Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why I feel sorry for US doctors

Many of my medical school classmates settled down in the USA, and there used to be a time when I would envy them. Because they were working in US hospitals, they had access to the latest technology and the newest gadgets , while we were lagging at least 10 years behind them, because India was a developing economy.

However, as times have changed, I now actually feel sorry for them.

India has now become a world-class destination for certain medical procedures, such as IVF. We use exactly the same equipment and technology anyone else in the world does - and do an extremely good job at it.

However, we have a number of advantages. Doctors in the US today are very unhappy. They are squeezed by :
  • demanding and unhappy patients who are happy to sue at the drop of a hat;
  • a restrictive reimbursement system, which wants them to work harder for lesser pay
  • a maze of rule and regulations which shackle their autonomy.
Many doctors in the prime of their career are suffering from burnout and changing careers - or getting into more lucrative specialties such as cosmetic surgery.

In India, on the other hand, we can provide high quality world-class personalised care - at a fraction of what US doctors charge . We are in our honeymoon period - and before it gets sullied by Indian bureaucrats, I am happy to be a doctor practising in India for now !


  1. Anonymous7:08 PM

    It's interesting that you describe it as a honeymoon period. The obvious assumption is that as you're profession progresses (?economy modernizes?) so will the inherent problems that come with it in the medical field. As a doctor, the question becomes how do you direct you're fields development? Also is the honeymoon period for the doctors or the pateints? Great blog -- nice to read experiences from around the world. Ian.

  2. Anonymous7:17 PM

    As a U.S. family medicine physician experiencing all the ills of practicing here that you describe, I can only ask the following question.

    Where do I sign up to practice in India?

  3. Anonymous1:29 PM

    Well Still Lifestyle n Money a doctor enjoys in USA can never be compared to India.

    And if u see even today hordes of best doctors(trained in AIIMS,PGI,JIPMER) just rush off to usa as soon as they complete USA..

    N I m another one in that crowd totally frustrated with Indian system n lack of opprtunities back home even after working like a dog for a decade.......

    So sir I beg to differ from what u have posted here


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