Doctors in Trinidad and Tobago

In Trinidad and Tobago, many years ago, people used to think that doctors were special people and high up on the social ladder but now that doctors are at least a dollar TT for six, people have a more realistic view of medics. Every family now has one doctor and some families have eight with two more in medical school every five years. Doctors are an important part of society just as garbage collectors but I get more annoyed if the garbage people are late than if the doctor doesn’t show up at his office when I have the virus, especially when the doctor finally walks in he greets his waiting patients with a snub and no smile. The first career blunder a doctor makes is assuming the superior position.

Usually Trinidad and Tobago doctors have a way of talking down to most patients and shouting at the ones who are smarter than the doctors – the Googlers. Local doctors hate to be questioned and made to look like fools in their own office. What people have been discovering about many doctors, especially the young ones, is that they hide their incompetence and lack of enthusiasm for the profession with arrogance, a stethoscope and a peculiar “educated” accent.

Drug salesmen are frequent visitors to doctors’ offices and sometimes I wonder if the drugs being prescribed or recommended by doctors are not the ones that bring in the highest commercial value to the doctors. I am not suggesting there is collusion between doctors and drug companies but this is Trinidad and Tobago where we expect most professionals to act in self-interests before anybody else’s. I have a feeling that many drug companies and doctors were against CDAP because the program threatened their lavish, and possibly undeserved lifestyle.

I remember a cardiologist telling the father of a high school friend that he, the doctor, was able to afford a $600,000 Benz and his current wife because of KFC and Golden Ray cooking butter. Trinis believe the health services must cater for their mass stupidity so Trinbagoians can forever eat what they like and think an exercise program must be only be started when the doctor tells them to start looking for a good undertaker. Instead of complaining about the Cuban, Indian and Nigerian doctors not understanding English or how to wine, people should spend time reducing the need for doctors, and by extension, some of the people who keep them in check, lawyers.

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