Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Docs, tetracycline and some memories..

Penned after seeing this picture on Facebook


I also request doctors to listen to patients with an open mind. Some patients are sometimes far more well read than the doctors treating them.

I would like to give an example. In 1970s, tetracycline was the antibiotics of choice. For whatever reasons, soon after taking tetracycline, teeth would discolor and turn violet-tinged black. Nobody knew why. Hardly anybody correlated discoloring with tetracycline. At least not in our small town Dharwad.

My father, who is not a medical doctor, but a voracious reader had read about the side effects of tetracycline in some American book or periodical which he typically got from his returning NRI friends. What was not known to Indian doctors about the side effects of tetracycline was already known in the west and they had started to moderate its usage or stop it.

But in India, it was prescribed left and right. Whole generations of people had their teeth discolored permanently. Thankfully we were very young and had only our baby teeth discolored.

Sometimes doctors and other professionals can be so stubborn and closed minded that even when my father waved the books/magazines that stated side effects of tetracycline in front of their haughty faces, medical professionals, many of whom were his good friends, were not willing to listen or be open to the possibility because they thought they knew everything and a non-medical professional like my dad could not tell them anything that they did not know! Even the books/periodicals referenced by a layman were not palatable despite they being reputed publications.

This was was not the only case. There were a couple of other instances as well when my dad's explanations proved right. Not many doctors got books from the USA and read them. Their knowledge of latest medications was limited to what their medical representative told them or rather conned them to believe.

Hello, wake up and smell coffee. Your medical knowledge or for that matter any other knowledge also needs to be updated regularly. And for heaven's sake don't think you know everything and layman knows nothing.

I still trust my doctors but always get a second opinion if I feel like.


sunaath said...

You are right, Mahesh. After getting the degree, the doctors rely on medical representives for getting knowledge of prescription. The side effects are not detailed by the M.Rs. I am diabetic; and my wife too. Our physician prescribed two different brands of medicine. I just searched with Google to know their composition. To my surprise, the contents were the same. Only the brand names were different!

Mahesh Hegade said...

Thanks Sunaath Sir for good information!