I know the question above might sound ironic, funny or rude, depending on how you perceive issues. It is also relevant to point out that I will most likely not tell that to a doctor in his or her face – it’s insulting, I know. But that is just a hint of the kind of questions I can ask in my mind when things are not being done as they ought. It does not mean carpenters are worthless or nonentities. The idea of carpenter here is as used by those in the law profession who assume anyone that does not possess the sort of knowledge they have is a carpenter, an unqualified person.
You may also be tempted to ask, ‘Doctor, are you a carpenter?’ if you have had similar experience as I when visiting hospitals. Perhaps, I should be more specific about the type of hospitals I’m referring to here: government-owned hospitals. The attitude of most (not all) workers you see in these places leaves a lot to be desired. They are intolerant, rash and brash for the most part. However, my issue at this time is with the doctors who are at the core of hospitals. It is saddening to say that I cannot recall any general medical doctor that has made any positive impression on me; there may be an exception if talking about orthopaedic doctors based on my own experience.
It is disappointing to note that most doctors, both those in the public and private sectors, appear to be more skilled in prescribing drugs than diagnosing conditions. This is a layman talking, so please forgive me if I appear to be talking beside the point or painting the wrong picture. However, I think commonsense dictates that you should find the cause of a problem before proffering a solution, no? Some of these doctors seem to think otherwise, however. Go to a doctor for consultation to find the cause of a health issue and you may come away with a drug prescription even without first being tested or diagnosed. This is more likely if, like me, you can only afford to use a public general hospital or an affordable private clinic.
When suggesting tests to be done, if any at all, these doctors will tell you to get some drugs at the same time without first seeing the diagnosis. Take the case of my most recent visit to a general hospital: I was asked to do some tests and buy some drugs. I noticed one of the medications was for malaria – the same with the tests. The results came out okay, but I was asked to use the drugs bought all the same. To compound matters, the doctor I saw even prescribed additional, more-expensive drugs to buy. Needless to say that I didn’t even bother to get the extra medications prescribed.
As far as I’m concerned, many of these doctors are not doing enough to enhance the repute of their profession. Sometimes I wonder if some of them know anything at all. I get the feeling that they are not doing enough to advance their level of knowledge and expertise. They seem to be more interested in just making a lot of money with minimal effort. Their penchant for prescribing drugs may not be unconnected with clandestine agreements with drug suppliers. I could remember a time a doctor asked me to buy prescribed drugs from a specific pharmacy and requested to see the receipt to confirm that I did as directed.
Even when these doctors ask you to have a test done, you are likely to be directed to specific labs, probably owned by them. There was a time one doctor working at a general hospital referred me to a private lab for an X-ray. To my surprise, the lab in question didn’t have the requisite equipment. I had to be taken to another lab for the X-ray and there I got the hint I had been charged about 4-5 times more by the first lab.
I’m not really surprised to see things like this happening in a country where a fake doctor was able to practise for about 10 years and serve as a chapter chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in the process. Nigerian doctors need to really step up and be counted. The medical profession needs to do more to present a good impression to the public – that is, if they care at all. As things stand, I know most people will not entrust their lives into the hands of most of these doctors if they had a choice. You should be really thankful to God if you currently do not find yourself at the mercy of these people; it could be a nightmare!