An Informative useful book for doctors practicing in small cities, rural areas

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An Informative useful book for doctors
practicing in small cities, rural areas

Dera Ghazi Khan: Prof. Tehsin Iqbal Professor of Physiology at D. G. Khan Medical College has published a book in Urdu “From Medical Officer to Medical Teacher” which doctors particularly those practicing in small cities, towns and rural areas will find extremely informative and useful. He has dedicated this book to his father Prof. Ghulam Mohammad Saqib who was an Urdu Teacher while its Foreword has been written by Prof. M. Asif Qureshi Principal DG Khan Medical College.

This booklet is in fact the compilation of the write up which Prof. Tehsin Iqbal has written and published in Daily Nawa-e-Waqat from time to time. In the preface Prof. Tehsin Iqbal recalls that when he started working as House Officer with Prof. Iftikhar Ali Raja the noted Neurosurgeon soon after graduation, it dawned upon him how difficult was the working duty hours of doctors. He further writes that it was then he realized that it was the people in rural areas who need the service of doctors the most who are faced with poverty and lack proper social services. And if you serve them with devotion, they not only pray for you but also pay you back in kind if they cannot pay your fee in cash.

When he started his teaching career, it revealed yet another interesting career path in the life of a doctor. He has also served as General Secretary of Pakistan Society of Physiology. He has rightly appealed to all the healthcare professionals to share their experiences of professional life with other colleagues so that they can benefit from that. The booklet contains sixteen chapters but the most important among them include the working of a young doctor in a village, the way they have to compete with quack and how difficult it is to take history from a patient in rural areas. He then goes on to give some useful tips which will help the young doctors to make diagnosis and satisfy their patients.

While dealing with a female patient he says, one has to be extremely careful. His advice which is well known fact and principle of medical practice, never examine a female patient alone. Make sure that either you have a nurse with you or an attendant of the female patient is present. Then patients in different regions of the country use different words, language to describe their diseases and one has to be familiar with these terminologies. There is an impression among the uneducated rural population in particular that allopathic drugs are “Garm” or too toxic hence they have a tendency to reduce the dosage or discontinue the drugs without consulting their doctor. Self-medication is also very common. If the government ensures that all the essential drugs for common diseases are available in the Dispensaries in rural areas, it will ensure patients compliance with medications as they won’t have to purchase them. Lady Health Visitors, Technicians working in BHUs and RHCs, he says should be provided opportunities of refresher courses regularly.

Some patients may insist that the doctor must tell them their disease after looking at the pulse which is quite common. One has to be careful and if the patients constantly refuse to give any history, physical examination might work and the patients starts speaking. Be careful while taking history, order blood tests and X-ray chest if indicated and tell the patient that final diagnosis will be possible after looking at these test reports. LHVs have been quite helpful in taking care of female patients. The young doctors who wish to start practice in small towns and rural areas have to face lot of competition from the well-established quacks. While on one hand it is the duty of the government to eliminate quackery, it will become easier if people have access to affordable, easy and quick availability of healthcare by qualified doctors. He has also referred to the qualified quacks whereby he means those doctors who start treating patients without any prior training and experience in a particular area of specialization. It is also as dangerous as quackery, he rightly maintains.

The booklet also contains some guidelines from World Medical Association, pictures of his early medical college life and later as an active participant in physiology conferences organized by Pakistan Society of Physiology in different parts of Pakistan besides glimpses of the first Convocation of D. G. Khan Medical College held recently. Pages 124.Published by Print Care Lahore. Price Rs. 250/-.

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