Stories about doctors

What if your daughter doesn’t want to be a ‘doctor bahu’?

In a recent conversation with a mother to little girls, I asked her what she had planned for her children with regards to their education. I was merely referring to school choices but she told me, quite categorically, “Matric, FSc and then straight to medical college!” It seemed quite standard a response for the desi mind-set, but I couldn’t help but wonder. What if they want to do something else? What if they want to grow up to be writers or study hieroglyphics or become physicists or God forbid, singers? What if they hate being doctors? What if they hate studying biology? What ...

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The story of Pakistan: I am a dreamer but I am not the only one

We, Pakistanis, are full of dreamers. I say this not just as an expression but after observing it myself. While on my trip to the countryside, I came across many stories and dreams, and I found each story unique in its own way. Here are a few of the dreamers I met along the way… Photo: Salman Javed This is an 11-year-old boy and a proud shepherd. His household income depends on the cattle he grazes. He seemed like a very pleasant child. During our conversation, I found out that he wished to attend school, become a doctor, own ...

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Rapist doctor arrested in Brazil, what would Pakistan do?

I recently came across an utterly horrendous news story. In Paraguay, a 70-year-old doctor was sentenced for raping and sexually abusing 39 of his female patients who came to his fertility clinic in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Roger Abdelmassih has been sentenced to 278 years in prison. What is even more disturbing is that this doctor was a well-known practitioner in his city and had also treated many Brazilian celebrities. He was well off, had a wife and kids, and was living a supposedly happy life. Yet he reduced himself to this. Though I was glad that he finally got punished, the news ...

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Do impaired individuals deserve to be made fun of?

He has had speech impairment for as long as I can remember. Each word uttered has to be a deliberate effort for him. His sentences spoken are often unclear and difficult to comprehend. Perhaps, he also faced bullying whilst growing up but that never shattered his confidence, for his career demands him to interact with large crowds and be a public speaker. Despite the lisped sentences, his statements hold clout and his opinions are always sought. People make fun of him and glances are exchanged around him, yet he only fumbles, never stumbles. He is the 14th prime minister of Pakistan, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. ...

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So many Hindu and female doctors! What is happening to Pakistan?

There are some things you can’t help doing – like talking to fundamentalists. I know many of them and almost all of them are convinced that non-Muslims want to harm Muslims. One such person, whom I have known for 25 years and who can’t compose a simple sentence in English (despite having two master’s degrees) thinks that since Pakistan was made for Muslims, those who are not Muslims should not be allowed to have jobs (unless there are no Muslims available, as for instance in jobs like cleaning up lavatories). This man is deeply concerned about the growing number of Hindu doctors in Karachi’s ...

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Doctors in Pakistan: Sumbal, only the peptic ulcer wali bibi, not a person with feelings

Her doctor thought she was an open mouth for him to dunk pills into. Instead, she turned out to be a person with thoughts, feelings and questions that were all left unaddressed. As part of Pakistan’s tightly-knit community of doctors, it is common for us to share our horror stories about non-compliant, abusive patients with laughable misconceptions about drugs and bodily functions. We softly giggle at them mistaking left-sided abdominal pains for appendicitis, when the appendix is in fact on the right side. And the unspoken conclusion drawn each time is that a patient is too uninformed to be trusted with his own ...

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Pearls of destiny… deprived

Her face glowed as she reached the gates of her college. Her eyes sparkled with ambition as she took each step towards her classroom, aided by her faithful crutches. Slowly, she approached the front desk of the class, kept her bag on the seat next to her, sat down and neatly hid the crutches under the desk. It had been another usual day for Anika. She had enjoyed every bit of her lessons, making it a point to answer all the questions she had answers to when asked by the teacher. When she didn’t know the answer, she would eagerly wait ...

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We’re not God, we’re just doctors

You must have heard stories about doctors or hospital staff giving the ‘wrong’ injections and blood transfusions which were said to be the cause of death. Although I agree that such tragic mishaps do happen in the field of medicine, I assure you that most doctors would not do anything deliberately to harm a patient. My maid once told me that her nephew had been admitted into the hospital due to some critical illness. Her eyes widened in fear as she told me the way the doctors applied pressure on his rib cage, almost as if trying to kill him, when according to her his condition was not that critical at ...

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Doctors vs pharmacists: Selling drugs gets no respect in Pakistan

Ever watched a Bollywood song and wondered why the back-up dancers, who are as pretty as the main actor/actress, fail to catch a glimpse of the limelight? There are some people who feel like this all the time. You may recognise them as the people behind the counter at a medical store — I like to refer to them as ‘pharmacists’. Fact: they study a crucial, nerve-racking five-year course and earn a doctorate of pharmacy, yet they are not recognised on professional platforms. I believe most of them are tired of this crazy roller coaster, where they are asked several ...

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Save our doctors at Civil Hospital Karachi!

One morning I decided to make a surprise visit to the Civil Hospital Karachi. The motive of my visit was to get an idea of the current security arrangements, so that violence in hospital could be prevented and controlled. Unfortunately, this visit uncovered a set of serious security breaches. •   There was an absence of security personnel on almost all the entrances and exits of the hospital. •   The main gate leading to the entrance of the Emergency Department was being handled by a few unarmed security guards who were merely opening and closing gates. •   The Police chowki (office) was empty and it appeared ...

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