The Doctchers!

Have you ever been to a slaughterhouse? If not, please do visit once. There, you'll see men, usually in their blood drenched clothing, standing among the chunks of meat that hangs from the side hooks. When they get an order, they lay the meat on their chopping block and skillfully cut, weigh and hand it over to the customers in exchange for money. Apart from the the yield and the money they earn, they need not think on why this particular animal was chosen or if there is a clear and valid indication for it being on the table. Nice job right? 


It's easy to train them too. If one has the heart to do the job, he/she only needs to join as an apprentice. As things are, there's no educational qualification mentioned as minimum eligibility to practice butchering.  I don't know if we will soon have a collegiate study that offers a degree called "Bachelors in Massacre and Bachelor in Slaughter". I also have my doubts if there will be a masters called "Masters in Slaughter" too.

As long as these degrees don't exist, things are safe. Imagine spending an extra hour with the books every day to beat the best in class for twelve years --> join a coaching center to mug lakhs and lakhs of multiple choice questions--> spend five and half years earning a degree--> face another nasty deselecting exam that selects the so called cream for the masters degree--> finally pass out after years of hard work and only then get the licence to slaughter. 

Well, what would you feel if these people were to attend to you in a clinic and may be take you up for surgery the next morning? I'm not exaggerating and such atrocities do happen. Any surgery done for no valid indication is nothing but butchering. 

If a girl loses her appendix and get's an ugly scar vertically down her abdomen for a medical condition that could have been treated with intravenous fluids and insulin, shouldn't I call that butchering? This poor lady was suffering from a pretty common complication of Diabetes Mellitus and she met her doctor with an abdominal pain. The doctor, out of the blue, felt that he needs to open up the girl's tummy to ascertain the cause of the so called "unexplained abdominal pain" and he did.  

If only this doctor recollected his basic lessons in his clinical medicine that emphasized the importance of proper history taking and physical examination, or at least a topic called Diabetic Ketoacidosis, and looked seriously into those basic blood and urine test reports before the surgery, my friend would be still having her innocuous appendix and be showing off her un-mutilated  curvaceous abdomen as she used to, by the pool, until the day before the surgery.

To which category do these people belong? Doctors? Quacks? Or Butchers? Neither me nor the omniscient Google know an apt term to be respectfully entitled to these kind of practitioners . So, here I take the privilege to denominate them "The Doctchers". 

May God save you, me, the butchers and the doctors from Doctchers.

PS: If this post sounds offending to you, please do give a second thought on why this is offending before you blame the author for writing this. The blog pays the respect due to both persons in context, the doctors and butchers who practice their respective expertise without interchanging the profession.

PPS: If you are the one who still believes the age old equation Doctor = God, please see this and this.

58 comments:

  1. Very enlightening post! Thank you for sharing with us :)

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  2. Even though it has never happened to me,Im aware of such docthers as well.Firstly,the people hiring such non doctors,should be held accountable.Then...secndly,people when you have a medical problem,if they dont order blood tests and various other tests asnd straight away jump to conclusions,there is something wrong with the picture.Even during an emergency,blood tests are done promptly and other such ultrasounds and what not,before cutting open and looking for problems.If something doesnt seem right,go for a second opinion or a third.I know its a lot of money but its for health and life,we earn all this money for.A very good post.

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    1. Suzy, thank you for the comment. I don't agree when you say if investigations are not done, something is wrong. A skilled doc talks to the patient, and after he has collected the necessary and relevant information, examines the patients in detail to finally come to a diagnosis. The investigations are then done to confirm this diagnosis. If any of these steps are skipped, especially the first two (history taking and examination) as in this case, gross errors like these can creep in.

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  3. Well I have been through a similar experience in my life. I was not a victim of wrong treatment thankfully but I was not made aware by my treating doctors if the medicines (Steroids) which were given to me treat my illness will become the cause for another illness in future for which I had to undergo a surgery. Not setting expectations is equal to setting wrong expectations. Do we such such Doctors as Doctchers too?

    Anyways I respect this post as this is coming from one of their own. :)

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    1. Thank you akshay. That was really unfortunate.
      Here you've pointed out yet another problem that could have been avoided if the dr spent some time educating you about the disease process, its outcome and possible adverse effects of the medications you are prescribed..

