We the Tabeebs
IF CALLING ISM PROFESSIONALS ‘DOCTORS’ HURTS ANYONE’S EGO, PLEASE CALL US TABEEBS! FAROOQ AHMAD DAR RESPONDS TO DR MUSHTAQ CHALKOO’S ARTICLE “DEMEANING DOCTORS’
This refers to Dr Mushtaq Chalkoo’s article titled “Demeaning doctors, misleading patients”. Since the writer has cast aspersions on the credentials of professionals of Indian System of Medicine and Healthcare, who look after the health of almost 70 percent people in India, I think the record needs to be set straight. To begin with, all I could understand from Dr Chalkoo’s article is that he has a big problem with professionals from ISM&H using the title ‘doctor’ and he wants it to be the exclusively domain of those passing out from allopathic system of medicine. I have no qualms about it and I would support his claims. The title of Tabeeb, the Arabic and Urdu equivalent of Doctor, will suit my ilk just fine as we have been taught our degree mostly in these languages. What is taught in the allopathic system of medicine is almost exactly the same that is taught in the ISM. The only difference is of the language. Physiology for us in Munaful A’aza while Tashreeul Badan is Anatomy for them. I hope that voices are not raised for disqualification of those allopathic Doctors who study medicine in Russian, German or any other language not understood by English speaking people. Though I agree that there are many new streams of medicine and treatment which have cropped up over the years, the author has tried to question the very authority which gives him and us the legitimacy to practice medicine, and people the trust to believe in us to put them back on the move.
Coming to the specifics raised by the writer, he is wrong in asserting that 80 per cent people in India believe in allopathic treatment. Three-fourths of Indian population as well as Jammu and Kashmir live in rural areas and would cling to any form of medical help available to them in their vicinity. This was one of the major reasons for success of quacks up to early 1990s. The other overbearing reason being the general aversion of Allopathic doctors to serve in far flung and rural areas. Even those who are selected to MBBS in reserved categories like ST, SC, RBA, etc, do not want to serve their own people as they feel it is below their dignity. This remark would agitate many an Allopathic doctor friends but look at the amount of time they spend in getting their transfer to some rural district cancelled.
In this situation, the ISM&H Tabeebs stepped in and filled the void, rather vacuum. The apprehensions were there among the people as well whether this new stream of treatment will be effective or not. But as goes the adage a bird in hand is better than two in the bush, they decided to repose faith in us. Research has proved that almost all allopathic medicines have side effects – overdose of paracetamol can damage liver, over dose of anti-depressants make the patients addicted and in some cases causes death, prolonged used of antibiotics develops resistance to infection causing bacteria, etc. This is another area where ISM&H has an advantage as most of the medicines have no side effects as they are not prepared through chemical reactions in the laboratory but through a mixture of natural herbs.
Since the present age is of information technology, the information gets disseminated very quickly and that has even helped Tabeebs of my ilk to serve the people in the city and urban areas as well. Most of patients we treat are those who have spent a lot of time and money on getting their ailments cured by allopathic treatment.
To conclude, I feel that Dr Chalkoo and like-minded medicos are only worried about the popularity of ISM&H system of treatment and drop in their own practice. As a Muslim, I can assure them Allah is Provider and Sustainer of all the worlds and He will not let anyone starve. Have faith!!
(Tabeeb Farooq Ahmad Dar is Director Kashmir Tibbi Unani Hospital and Research Centre)
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 23 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 24 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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