Thank you doctor !

We get visiting consultants from abroad every now and then.

Few weeks back, we had a very senior consultant  visiting our hospital. He was a famous endocrinologist  from one of the leading facilities in Europe. He was in his sixtees. A very handsome man for his age,  he was very friendly and  always kept us comfortable, never  giving us a feel that he was an authority. His manners were impeccable.  His lectures were examples for us, how to deliver information, and to titrate the levels according to who were listening to him.

We have a dedicated diabetes clinic at our hospital. We take all efforts to see  the diabetics regularly trying to help them to bring the condition under control. But never have been appreciated for any of the work done there. On the contrary, receive only criticisms.

We were in the diabetes clinic  for a week, seeing patients and reviewing their treatment protocols. He had some strict standards about patients. Following the advices and sticking to the regime was one of them. Most of our diabetics are poorly controlled. Majority do not follow any advices given to them. We educate them on  the diabetic diets, life style changes and treatment options and finally give them a suitable  protocol to follow.

The clinic was crowded with diabetics. They had heard of a visiting diabetes doctor and came for the ‘’cure”  he was to offer, not what they had to do.

The lady in our story was middle aged, and morbidly obese. She had diabetes  for over a decade and had never got it under control. She never followed a diet, and never  took her medications regularly.The only exercise she ever did was probably at the time of eating,when she had to move her hands. If she had followed any of our advices, her condition would have been controlled so easily.  I always used to think that the lady had some problems, because she often looked unhappy and was never shy to express that. I introduced her to the consultant and gave the full history of her treatment. Looking at her medical records, the consultant was obviously amused and then, irritated. She had never taken any medicines, or followed any regimes and then how was he supposed to help her?
He was clearly not interested in giving any new suggestions. He had a hearty laugh,  made a joke of the whole issue and simply told her to take her previous medicines and attend the clinic regularly. We would not have taken more than few minutes to sort out her issue. The woman didn’t understand any of the comments he made about her as well.
The final day of his visit, we were winding up the clinic and  was about to leave, when I found the same lady waiting outside. She wanted to see him for just few minutes. I was surprised when she walked in, and like a conjurer,  produced a  gift from somewhere  under her burkha. It was very stylishly wrapped, with a pink ribbon and a flower to match the wrap. She obviously had good tastes. The consultant was a bit surprised, when she handed over the gift, with a big “ thank you” and left.
After she left, the consultant, who was obviously confused , winked at me and said.
“ Thank you, for what? For making fun  ?”


  1. a sad story about medical ethics it looks like to me. I have worked with not so very senior attendings in US and most of them are much more ethical.


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