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  4. This post does not need that disclaimer. Thought provoking, to the point and clear views. However I have always felt that patients must get a second and a third opinion before going under the knife. In the cases were they cannot afford it.... Well... That's when they are at the risk of being a victim of a doctcher I suppose...

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    1. That's a valid point but in a country like ours, I'm afraid it's going to take years for it to be as you said. Thank you Choco.

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  5. A good approach to deal with Doctchers and escape from Trauma caused later on...It'll definately educate people to know the difference.

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    1. Since the post looked too big, I cut it short and thought I'll deal with the approach to identify them in another post. I'm sorry :) and I'm sure you'll like it this way. thank you GG.

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  6. A great post!
    Thought provoking indeed.

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    1. Thank you Simran. Glad you like it.

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  7. Excellent...your build-up and sense of composition is exceptional:)

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    1. Thank you satish mutatkar. Coming form you, that's a great encouragement and recognition. Thank you so much for the continued support. :)

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  8. Superb post,
    Really, today doctor is no less than a bucher, we have to think hundred times before consulting any doctor . . .

    Ashwini Dey

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    1. I'm afraid, I can't agree on your statement. And I hope this post doesn't communicate anything of that sort for you to pass a blanketed statement against a larger group of unselfish, dedicated and efficient doctors because of the few doctchers.
      If you still don't agree, you need to read this ( http://godyears.blogspot.in/2012/05/doctors-defend-thyself.html ) on a friend's blog. Thank you Ashwini Dey.

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    2. Sorry @Leo Paw, sorry for my previous comment. I am not passing a blanketed statement against a larger group of unselfish, dedicated and efficient doctors because of the few doctchers. Only the problem is that we don't know who is dedicated and who is a doctcher . . .
      Once again sorry for my previous comment :-(

      Ashwini Dey

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    3. Hey Ashwini! why be sorry for sharing your thoughts? I only said, I cant agree on your statement and that doesn't mean you are wrong. Feel free to write the way you like and in crude. Those are the comments that makes blogging meaningful and interactive. :)

      Yes, that's a problem: to identify a doctcher. there are a few things that can help us. I think I'll deal with them in another post. thank you so much ashwini.

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  9. Totally 100% with you, and with the idea of FAKE degrees and what not , it does not even take a year to give these butchers the license to kill or mame or what not , and many who are found to have blundered are still carrying on with there PRACTISE... yep practising on us the human Bodies...

    Bikram's

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    1. True. But what if the same thing happens with those who hold a valid degree? Thank you Bikramjit.

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  10. Hi,

    Here's my effort to appreciate the great work you have been doing in this page... Do check it out...

    http://rphoenixaltar.blogspot.in/2012/05/my-second-award.html

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  11. While I do agree with the case described here that a better history taking is required, I gotta say, I'm not a big fan of comments like "today, doctor is no less than a butcher". Being a dr isn't only about operating is it ... we encompass everything from rural health care to ophthalmology to psychiatry... And as I said in my last blog post... we never equate ourselves with God... not a single one of us. It's always the public that puts us on this high pedestal.
    We are humans, we make mistakes... it is inevitable.

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    1. I don't think this can be called a mistake. Isn't it blunder/ or negligence if the doctor failed to look at very important reports before operating despite having it in the case file?
      It's not about the large group who dedicate themselves to care of the patient and who is ready to accept and correct their mistakes. It's about the very few of them who commit blunders and then try to justify what they did.
      Loved that writing of yours. Thank you Roshan.

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  12. There are black sheep everywhere but unfortunately the greed for money has somehow put the Hippocrates Oath in the backseat in recent times!

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    1. No Rahul Bhatia, the Hippocrates Oath has not lost it's importance at all. If you look around majority of them are dedicated , caring, responsible and efficient. But as you said, there are a few who deserves to be criticized and corrected. and this was one such incident. Thank you Rahul.

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  13. A few bad men do not represent an entire profession. Greed exists in all walks of life.

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    1. It's not greed. I feel it was inefficiency or carelessness. And yes, that do not represent an entire profession. Thank you purba.

