Jun 5, 2012

Financial Malpractices and Ethics among Doctors in India : A Survey

It's now slightly more than a week, 8 days in fact, since the scathing interview of the Medical Council of India chief by Aamir khan on national television. The 4th episode of Satyamev Jayate targeting corruption and malpractices amongst doctors in India has ruffled quite a few feathers in the medical profession.

While many have praised the show for daring to take on the 'mighty' doctors, many others have severely criticized the tone and content of the episode. A mulitude of physician organizations have jumped on a band wagon demanding an apoplogy from Aamir Khan.

At Digital MedCom Solutions, we conducted a very short survey (5 multiple choice questions) amongst Indian doctors about what they thought of the "Anti-Doctor Episode". This survey was filled in by 87 doctors. It is meant to take a snapshot view of the immediate thinking in the medical fraternity (n=87) within the first few days after the television show.

  • 81% of the doctors who participated in the survey had seen the TV show. 
  • 45% felt Aamir was unfairly targeting doctors. 
  • 56% doctors knew a professional colleague who indulged in such activities.
  • 40% doctors think Aamir Khan should shut up as he has no idea about a doctor’s life.

The story is still unfolding as the clamour from medical associations demanding an apology is still growing. A few placatory and balanced interviews of well respected doctors by Aamir Khan have also now appeared in the media. As Aamir now clarifies that he didn't intend to tar ALL the Doctors with the same black brush, the dust has far from settled. Be ready for a round two soon.


  1. Interesting read. As always its hard to generalize but I have seen many examples of this happening as people follow their capitalistic urge. There are examples even in the west. The nexus of pharma companies and doctors in the west is also a result of the same.

    -Anil (http://www.smartrx.in)

  2. Thanks for the comment, Anil.
    Of course its wrong to generalize, but surveys like these do identify what chunks of the profession really think about the current scenario in healthcare. And owing to my own experiences over the past 15 years, i agree with this majority.

  3. This is a problem India created . The chances of a hard working sincere genuine person to get into medical college in India are slim. 50% seats are reserved anyway for quota . Very few Government college open merit seats . Of the private seats another 50% reserved for capitation. Was hard to practice ethical medicine in India, thus left for the US 10 years ago. In spite of healthcare changes in US, its still possible to survive doing good clinical medicine .

  4. While I agree with Rajs observations, a few of us still mange to practice reasonably ethical medicine and sleep sound sleep without guilt of having defrauded a fellow human for economic reasons. The problem here lies with the corporate hospitals ( ceo) who set targets for consultants and success is merely judged by the number of surgeries performed or patients treated in a month. I beleive that the best medicine can be practised in a national healthcare setting where all patients are equal and doctors get paid salaries