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“I need a doctor”

Hello people!

How is the new year treating everyone?

Before we move on to my this year’s first post; I wish everyone a wonderful and blessed year with loads of love, peace, happiness and success. Recently somebody told me (of course I have heard it before too); what happens on the first day of the year determines how your entire year ahead would be. Well then this 2011 I will be sick I suppose; because all through the new year (from the new year’s eve upto the last week) I was terribly ill- a bit of food poisoning with  intestinal infection.

The incident I am narrating today is not about my health but something related.

After days of being sick (supported with intense puking and diarrhoea), I finally decided to take an appointment and meet a doctor.

Operator: Good morning XXXX

Me: Hi, I want an appointment for today with a general physician

Operator: Please hold. I will connect you to the appointments’ desk.

(***tititintinti thithithi tititintinti thithi***)

Operator 2: Good morning, appointments’ desk.

Me: Hi! I need an appointment with any of the general physician for today.

Operator 2: Let me check for you ma’am. Hmmm.. ok! Maam all the doctors are booked except for Dr. abc. He is free from 1700 to 2000. He has a patient at 2000.

Me: Okay, can you please book an appointment for me with him at 1700?

Operator 2: Maam, do you have a file here?

Me: Yes. You can find it with my mobile number. it is 12354678

Operator 2: Hmm.. yeah I get it. But maam the doctor is iranian.

Being exhausted and tired; I really didn’t know how to react and all I could say was;

Me: So?

Operator 2: Nothing!  Your appointment is fixed for 1700, please try to be here at least ten minutes earlier.

Me: Thankyou!

Operator 2: Have a good day ma’am.

I had this conversation last week, but it still haunts me. Why was there a need to mention the doctor’s nationality as a word of caution to a patient before they book in?

In fact what has one’s nationality got to with their personality?

I am not saying that nationality is something that has to be completely overlooked; it does speak a lot about one’s culture and upbringing to a certain extend, but does it hold the same importance that it has at the emmigration counter (at the airport), at one’s workplace?

Actually I have to date not even understood the meaning of having separate counters for different nationalities at the airports when the world is preaching about a global village!

I have voiced my opinion on discrimination (of any sorts) in my previous posts and I still hold on to them.

My question here is, if she had to put across the doctor’s nationality to be before I could book for an appointment, then does that mean people are asking for it before hand?

My mom (while I was discussing this with her) had a (possible) valid point; in UAE there are people from different backgrounds and some are not comfortable communicating in English and might be requesting for a doctors who can speak their mother tongue. Possible!

But when I speak to her in english, why did she have to ask me this?

A slip of tongue? Possible!

Well with all respects to doctors around the world, I salute the efforts they undertake to save a life; even if it is a case of food poisoning like I had. But I am interested to know, if any of you put across special requests in such cases?

Starting everything on a very positive note for the new year, be good .. be safe and be considerate to the people around you!

God Bless 🙂


About sithararajesh

I am fascinated with this world!!!

10 responses »

  1. Great writing again, dear Sithu.. 🙂 Unbelievable things are going on around us and sometimes they even seem to overgrow us, but that shouldn’t mean silent acceptance or ignorance from our side, that is from intelligent, mature people able to see values far beyond race or nationality.. So, thank you for standing up for another noble cause in our mad world..
    (And only on a side note, after having visited around 20 mostly European countries and having had a short holiday in Iran, my brother is firmly convinced that Iran is no doubt the most wonderful country and Iranians are the most welcoming, loving nation he has ever met so far..)

    • I got a new novel, “Without my daughters”.. it is about an american married to an iranian. And i am fascinated to visit that place once duirng this life time :). Thanks darling, your comments keep me going

  2. wonderful piece sithu……I second ur opinion but also agree to what ur mom said…may be smtimes its a genuine thing…but ya I see a lot of these things like this evrywhere!!! well thats what we live in a so called hypocratic world isntit!!!

  3. Hi again.

    well was busy reading your blogs in my office time .I wanted to kill time and this was the best think to do.

    Regarding the dentist nationality , well the reason the receptionist who asked you must hv found out from ur file ur a keralite and u may not like to visit an arabic doctor.I myself do not prefer a arabic doctor and prefer an indian or specifically a keralite docotr itself.well if u ask me the reason what i can say is i am comfortable expressing it to a person who understands my languae and the second being im life till date i have consulted more of indian doctors.

    well u cant blame the receptionist on this matter..she was just being informative so that once u reach ter and change ur mind,,

    U know it more about hw v hv beeb brought up..u r lucky to hv this liberal thinking coz ur parents must hv brought in this way..not many are lucky as such

    anyway it was really pleasant reading ur mails..

    i fint it interesting


    • i very well get your point and i really wish (and hope) that the lady at the desk mentioned the nationality because she had communication in mind; and not because i am indian and what i want.

      now that you have put the point across, why would you not prefer an arab doctor? if language was not an issue, any otehr reason? a professional is a professional yeah… i am interested to know how people think and look for that is why (just a healthy discussion).

      I am glad my blog is coming to some use to you and your boss wouldnt have an issue 🙂

      take care, God bless

  4. Dear Sithu,

    Wonderful post I said last time, ur pen is getting sharper day by day..keep moving..

    About the ‘nationality ‘ stuff…I think that different patients ( inturn clients for them ) have different comfort levels and they tend to ask if the doctor is from abcdefg country or not…Since all of us are selfish (not a fault 😛 ) and concerned abt our health, majority tends to ask if the doctor is someone to whom they can talk openly and express the feelings….language play a role here because u can express ur deep feelings most of the time only in ur mother tongue…For example, i dont think a keralite can speak in English if he / she is crying out of emotion or so…it naturally comes out in malayalam…..

    Another thing is the understanding due to cultural difference like u said…People from same region might be able to understand the disease and cause in a better way…for example, one of my friend in Budapest was suffering from “chicken pox ” and he had been to a doctor…Doctor asked “gd mrng , tell me about what do you suffer from ?” …He replied “Doctor, looks like I have chicken pox”….But the doctor could not understand it unfortunately and his honest reply was “i am sorry, u said what BOX …?”…Its not the doctors mistake because he had never heard abt it as it hardly seen in Europe but if it was in India, every doctor knows it because this is a popular disease there and we refer this term…

    Anyways, I completely oppose any kind of racism and things like separate queue in immigrations etc if its just for a differentiation…Like Lord Krishna told, “Vasudaiva Kudumbakam – World is one family” and I believe in that 🙂

    Thats why infact we say “world is very small” and we all are connected 😛


  5. Your a good writer sithu…everything makes perfect sense…


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