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  14. Unfortunately, both Medicine and Education have transformed into Mafia. Way beyond the threshold of doubt, we are standing today at a point where we can say with considerable certainty that you may not be safe in most clinics and most educational institutions. And these are two such places where it is not only your money that is at stake. These are the zones where you may lose a life or a limb.

    Thanks for sharing.

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    1. I don't think the problem lies there. In my little teaching experience, what I felt was necessary to be a good doc is the right attitude. If they have it, they'll never turn out doctcher in their life. Thank you umashankar.

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  15. I sometimes think that surgery in itself is the least dangerous piece about Docthers. It is the system where treatment is given on basis of a diagnosis that is dependent on certain machines and processes and so often the diagnosis is not correct. If correct, then treatment process is messed up. I have suffered for years because my doctors would not listen to what I was reporting back as a result of the over-medications I was put on. Some of medications are in the market because of bought-up research publications by top pharma companies. My faith in system is very low. And I find doctors are the unfortunate cogs in the wheel that is mostly being run by the industry. Sorry, my reaction offsets what you have tried to convey--perhaps my personal anger is spewing out...

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    1. That's really sad. If the machines can diagnose, why do we need docs? The curriculum that spans 5 1/2 yrs, emphasizes the importance of good history taking and clinical examination. Machines are to help the clinician to ascertain his clinical diagnosis. Why do some forget that once out of their institute?
      Pharma companies are just doing what they are supposed to do. It's for the doc to decide what he must accept and discard. Its pretty easy to find out the pitfall in the research studies provided the doc takes a look at he statistics. But that possible only if he wishes to. Thank you Bhavana.

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  16. To begin with doctors in our country do not become docs with the intention to serve but with one to make money.

    And medical colleges are as common as letter boxes in the nation today. So every year we have scores of them passing out of these colleges.The cream of the lot are doctors and so are the ones that barely managed to get through!

    Luck plays a big role today in finding the right doc.

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    1. I deny. Making money is a personal issue. Be it any profession, one purpose is to earn daily bread. So we can't say, they turn doctchers because they need to make money.. But what matters is the way that's earned.
      The number of doctors the country need is much higher than what we actually have. Even if the number of pass outs doubles, it'll still be not enough to meet the demand.
      It doesn't matter what score a doc passed out with. All that matters in making a good doc is the right attitude.

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  17. Honestly, I don't respect doctors for the reason you elaborated here. But, hats off to you for saying that about your own profession.

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    1. Saru, I'm afraid that's a wrong notion. The vast majority are docs who set aside everything else in their life for their patients. Doctchers I tried to portray here are just a few who play with their patient's life.
      No doc asks anyone to respect him for what he does. You need to read this ( http://godyears.blogspot.in/2012/05/doctors-defend-thyself.html) on a friend's blog.
      Thank you Saru.

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  18. this post is very important and deserves to be broadcast by all who read it. at the crux of the problem lies the way healthcare and education are offered to people and the way it is perceived by people. education is primarily about life skills and secondarily about vocational skills. unfortunately, our system and our parents of today seem to find the aspect of teaching about life unnecessary and focus on an ultimate vocational training from childhood. healthcare is an act of healing, but it has been turned into a money making industry. the oath of hippocrates no longer has any relevance to those coming out of the medical schools. of course, this is a generalization, but the extent of this is alarming. all who are good at what they do look outside the country to build their careers. as a result, the bottom of the class is left to mother india. of these the better ones go into corporate hospitals or set up specialty private practices. so only the worst of the lot end up in public health systems. at the heart of all of this is greed and selfishness, and while we may not be able to fix the present, we can do our bit by teaching our children how to be humane and compassionate, even if they become doctors or butchers.

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    1. Thank you Subhorup Dasgupta for adding another dimension to this post. I agree that it must start form home. From the very little experience I have, what I have realized is, if a student has the right attitude, he'll make excellent doctors. Rest everything takes the back seat. And with money making, every one needs money to live, that includes doctors too. What matters is the way that's earned. Thank you Subhorup Dasgupta.

