Saturday, July 23, 2011

When do Indian doctors create their own websites ?

As compared to the USA, Indian doctors have been much more reluctant to go online to establish a digital clinic, and I find this surprising, since India is considered to be the IT powerhouse of the world !

For many senior doctors, the web is still a very new tool - and they are not sure what value it will add to their lives . They have practised medicine happily for many years without the internet and are quite happy to continue doing so. For some, it's also the anxiety of having to learn a new tool - and unfamiliar technology creates its own barriers.

Most senior doctors who are online have moved there for the following reason.

1. Their colleagues and peers have their own websites , which is why they follow suit. This is especially true for highly competitive "fee for service" fields, such as IVF and cosmetic surgery, where practically all doctors in India have their own websites, because they need to attract patients.

2. They find out that their patients know more about their disease than they do ! This can be quite a rude wake-up call, because doctors pride themselves on their professional knowledgebase. When they encounter patients who are better informed than they are, the conscientious ones will learn from their patients, and turn to the internet . When they do so, they find there are lacunae in what is available online , and that they can help to fill these in by contributing their own wisdom and perspective.

3. Their children ( and students) push them online. The younger generation in India seems to have been brought up on PCs - and this generation is now pushing their seniors to move online, so they can improve their efficiency. While some older doctors will resent this push to "new-fangled" technology because they feel threatened by it, wiser doctors who understand the need to keep uptodate will learn to adopt it, so they have more ways of reaching out to the rest of the world !

The good news is that the older generation of technophobic doctors is now giving way to the new breed of doctors, who are as comfortable with a PC as they are with a stethoscope !
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