Over the last few months, I have had experiences in hospitals in various cities in India. While this has not been the most pleasant life experiences, there are few realizations:
* While the medical system in India is becoming highly commercial, there are doctors / staff of the medical fraternity who are still "noble" - It is heart warming to see this and I have immense respect for these individuals!!!
* If you are dealing with a chronic medical situation, then the patient's comfort with the doctor is the most important consideration - Someone who is genuinely interested in the patient's well-being and will offer the right medical advice anytime of the day / night! Everything else is secondary
* If you are in a difficult situation and need to make an instant decision, the one question which you should ask the doctor is "What would you do if you were in my situation?" - And look straight into the doctor's eyes when he responds. If he / she is unable to respond maintaining eye contact, you may want to re-consider the advice!
* Always try and get a second / third / N th opinion - if time permits! Expect that there will be difference in opinions - Decide based on simple logic and instinct!
* Respect and value the suggestions / priorities of the patient
* Once you have zeroed in on the place of medical care and doctor, all you can do is have faith and hope for the best!
* Never ever exhibit any negative emotion (like grief, anxiety, sadness, etc.) to the patient
* Always ensure that you have basic information on the medical situation at hand. Try and speak to a doctor or friend who has had a similar experience or google
* Always be aware of the Terms and Conditions of your insurance policy
* If you are dealing with a complicated medical situation involving multiple organs, always get the opinion of a general physician - He / She will have a holistic view of the human body ; as opposed to a superspecialist who will look at his / her area of interest (For e.g.: a cardiologist is more likely to focus mostly on the heart)
In the end, trust your instinct!!