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  19. You have taken up a subject which touches all of us & you are very upfront about it too....thanks
    Gone are the days when clinical examination pointed out to the problem-not that tests are unnecessary ;but often they are unwarranted....what happened to the traditional wisdom that the body heals itself ?where it can do so,prescribing a medicine is not ethical i think----considering that these medicines do have side effects.This is especially true of psychiatric medicines-i mean the ill-effects...if you read research reports on the internet there is a raging controversy about the need or effects of these drugs---some S.S.R.Is have even been known to induce suicidal ideation.

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    1. So true! "The body healing itself"- I've been wondering for quiet some time on this. In my place at least, when someone meets a doc, they invariably go back home with a medication. Why have that concept crept in? I know an excellent clinician, my teacher, who would try her level best to avoid writing a prescription. But then she has a lesser practice than those doctors who write multiple medication for just a simple self limiting illnesses. thank you indu chhibber.

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  20. Yes, there are some docs who like to play with human lives. I wonder how they got their degrees. Maybe they paid for it. If i get such "Doctchers" then I would run away from them to save my life. But if I knew that he or she was a Doctcher then I would'nt go to them in the first place...

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    1. But how do we make out what they are? I think I know a few trick which I'll post soon. Thank you Prasanna Rao.

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  21. I have met many such butchers in course of my life. It is good that a Doctor is acknowledging that such butchers exist. This might help such butchers feel ashamed of what they do on daily basis.

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    1. They remain doctchers because they are not ready to accept their mistakes and correct themselves. So what big difference is this post going to make in their life? Thank you Neeraj Kumar.

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  22. i am genuinely sorry that your friend did not meet the right doctor and had to go undergo an unnecessary procedure...as a doctor myself i keep remembering the one thing they kept drilling into us at college- Diagnosis is 90% of the disease treatment- maybe it slipped that particular doctors mind..any proper and conscientious doctor can make a mistake but when you are in doubt, its better to get a second opinion or a third or even a fourth- regardless of ego hassles- because someone else may notice what we miss...there really is no single antidote for these kind of accidents except maybe more patient awareness...
    Dr.Ganesh

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  23. You have nicely put across the knife as a cruel object yet it is also known that it is an object for cure as well. Though the knife is the same, the hand that uses it and the intention behind it makes the difference. Though a hospital these days, moves us from nurse to nurse till they empty our purse, we simply won't go away without a visa from these doctors right?! nice post.

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  24. Hey Leo i totally agree with you and i am bit averse to doctors after the experiences i had visiting few clinics and hospitals in connection with my wife's medical conditions. What i found is that each doctor's diagnose was different and it created confusions in our minds.It was evident that earning money from patients was the prime thoughts on these doctor's minds. Finally on a suggestion of a friend i visited a clinic at Chennai where modern, natural and holistic medicines are used to treat the patient and both the doctor's running the clinic were so nice and were all ears to the various issues being faced by my wife though it is basically a vascular clinic.I did write about this clinic way back in Nov and the link is http://ramesh-randomrambling.blogspot.com/2011/12/confluence-of-medicines.html
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

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  25. I have also been subjected to wrong diagnosis which led to me reaching the 3rd stage of cancer. But somewhere I find it wrong to label all doctors to be butchers. There are those who are just that 'doctchers' but then a vast majority want their patients to get well. They are more than happy when a patient proves them wrong by surviving beyond the time period they gave him/her.

    Evidence based practice of medicine and prophylactic solutions are much preferred not just by doctors but patients themselves. More often than not when the doctors ask the patient to go home coz there is nothing to worry, the patient comes up with internet researches and insists on diagnostic procedures.

    Isn't it better to have a scar than to have a burst appendix?
    Also about steroids (as someone in the above comments mentioned). For eg. Tamoxifen used for 5 years after breast cancer increases risks of endometrial cancer but then one uses it as the lesser of the two devils - protector against the one that has already attacked than causal factor for the other that might or might not attack.

    Yes medicine is a big racket. But heart of heart, most doctors want their patients to get well. Let's not malign the whole creed for the fraudulent few.

    As I keep arguing with my internist husband 'sometimes clinical symptoms are not enough for diagnosis. Surgical intervention is necessary'. Physicians Vs Surgeons....the debate continues.

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  26. It's so sad that a few of such doctors are spoiling the name of the other dedicated souls, who work with a passion!

