Updated: Jan 3
Corruption in medicine enters main-stream media every now and then. Like corruption in other walks of Indian life, it's not going away anytime soon, legislation or not. Young doctors starting practice are often shocked when they first face demands for kick-backs, meet PROs(public relations officers) doing the dirty work for other doctors and see that hospitals incentivize admissions and procedures, whether indicated or not.
If you're one of those who believe you're honest and won't do it, your thought cannot stop there. Honesty and ethics make for high-sounding talk but without courage, you can't do anything with them. Courage is often about being okay with being lonely and we're scared of being lonely. A display of courage without strategy will wear you out, if you're fighting a lonely fight of no returns. The day your ethical practice lands you poor and jobless, you may wonder if you should have been splitting 30-40% of your professional fees with referring doctors. Most like you have already crossed over to the other side. Yet if you believe there's got to be a way to not be sucked into it- know this "Not doing the wrong thing isn't all there is, to doing the right thing" Have you thought of an intelligent and robust alternate strategy? Here would be some points to think about.
1) Rise above mediocrity in your professional abilities- don't be good, be way better. 2) Build platforms to reach out to your patients directly, without depending on referring doctors. You don't have to navigate the nexus, you can bypass it. 3) Build yourself a network of other doctors capable of the above. There are other specialists in your boat who think like you, get to know them. 4) Have a sum in your " FU" account till you accomplish some of the above. It's going to be a longer journey than the short"cut". Why do all of the above? For one, it's the only right thing to do- sharing the patients fee with someone the patient isn't aware of, is theft. Patients suffer financially and bodily hurt from it- you didn't pick medicine to do that. Two, you'll get to keep your money. Third, lesser-trained individuals should not compromise your decision-making (they always want you to operate, so they make money.) Fourth, we live in an increasingly open environment, and you will hurt your reputation if word gets out. Lastly, when you've bought your house car and family vacation, you will want to buy autonomy and self-respect, why sell it in the first place ? Don't just be virtuous, be intelligent about it.