Tuesday, February 06, 2018


The general perception of giving is that, by doing so, you actually lose something, with the exception of unsolicited advice, which people often give freely & generously.  :)  And conversely, that by receiving, you have gained something. 

Giving is integral in the fabric of the Hippocratic oath. What the unwritten understanding is that when a fellow physician seeks your professional service, you are duty-bound not to charge professional fees. Giving, remember?

Yesterday, I spent 6 hours in OT with a patient who is also a fellow doctor but whom I do not know personally or professionally. The surgery was labour intensive, and sometimes energy sapping. At the end of it, to conform with the spirit of professional courtesy, I do not expect any remuneration for this effort. It did feel unsettling initially, given the nature & duration of the surgery, but what did I actually lose? Nah....just exchanged 6 hours of my time for professional social responsibility, a notion I gradually warmed up to.

The good doctor (the patient, I meant :P) survived the surgery, so let's not sweat the small stuff.


mun said...

Oh, I did not know that there is an unwritten code of honour that doctors do not charge each other for services rendered.

doc said...


yes, it applies to fellow doctors, their spouses & very close family members.

but personally, I have medical insurance because I don't believe my colleagues should go thru the risks of treating me without fair remuneration.