The Doctor’s Wife - A different perspective
Toppick Media Editor Apr 21, 2020 85 Views 0 Comments
Panic continues as the coronavirus spreads. A week ago when the first case was diagnosed in Frisco, My husband, a doctor, sounded the alarm. He was calling people and houses of worship to cancel programs and start exercising precautions. Oddly no one was listening to him, assuming that he was being "apocalyptic", that got me thinking: why is it when this trained doctor is saying that it's time to be serious, people don’t believe him? You will have heard that stores are sold out, the Costco lines are long, and businesses are struggling, no one is leaving their house. Why did we have a delayed response? Because many have an inherent distrust of medical professionals.
My dad is a trusting guy, he heeds advice for everything - except for one very crucial thing : healthcare. Whenever his doctor gives him health advice, he will question it. I wonder why is he suspicious of doctors? With their medical degrees and years of experience.
This wariness goes back years, as early as the advent of modern science and medicine. Eastern medicine is starkly different from the modern concepts of medicine, as they were mostly passed down through generations of practitioners with no tests or studies to prove or disprove them.
Many people feel doctors are selling them a diagnosis and drugs. This is in part due to the way there is a lack of a healthcare system in the subcontinent. When the doctor diagnoses and expects to be paid in full before any action is taken, and if payment is not made immediately, the person can die. Or when countless tests and drugs are being administered with no end in sight. This perpetuates suspicion in people. Many people, like my dad, inherit this wariness, even though they are being treated by doctors in America with insurance plans to help in paying later.
There is a cultural barrier faced by desis when they have a doctor who isn’t the same descent. Desi culture, too, has different nuances and traditions, a doctor who isn’t desi may not understand them. This leads many desis to seek out a doctor from the same type of background. They then expect extra special treatment, and when not the case, people tend to get even more annoyed.
Most who follow a religion that has faith leaders, who need to endorse medical professionals. When congregations see faith leaders telling them to trust or seek the advice offered by doctors, they will follow. Organized seminars by houses of worship about general health topics with Q&A’s would help get over the fear of asking doctors questions. This solution can really go far in helping remove this distrust and lead people to listen to doctors.
I am grateful to the faith leaders nationwide who have taken the advice of the CDC, and community medical professionals, and cancelled programs to help contain this outbreak. This decision will help the communities see that doctors can be trusted. Stay healthy and safe everyone.