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EDITORIAL
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 117-118

Trivialization of procedures: A dangerous trend


Department of Ophthalmology, Premchand Deepchand Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Date of Web Publication19-Sep-2016

Correspondence Address:
Barun Kumar Nayak
Department of Ophthalmology, Premchand Deepchand Hinduja National Hospital and Medical Research Centre, Mumbai, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/2320-3897.190790

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How to cite this article:
Nayak BK. Trivialization of procedures: A dangerous trend. J Clin Ophthalmol Res 2016;4:117-8

How to cite this URL:
Nayak BK. Trivialization of procedures: A dangerous trend. J Clin Ophthalmol Res [serial online] 2016 [cited 2021 May 16];4:117-8. Available from: https://www.jcor.in/text.asp?2016/4/3/117/190790

I have interacted with a lot of seniors who have expressed their concern about the changing pattern among medical practitioners, recently. Gone are the days when medical practitioners had to undergo a long grueling years before they could be recognized as successful doctors. Today, it seems that technology and electronic gadgets supersede the capability of even an above average human being.

Many of our kind have fallen prey to the desire to attain quick fame. We see doctors trivializing surgical procedures by resorting to subtle advertisement, in the disguise of patient education. Medicine is a fine combination of art and science. We perform a procedure to the best of our ability, but can we guarantee a favorable outcome in all our surgeries? Complications do occur; while there are some which may pass of as minor, few devastating complications cost the patients their lives, money, and mental peace. Although there is a need for patients to be aware and well informed, we cannot overlook the responsibility of the doctor to provide full information from their side to the patient. However, we hear many instances where providing selective information or withholding some with the intention of attracting patients is becoming common. This practice is absolutely unethical. Ultimately, it is the patient who has to take a “fully informed decision” concerning the treatment. Hence, the onus of providing full, undistorted information to the patients rests solely on the shoulders of the doctor. We are aware that a cataract operation may cause massive choroidal hemorrhage leading to the loss of eyesight, a routine vitrectomy for macular hole surgery may also lead to retinal detachment requiring a longer surgery with further risk of vision, an intravitreal injection may lead to endophthalmitis with permanent loss of eyesight, and long list of such cases can be prepared. This is not to say that a doctor has to indicate all possible complications to the patient, but keeping the patient informed that 100% result cannot be expected in all cases and rarely the severe complications can arise, which will surely help.

Having gone through a number of websites, I came across some quotes, such as “hardest of the hard cataract surgery takes less than a minute by Femto Second Cataract Surgery,” “Bladeless Cataract Surgery,” “Cataract patient has hardly time to get out of the car before the surgery is over,” “I do surgery in 6–8 min,” “No Injection – No Patch – No Spectacle Surgery,” “Don't worry, Cataract Surgery is very simple.”[1] I am sure you will agree that all these statements scream “trivialization” of surgery with the sole purpose of enticing the patient and are nothing but a form of advertisement. By trivializing the procedure, we are indirectly degrading our capabilities and doing great injustice to our colleagues and profession. According to the Irish College of Ophthalmologist (ICO), advertising and marketing practices should not trivialize the surgical procedures. ICO suggests the following practices of advertising as inappropriate.[2]

  • Time-limited deals
  • Financial inducements
  • Package deals, such as “buy one get one free” or reduced prices for two people such as mother and daughter deals, or refer a friend
  • Offering procedures as competition prizes
  • Celebrity endorsements.


I also want to draw your attention toward a blog posted by Rasik Bajpayee, wherein he says, “In Medical Academics too, Rhetorical speaking is not an uncommon phenomenon and many distinguished gentlemen have used it effectively to climb ladders of success, cleverly bypassing the mandatory hard grind. The classical characteristics of a Rhetodemician (Academic Rhetor) include flashy attire, loud voice, ability to present fiction as fact with a straight face and tendency of name-dropping during their discourses or even during a normal academic conversation!”[3]

If we understand and acknowledge that we have to preserve the valuation of our profession, now is the time to discard the rhetodemicians who trivialize surgical procedures for petty gains.

I am sure there will be arguments from either side. However, a bit of soul searching will show you the right option.

 
  References Top

1.
David W, Parke II. Beware of Self-Trivialization. Available from: . [Last accessed on 2016 Sep 02].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Siobhan Kelly, CEO, Irish College of Ophthalmologists Potential Undermining of the Profession by Unregistered Medical Practitioners, the implications for patients and how the issue should be addressed Joint Committee on Health & Children. Thursday 19th December, 2014.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Vajpayee R. Rhetodemicians. Available from: . [Last accessed on 2016 Sept 02].  Back to cited text no. 3
    




 

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