there was more than five times the fees of the heart specialist, but the well qualified heart specialist was still “inferior” to the unqualified methods because he charged upfront! Not to count the expenses of some grievous side effects that the patient was going to face in the future, never knowing that they were related to some unknown medicines in the past.
And if the patient faces an emergency during such unknown treatment, it is not the Baba that they rush to, but the nearest allopathic casualty. It is not surprising that no medical negligence/ medicolegal cases are heard of about the umpteen existing alternative pathies in India!
The level of superstition and defamation that allopathy faces is only comparable to the torture of prophets and saints all their lifetime. © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
“I cannot tolerate any allopathic medicine” is one of the funniest and stupidest sentences a doctor gets to hear from some superstitious patients. Most doctors choose not to answer that.
Dr Sen flared up each time he heard this sentence: “This is like saying all computers are only used for pornography, and all smartphones for only sexts! Do you know how many medicines are there in allopathy? Do you know how they are studied? Just because you had some side effects to some medicines, don’t blame the entire science”.
Well, the least you can do if you do not believe in allopathy and do not tolerate medicines, is to not go to an allopath at all. Almost all allopaths are too overloaded to have to listen to superstitious analysis and criticism crap from those who aren’t even enough qualified to do so.. But if you do choose to visit and try allopathy, have enough sanity of intellect to not start any other pathy at the same time. Allopathy is so scientific that it has to mention the side effect of each medicine used. We cannot lie, hence we cannot compete with those who lie. Even minimal common sense tells us that many plant products are also poisonous, there are allergies to almost everything. How can someone claim an unknown medicine to have “no side effects?”© Dr. Rajas Deshpande
If your son / daughter is an engineer, try telling him / her about the rockets made a thousand years ago and listen to their response. Will you sit in a five thousand year old airplane flying upon faith and mental power? If yes, do not try allopathy. If you have a scientific mindset, you are the right person to benefit from a scientific medical practitioner.
Once a ruling party MLA came to visit Dr. Sen, with all his flaccid human paraphernalia. Very ill mannered, very obese, but his arrogance was the first worse thing to be noticed. Dr. Sen checked him up and wrote a prescription, explained him the condition, diet and precautions.
“You must visit Dharam baba once” said the MLA to Dr. Sen, “he cures so many patients of heart disease. You know, allopathy medicines have too many side effects. I am going to visit him soon.” © Dr. Rajas Deshpande
“Is it, Sir? Very good. Please stop my medicines when you start any others. These medicines are not to be taken with any other pathy medicines, there may be severe side effects. Please convey my Namaskar to Dharam baba”.
“When should I follow up with you again?” asked the MLA.
“Oh it is not required. Please continue the treatment under Dharam baba. In the rare event that you do not benefit from Dharam baba, try the famous Hakeem of Kanpur or the Vaid-Guruji in remote Maharashtra who cures everything by dropping some yellow liquid in your nose”.
“Doctor, you seem to be making fun of me” said the MLA.
“No, Sir”, replied Dr. Sen “You are making fun of your own health and life. You have no right to bitch what you do not understand”.
© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

The Bollywood Hospital

The Bollywood Hospital

© Dr. Rajas Deshpande

“You are invited for the inauguration of The Bollywood All-or-None Good Doctor’s Ultimate (BANGDU) Hospital” said the card. I was ecstatic, because now I could meet the so-claimed best experts in the field of medicine, the Bollywood heroes who “create” and advise the screen doctors, and know best about medical profession. This was also my lifetime lucky chance to learn about new methods of medical practice yet to be discovered by the actual medical professionals practicing all over the world, like conducting heart transplants only by using cellphone batteries and delivering babies using toilet vacuum pumps over Skype after graduating in engineering, which all the Medical councils seem to approve without hesitation.

My good friend with emotional incontinence (uncontrollable crying / laughter) Mr. ‘Arun Khar’ (Mr. A) was to be the medical director of this hospital, because usually he declares himself the perfect and best at the outset, and everyone else has to be compulsorily less smarter in his shows, movies or whatever else he does. As I wished him a good evening, he reminded me that I should now call him ‘Dr. A’ as the Bollywood Medical University has conferred upon him the superspecialty degrees in all medical and surgical branches within one year of joining the course because he was too smart: in fact, he showed me the special “Oversmart of the Century” certificate conferred upon him by the BMU.. There was one more reason that he was chosen the boss: he had also produced huge number of patients via his work, in the field of violent revenges and other human injuries so essential to improve other human beings.

The crowd was overwhelming, as the public and some TV channels were very excited that the “Real Good Doctors” from Bollywood with Godly qualities were now available for their free and most accurate miraculous treatment, there was no possibility of any patient dying. Unless of course they wanted to shoot for some movie, where the script demanded that the patient died. The hospital was decorated by the best imported designers in artful colours, live orchestra played beautiful tunes stolen from the western musicals, but the theme was Indian (sorry, Desi). The ambulances standing outside had turbo and nitro modes, and their sirens were created by the best South Indian Music Directors, in the “Karuna Rasa” (nectar of compassionate pity). The paramedics and ambulance drivers were said to be trained by the best Hollywood stunt masters. Each ambulance was also equipped with praying priests from at least four different religions.

