Proud to be a doctor

Published: April 8, 2012

RAWALPINDI: When I went to medical school over fifty years ago, it was considered an honour and a mark of pride. When I started practicing in my home town I did so with a sense of responsibility. Now retired and living with my son in a city, I am often called upon by his friends to advice on various ailments. I do so with great care and never hesitate to ask them to consult a specialist as the world of medicine is constantly evolving.

What pains me is the mockery that this once fine profession has been reduced to. It is bad enough that doctors are failing in their duties. But the world of advertising parades men in white coats and stethoscopes to sell all sorts of things from soap to toilet cleaners to medicines. How many of them are actual doctors? Most Pakistanis take a doctor’s word as written in stone. They will end up believing the word of these fake or non-practicing doctors with potential negative consequences.

This shows a lack of moral integrity on the part of the manufacturers as well as the advertisers. Apparently there is no credible body which monitors these advertisements. How can we put an end to this?

Dr Atta Mohammad

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Farzana Tayyab
    Apr 13, 2012 - 8:22AM

    Completely agree. I am a mother of three. And this lack of ethics really troubles me. The other day my seven year old was telling me that I should bring a certain product because a famous doctor was recommending it. And because my ten month old spends a lot of time playing on the floor. The lady in the ad is a talk show host! I know there are a few ads which use genuine doctors and are quite sensibly made. But i cannot say the same for the rest. I’m surprised the media spends so much time shouting about trivial things making mountains out of molehills and no time at all on what is going on under their noses.

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  • Dr. Ali Hassan
    Apr 19, 2012 - 9:24PM

    Indeed this trend is on rise with the presence of whitecoats on television endorsing floor cleaners to mosquito reppelants. Having done some very basic Internet research I found that even some of the most under developed nations in the African continent do not permit doctors/whitecoats to appear in advertising, let alone actors pretending to be doctors or selling products with flawed and misleading claims.

    Media channels should madate that if a whitecoats/doctor is to be featured advertiser must provide the copies of the doctors’ degrees and PMDC registration number.

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