The Doctor– in Sickness and for Health
Alexa Montecillo (The Freeman) - April 16, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — It is common knowledge that doctors trained for long years to be able to save lives. Thus, these modern medicine men play a vital role in the life of the community. And yet their overall importance in society goes far beyond treatment of illnesses.

Doctors help patients experience lesser discomfort from ailments by prescribing the right medications. The prescribed medications are not only intended to lessen the symptoms – these can also mean shortened healing time. If a disabling injury would have occurred, the doctor usually helps the patient learn to live with the physical discrepancy after treatment.

Again, the doctors’ job is not limited to the treatment of illnesses. Well aware that nobody wants to become sick, disabled or helpless in the first place, doctors educate people how to take good care of themselves in order to avoid getting sick. Doctors promote preventive medicine and keep people healthy by encouraging proper health practices.

Fraser Sherman, in an article at, writes: “Preventing sickness or injury is a better choice – it's less expensive, better for our health and we lose less income if we don't get sick too often. Preventive treatment is also important for society as a whole. Many people around the world can't afford drugs, hospital stays or surgery.” And, if ever, doctors can help a lot in nipping an emerging illness in the bud. 

While it’s true that there’s a lot of medical informationavailable on the internet nowadays, there’s no substitute for consulting with a doctor. In an actual consultation the doctor would know what one is suffering fromandthe possible cure. And if one doctor’s area of specialization does not particularly cover a patient’s health problem, the doctor would know a specialist to refer it to.

Their extensive trainings in both basic and clinical sciencesmake doctors closely familiar with the spectrum of body systems to an extremely high level of scientificexactitude. This is combined with study in the behavioral and social sciences, along with skills in problem-solving, clinical assessment, diagnosis, risk-management, ethics, cultural values, communication skills, professionalism etc. Their vast knowledge of health and illness is most dependable.

Doctors have an oath to act in the patients’ best interest. These professionals are capable of responding to the patient’s needs and of taking responsibility for the patient’s care. And if anillness cannot be cured, doctors assist the patientsto still enjoy life despite the condition.

Also, doctors are guided by the codes of practice and codes of ethics of the medical profession, historically linked to the oath of Hippocrates. And they have the competence to clarify the confusing medical malarkey going around, particularly on the internet.

Doctors have the ability to interpret complex information on the patient’s illness, and relay it to the patient in a simple, clear way. The also explain and discuss the risks, benefits and uncertainties of various tests and treatments that are available. When possible, the doctor assiststhe patient in making decisions about his or her (the patient’s) own care.

While the whole healthcare circle consists of a myriad of complementary services, doctors take responsibility for overall clinical outcomes. As a result, doctors are uniquely placed to take on leadership roles, including management and leadership of the various health services involved in the patients’ care. Other health professionals look to the doctor for leadership in designing and supervising the overall health care planof patients.

Indeed, doctors are one’s best ally in sickness andfor health.

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