So it came that Dr. A started showing me around.

“This is out Casualty in charge Dr. Mithun Coconut”, he said as we entered the casualty, introducing me to a sickle-wielding man who was threatening all the casualty doctors. “He has already killed three doctors today for not saving the dead bodies of our innocent film stars who were fighting gang wars with guns, bombs and knives since their childhood”, Dr. A proudly hugged Dr. MC. They both wiped their eyes after taking the right pose in front of the camera.

Dr. MC then explained the relatives of a critical patient of brain tumor, by showing them an X-ray film of pelvis on the view box. How artistic and meaningful!

I was curious about the blood bottles hanging upon each wall, ready to be transfused, labeled “Lost son 1, Lost Mom 3” etc. When I asked about it, Dr. A answered with a trademark cunning smile: “That is our creative idea: so we don’t waste time in blood grouping etc., we can readily transfuse blood when the lost relatives are here. We are so advanced, we even have emotional singers sitting in the casualty specially for that occasion”.

“These are our Operation theatres”.. he showed me two rooms with green and red bulbs over the door. We entered the first room. It was empty. “This is our ‘Director’s cut’ OT… Different genius directors invent different medical / surgical procedures, like cutting the heart and keeping it in the freezer till the hero kills the villain, hero holding his totally cut head for days so it fits back, conducting online deliveries etc… we have reserved this OT for such emergencies. You routine doctors will never be able to match us!”.

The second operation room had specialized music systems to adapt to the patient’s heart rate and criticality. It automatically started to show the patient’s life in flashback and played songs sung by either his / her parents or fiancé in the past, so their heart would restart. “The doctors and anesthetists are very well trained here to look frightened and concerned into each other’s eyes and sweat heavily when the patient goes serious. We have three specially trained “tears of joy” nurses who smile a curiously contorted smile when the patient’s heart restarts. The lighting also adapts to the situation” He described.

Then we went to the ICU.

The moment we entered, someone karate-chopped my neck and hit me on the head. As I regained consciousness, Dr. A introduced me to the ICU in-charge: Dr Akkha Kumar. I had heard the name earlier: He was world famous for his work: killing all those who were living and saving all those who were dying. “Why did you hit me?” I asked, hiding behind Dr. A. He looked at me angrily and said “This is my style.. I assault all qualified doctors, govt. officers etc. to prove that I am better than them. Do you understand?” He asked, pointing a gun at my forehead. “Yes, Sir”. I said.

A nurse came running “Dr. Akkha sir, the patient has had a cardiac arrest.. they are resuscitating him”.. Dr. AK jumped over three beds and thrashed the doctors who were trying to save the arrested patient: “You idiots.. his heart has stopped.. Khattam… Don’t treat this dead body now..”.. “But sir, she’s young, and may survive..” said one young doctor… “Bang”. He received a bullet in his forehead. “My Style, remember?” asked Dr. AK to me. Some people came in and actually performed a pooja and aarti upon him for his human values: after all killing and violence was such an easy solution to all problems, which the likes of Gandhi and Einstein had missed!!

In the next room, there were many elderly ladies. “We even provide these praying and crying Moms to our patients at discounted rates. They have a degree in emotionally blackmailing the doctor, and the only way our patient’s will start talking again, however critical with whatever diagnosis.” Explained Dr. A.

There were sounds of loud music coming from the auditorium next door. As we entered it, we saw the ever clever and strong  Chunabhai MBBS: whose famous radical theory of providing “alcohol and sex” to all dying patients had caught the fancy of our times. The old methods of religious recitals and soulful things were so bland for the dying! How could sex and alcohol not make them happy in their last days? These were the only things one could want in life, especially when dying young with grievous illnesses! Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, Counseling.. were old treatments. How innovative and mind-blowing!

“Is it all free?” my natural question.. “Yes, for those who watch our movies. You must show the tickets for entry in this hospital. Those in emergency can buy tickets for our shows in the multiplex on the top floor.. we thought of everything.. medical charity is our aim”. “What is your first response when an emergency arrives?” I asked Dr. A innocently.

He smiled his famous “Ain’t I cutely great?” smile, and said: “Just see”.

In a few minutes, an ambulance rushed in. Dr. A was at the forefront with his team. What a hero!! The patient was apparently having a heart attack.

They made a circle around the patient. Dr. A and his team removed their shirts. Some wardboys came with buckets and mugs. Some others rushed in with a huge water pipe. The orchestra opened with loud drums, to which they all danced: “Jab Life ho out of control … Toh Hoton ko karke gol.. Seeti bajake bol… Alll Izzz Welllll (Basically a hindi song meaning when Life gives you the raspberry, just say All Is Well to yourself till situation resolves!)” .

As the music drowned the patient’s voice, I saw the relatives and TV channels line up to get the autographs of these greatest doctors upon earth!

(c) Dr. Rajas Deshpande

PS: Purely an imaginary story. No truth at all. Any resemblance to any human, animal or non living entity or event is purely a perversion of reader’s imagination.

PPS: For all the criticism of medical profession they show, whenever the b’woodians need to show a hero / heroine intellectual, he / she is a good doctor automatically. This post is for the real good doctors!

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