Sunday, October 15, 2017

“Doctor” in Uniform – “Second Opinion” or “Cut Practice”...?

HUMOR IN UNIFORM 

[NB: The generic Hindustani word “Fauj” refers to all arms of the Military (Army, Navy, Air Force) – so – the term “Fauji” or “Soldier” refers to all Military Personnel in Uniform of the Army, Navy and Air Force (Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen) – and the term “Faujan” refers to all Military Wives)]

My Hilarious Encounters with “Fauji” Doctors

“SECOND OPINION or “CUT PRACTICE
A Fictional Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

THE “FAUJI MEDICAL OFFICER 

This happened more than 32 years ago  in the mid 1980’s – at IAT Girinagar Pune.

I had newly arrived in station. 

Those days – IAT was an inter-service training establishment comprising Army, Navy and Air Force Personnel  but  it was run in typical Army Style.

During my evening walk  I saw a crowd of young student officers and families sitting on the lawns of the house of our Unit Medical Officer (MO). 

Seeing the crowd – I thought that our Unit Medical Officer (Doctor) was having a party.

“So  Doc is having a party  is it...?” I shouted to them.

“No Sir. We have not come here for a party. We are waiting to see the doctor for medical treatment...” they said.

I was impressed.

I had thought that our Unit Medical Officer (Unit MO) was a typical “fauji” doctor.

Most Army Medical Officers followed strict timings and rules.

You had to visit the Medical Inspection Room (MI Room)/Clinic/Sickbay when you were sick (even if you were seriously ill) 

This was because “fauji” doctors did not make house calls – nor did they entertain patients at their home. 

That is why I was impressed to see so many patients at the “Fauji” Doctor’s home. 

It was evident that he was such a good doctor  that patients were going to his house in the evening for consultation and treatment.

And – our Unit Medical Officer (Unit MO) – he seemed so compassionate, sincere and devoted to medicine – that he had started an Evening OPD at home for their convenience.

Thoroughly impressed by the dedication of the Unit MO  I said to the officers: 

“That’s great. I did not know that our Unit MO sees patients at home...” 

A student officer said to me: 

“Sir  we have not come to see the Unit MO

He is a “Quack” – a useless good-for-nothing doctor

We have come to see his wife. 

She is an excellent doctor who works in XXX Hospital  the best hospital in Pune. 

In the evening  she does her private practice here at her home  and everyone comes to consult her. 

Of course – she charges quite a lot of money as “consultation fee  but then  she is a really good doctor...”


I was stunned to hear this.

But – after a few days – I realised that the student officer was right.

A young Naval Officer told me a story a few days later which proved that the “fauji” doctor’s wife was a good doctor  yes  she was a really good doctor. 

Let me tell you the story. 


MEDICAL CATEGORY SCARE

Once  the young Naval Officer got a strange cough.

During his morning run  in the expansive picturesque campus  he would suddenly get a spasm of cough  so severe  that it was almost like a convulsion.

He would sit down  terminate his run  walk home  and drink water  and take rest.

For the rest of the day  he would be okay.

These fits of cough happened only in the mornings during his runs  and – while jogging in the open.

The Naval Officer reported to the Unit Medical Officer (MO) [“fauji” doctor] in the MI Room.

On hearing the symptoms  without even physically examining the officer  the Army Unit MO immediately concluded that it was Asthma.

And  the Unit MO referred the Officer to the Specialist at the Military Command Hospital (CH) Pune.

The Naval Officer was due for his sea time”  immediately after the course.

His fellow Naval Officers scared the shit out of the officer  by putting all sorts of fears in his mind.

They told him that  if he went to the Specialist for Asthma  he would be subjected to all sorts of tests and examinations  and  the Specialists at Military Hospital would surely downgrade his Medical Category.

Now  if his Medical Category was downgraded  that would be the end of his sea time  and – as a consequence  his Navy Career would be badly affected.

All Fellow Officers and their Wives wife advised the “Asthma Afflicted Officer” to see the “fauji” doctor’s wife (the civilian lady doctor who practiced at home). 

They all told the “Asthma Afflicted Officer – that – before he surrendered himself to the “Fauji” Specialist Doctors at the Military Hospital  it would be better if he took a “second opinion” from the civilian doctor wife our unit “fauji” doctor – since she was a good doctor. 

Of course – though she charged a hefty consultation fee – it would be worth it in the long run – rather than let the Military Specialist Doctors ruin his career by awarding him a Medical Category”. 

(In the Military – some Doctors are more adept at awarding Medical Categories than treating “fauji” patients...)


THE “FAUJI” DOCTOR’S WIFE

In the evening  the worried “Asthma Afflicted Officer went to see the “fauji” doctor’s wife.

The doctor’s wife  the civilian lady doctor  she heard him out  she examined him thoroughly  and – she said to the officer: 

“Don’t worry – it is not asthma – it is just a seasonal allergy due to pollen from the congress grass which is abundant on the campus. This allergy happens to some people in spring. Just stop your morning runs for a month or two. Don’t go out in the open in the mornings. You will be okay. Once it is summer  you can start your morning outdoor exercise and running again.”

“Any medicines – any treatment...?” the officer asked.

“Nothing. There is no need for any medicines...” said the “fauji” doctor’s wife (the civilian lady doctor) – and then – she advised the officer, “if you want – you can just add some gavati chaha  गवती  चाहा (lemon grass) to boiling water when you make tea in the morning – it will act as a placebo – there are plenty of gavati chaha bushes growing wild in the campus.”

Within a few days  the officer’s cough disappeared.

And soon  the moment the season changed to summer  the officer was absolutely fit and fine – and  he started his morning runs again.

Of course  the Naval Officer scrupulously avoided going to the unit MO in the MI Room  during the remaining part of his course. 

And – at the end of the course – fit and fine – he went for his sea time”.


AFTERTHOUGHT 

In the civilian world – I  have heard stories of doctors referring their patients to fellow doctors – for a cut or commission (known as cut practice...) 

So – in hindsight  I wonder: 

Was the “fauji” doctor much smarter than we thought...? 

Was he “faking it”...? 

By giving a “medical category scare to all his “fauji” patients  was it the ulterior motive of the “fauji” doctor to boost the private practice of his civilian doctor wife...? 

Was the Unit MO “fauji” doctor indulging in cut practice”...?

Ha Ha – “Second Opinion” – or  “Cut Practice”...? 

VIKRAM KARVE
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Disclaimer:
1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh. 
2All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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