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  27. A lovely post. It's just not the surgery part of it though, even common diagnosis can be critical in terms of saving a patient's life and a few even lack that basic quality. During my third year of college, I almost died, because a doctor treated me for 'sunstroke' and advised to get me admitted to hospital to 'get the fever down'.

    Thankfully good luck intervened, and my parents took me to this wonderful doctor who then treated me, and brought me back almost from the jaws of death. Another 12 hours or so, and it seems it would have been a lost cause. I had typhoid. I was in a hospital for close to 7 days and took over a month to recover.

    I have had several horror stories during my life when doctors had no clue what they were doing. Another case in point was my son, who was diagnosed with flu and treated with one antibiotic after another for close to two months, while his condition worsened. We rushed him to Kolkata one night, to a specialist. Turns out he had bronco pneumonia.Again, great treatemnt and he recovered. But he has asma now.....could be a hark back to that infection. But we were the lucky ones. Another family, not so much. Lost their child to the same insane treatment by that 'flu' doctor.

    But this tops it all. My own gynec, who did the C for my son, killed a Mother and her twins during surgery. The victim was a govt hospital patient, and it seems my gynec did not even realise - gasp!-that there were twins in there.It still sends shivers down my spine, especially when I think how she had induced me for delivery, and something had gone very very wrong, so she had called upon some specialist who rushed me to the OT, explaining it was a 'distress' pregnancy......that gynec was literally driven out of the city, and the medical community treated her like a pariah.

    However, I have met some exceptionally gifted, God like doctors, who not only knew what they were doing, but at times, even knew what their limitations. One refused a surgery on my sister after 2 doctors had recommended it because he firmly belived she could be treated without one. He was right. My mother survived a rare virus attack thanks to the genius of a doctor.

    These 'dothcers' unfortunately are not small in numbers, and it's so unfortunate that their greedy deeds overshadow many really great doctors. It also overburdens them, because they also end up fixing botched up cases - 4 times the work than it originally would have been.

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  28. It is scary that such doctchers are allowed to exist.

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  29. Sometimes patients are also responsible for doctors resorting to such extreme ways. Unless a doctor prescribes some expensive medicines or surgeries he/she is not considered as a so called "specialist" by patients. This trend is more prevalent in rural areas.

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  30. have a look at your Surprise Leo Paw....:)

    http://elli-itsmylife.blogspot.in/2012/05/versatile-award-double-treat.html

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  31. very interesting post...i happen to be married to a 'surgeon' and have seen the other side too....the problem is that people go to the fancy private hospitals hoping to get the best treatment..those hospitals are unfortunately only interested in profit..and pressurize their doctors to go for unethical practices...on the other hand, as people rightly say...govt hospitals doctors take a lot of time to respond...but see the other side..they are catering to patients far beyond the hospitals capacity...it is a problem that needs to be seen far beyond the doctors attitudes or intentions...we need to look at our health system holistically....and improve....

    i have personally seen cases my husband has treated people going out of hi way(ofcourse he is a govt doctor) who otherwise would not have the means to get the same treatment at a private hospital....but then people dont talk about such things..only when things go wrong..they like to highlight such stuff!!

    http://sushmita-smile.blogspot.in

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  32. Very nice post.. My Mom is a diabetic patient and the regular doc suggested that her heart is weak and referred a hospital where she had to go for angiograpy test.. We of course did it and got a hefty bill and the results shown were normal.. Only then we get to know that the doctors who refer the patients for such tests get at least 50% of the total profit.. The similar topic was raised in the shoe Satya Meva Jayate bu Amir khan and I just got to see the doctors response to this show.. Check it here in this link.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=379050428819581&set=a.137724389618854.26881.136979326360027&type=1&theater

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  33. After watching SATAYMEV JAVATE and reading this, I am very scared to operate any organ in my body. Man this was not an offending post but a scary one. But yes we need to know right!

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  34. Your post is shocking in the terminology it uses but does not shock me otherwise. Very sadly, I can count on my fingers doctors I can trust. Most times, I am so apprehensive that I am seeking second or third opinions. I didn't even trust my gynaec when she asked me to do a C-section. Most of these doctors have nothing noble or even human left in them.

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