Achuu!! This was my 16th sneeze in the past ten minutes. I was drained as usual with this periodic bout of sneeze attacks. In the interim break from the sneezes, I glanced through the swine flu advisory i had cut from one of the daily bulletins. It’s just one of the symptoms I said to myself. ‘Nothing to panic’, I made an instant autosuggestion to my already sluggish brain. Another rapid fire round of ear numbing sneezes and I packed my bag to leave for home. Between a doctor’s visit and self medication, I have been choosing the latter.
Well, that wasn’t me, at least till the time I moved in my new neighbourhood few years ago. While in my old dwelling place, I was fortunate to have an intelligent and caring family physician, who had his own practice in the neighbourhood. A doctor, who knew as much about his patients, as much as the knowledge he had about medical practice. What I appreciated about him was the absence of ‘I know all’ haughty attitude which a number of medical practitioners displayed. Though his diagnosis was usually correct, on specific occasions he would refer to other MD doctors for quicker diagnosis or prescribe a battery of test well in time.
I have been noticing an influx of specialty and super speciality hospitals in the metros, however, I have not seen as many as new generations of general physicians doing an independent practice. Blame it on the mall culture, or whatever, just like the friendly neighbourhood grocery store, general family physicians could be finding it difficult to survive. Unless a doctor has an established practice, affordability of rents and expenses like staff and electricity is not for every general practitioner. And seldom if one were to come across a general physician, the clinic would be bursting with patients, actively acquiring more viral infections and disseminating it to the unaffected lot.
Won’t a timely and accurate check up by a family physician, cut down on the bout of viral and malarial cases we are witnessing? Well that may not be the only answer, but one thing for sure, the breed of family physicians is getting rare by the day.
Well for me, my reckless self medication has spared me a visit to the hospital this time and I am back in action.