THE DOCTOR DEBATE
THE JOB OF A VETERINARIAN AT TIMES IS MORE CHALLENGING THAN THAT OF A MEDICO. SO WHO DESERVES TO BE CALLED A DOCTOR? YOU OR WE? DR MUJEEB FAZILI REACTS
This refers to the article titled “Quackery- Demeaning doctors misleading patients” by Dr. Mushtaq Chalkoo in Greater Kashmir on June 19. According to Dr. Chalkoo, use of the word “DOCTOR” by professionals other than holding a degree in human allopathic medicine is ‘wrong and utterly illegal’ and that ‘this issue has plagued his profession since long’. The words and expressions used by Dr. Chalkoo convey his intentions which are beyond one’s comprehension. Apart from others, he has blamed veterinarians in his write-up. I as a student of veterinary sciences wish to negate the views on the basis of the following facts.
Doctor, as a title, originated from the Latin word (doctoris) which means teacher. It has been used as an honored academic title for over a millennium in Europe, where it dates back to the rise of the university. This use spread to the America, former European colonies, and is now prevalent in most of the countries. "Dr" or "Dr." is used as a designation for a person who has obtained a doctorate-level degree. The first academic title of doctor applied to scholars of law. The rising of the doctor of philosophy to its present level is a modern novelty.
In a medical context its use started only after 1377. According to the standard dictionaries, doctor is a person, especially a physician, dentist, or veterinarian, trained in the healing arts and licensed to practice. ‘Allopathic system of medicine’ is followed every where for getting any degree (B.V.Sc., M.V.Sc., M.S., D.V.M., F.R.C.V.S., M.R.C.V.S and Ph.D) in the field of Veterinary Sciences. In several western countries, getting into a Vet school is considerably more difficult than getting into a Med school. It may require a college GPA equal to or may be even higher than Med School. I know this sounds strange, but it's true. Additionally, human doctors only need to learn the anatomy, biochemistry, epidemiology, and pathology for humans, a single species, whereas vets need to learn all of that for many genera. The job of a veterinarian at times is more challenging than that of a medico. In particular, the patients we deal with cannot communicate with us, and are in a panicky state because they are surrounded and handled by a lot of strangers in a strange environment, not to mention that the ones we operate on are typically injured or have some physical problem that would make them even more likely to retaliate and attempt to escape while being examined.
The role of a veterinarian is not only to take care of animal species. He also has a very important role in improving human health and well being. The major contributions of the veterinarians to human health, food safety in addition to animal welfare and animal production are evident every where. In fact many revolutionary medical diagnostic and treatment advances including the ‘laparoscopic surgery’ - the discipline to which Dr. Chalkoo belongs, have been developed, practiced and standardized in animals before adoption by medicos. Acknowledging the role of the veterinarians’ “One Health Initiative” has now been launched as the way to advance health care for the 21st century. The “One Health Initiative”, a movement to forge co-equal, all inclusive collaborations between physicians, veterinarians, and other scientific-health related disciplines, has been endorsed by various major medical organizations and health agencies, including the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Medical Association, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the American Society for Microbiology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). When properly implemented, it will help protect and save millions of lives in our present and future generations.
The issue raised by Dr. Chalkoo and its consequences will not set a healthy trend for achieving healthy future for one and all.
(Dr. Mujeeb Fazli is Associate Professor (Surgery), Faculty of Veterinary Sciences & A.H. SKUAST-K, Shuhama, Srinagar. Feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 Jun 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 27 Jun 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 28 Jun 2010 00:00:00 IST
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