Tag Archives: Indian parents

Why all doctors run away from Indian patients


Hey Everyone,

Here’s Part 2 of my buddy Vishnu’s series on Indians and doctors….  this one had me snorting involuntarily in Starbucks as I proofed it:

I previously wrote why every Indian parent wants their child to be a certified, medically-licensed physician. I mentioned that money, respect, free prescription drug samples, winning the bragging wars with other parents and free at-home medical care upon old age are just some of the reasons Indian parents want their kids to be doctors.
All Indian, and broadly all Asian parents, want their children to be doctors. Fair enough. Now here’s the question I want you to think about: Why do all doctors run away from Indian parents like their hair’s on fire? Forget Indian parents, all doctors want to run away from Indians and Asians patients in general.

Why does every doctor wish they could ban Indian & Asian patients from seeing them?

1)  The kids of Indian & Asian patients are probably doctors!! As I mentioned in my last post, every Indian parents’ dream is to have children in the medical profession. This makes it difficult when Indian parents go visit doctors because they’ve probably already run the medical problem, diagnosis, treatment and medication past their children. Indians like to visit doctors like they’re giving them a professional pop quiz!

2)  They don’t trust anyone, let alone doctors! Indians treat doctors as advisors – opinions to be considered, not diagnoses to be heeded. For this reason, they get a lot of second opinions and continually undermine the advice they get from their primary care doctor.

3)  They can’t stand being in any system that doesn’t allow them to bargain. Indians love to bargain, as Ramit Sethi regularly reminds us. Ramit regularly provides scripts and strategies for negotiating with your landlord, your bank and other money saving tips. Unfortunately, the medical field is probably one of the places you can’t bargain very much. Insurance companies don’t mind if you take your business elsewhere and could care less if you’re buying services in bulk. Indians hate buying things they can’t bargain over so naturally they’re not fond of visiting doctors or paying them!

4)  They think that herbal, ayurvedic and acupuncture treatments are far superior to modern medicine. All Indian people have their own herbalists, ayurvedic doctors and extensive network of acupuncture doctors. Your typical medical doctor is competing for attention with these other natural-healers. In a battle of authority about which remedies and treatments are better, licensed-doctors regularly lose out.

5)  They hold onto personal anecdotes and stories from friends like solid medical proof. Indians live in very close-knit communities no matter where they are in the world. What do Indian people do when they gather together for potlucks, birthday parties and religious festivities? They exchange their medical war stories. They discuss how a particular doctor diagnosed the wrong disease, how a second opinion saved the day or how they refused to follow the advice of a doctor and still healed. They exchange war stories about cancer and heart risk. They talk amongst themselves about what treatments worked and which medicines are effective but the worst part is that they hold onto these stories as solid medical proof. They use these stories against their own doctors to undermine the physician’s knowledge and credibility.

6)  Although they don’t trust doctors, their paranoia causes them to demand all kinds of unnecessary medical exams. It’s precisely because Indians don’t trust doctors, they play the role of doctors themselves. Armed with insights from natural healers, their children who are physicians and their friends’ war stories, Indians ask for additional exams and lab work to help identify ‘phantom’ medical issues they might have or to double check the diagnosis of another doctor! After a quick check to see if insurance companies are covering the exams, Indians will demand that additional exams and tests are done.

Doctors know the trouble and headache Indian patients cause them. If there’s any way for them to get out of seeing an Indian patient, they’ll find it.

Indians know this too. That’s why we shorten 36-syllable names to shorter more Anglo-sounding ones like P.J. or Bob!! on the phone so receptionists will have no idea that they’re talking to a potential Indian patient.

It’s a no-win situation for both parties unless you’re a doctor that has figured out how to deal with this ‘special’ clientele:)  Of course, if you end up serving the Indian community successfully, you’re possibly in luck. You would have hit the referral-jackpot as the entire community starts referring their friends and family to you!

*No doctors have banned Vishnu from seeing them yet. He blogs about spirituality and overcoming challenges at www.vishnusvirtues.com.


Why every Indian parent wants their child to be a doctor… (Part 1)

Source: google.com via Kelly on Pinterest

– Their parents would rather they be in med school….

Hi All,

I’m taking a (two-part) break from my soapboxing on lifestyle design (but I will definitely complete my three-part series afterwards) to do something I have never done so far:  put up a guest post on CultureMutt.  This post comes from a friend of mine, Vishnu.  He’s a highly entertaining blogger who can be found at VishnusVirtues.com – a great blog with a fresh twist on spirituality/inspiration/enlightenment.  I feel particularly honored that Vishnu wrote this post specifically for the CultureMutt community.  I am sure you’ll enjoy it as much as I did:)  Over to Vishnu:

Every Indian parent wants their child to be a doctor.

As a matter of fact, I could probably expand this group to all Asian parents. (Yes, everyone,India is in fact in Asia!) So, all Indian, and most likely all Asian parents want their children to be doctors.

Sure, dentists, optometrists, pharmacists and chiropractors (a far stretch) will do as fall back options but nothing makes an Indian parent prouder than a child who’s a certified, licensed, lab coat-wearing stethoscope-donning medical doctor!

(If you’re in the astrology business (which Indians enjoy frequenting as much or more than a cricket match) tell a new set of Indian parents that their child will be a doctor and be prepared to
be garlanded with majestic red roses and be tipped a king’s ransom for your insight.)

Why does every Indian parents’ fantasy end with their child receiving a medical diploma?

1) Your child will achieve his highest potential. A medical degree is hard work. Your child will have to muster up all their academic and personal potential to reach this high academic feat. Your child receiving a medical degree means they’ve reached their highest achievement in life. Which parent couldn’t be proud of that?

2) Your child will not have a social life growing up. Related to #1, your child will always be focused on academics growing up which means there’s NO ROOM for a social life or even ‘enjoying life’. People who ‘enjoy life’ get into tattoos, gangs, drugs, the rave scene, drop out of high school, travel the world for no reason, go to law school, etc.

3) Your child gets a high paying well-respected job in society. Six-figure income – check. Respect in the community – check. Indian parents value financial stability as much as they value a well-balanced stock portfolio. A career in medicine allows you to be financially well-off so you can spoil your Mom with gold and diamonds for her 60th birthday! Or gift your Dad with a BMW as a retirement present. Respect in the community means your parents get more respect for themselves in the community and more importantly – discounts at stores and restaurants that know their kid’s a doctor!

4) You get free medical care when you get old. How much better does this get? Parents assume that they won’t have to pay for medical care because their child is a doctor after all. Who would dare charge a doctor’s parent? Also, wouldn’t it be great to show your throat or a particularly nasty rash the next time the kids come over to visit? You won’t only be getting on-the-whim ‘free’ medical advice, you’ll also help keep your kids’ medical skills sharp every time you pose a personal medical questions to them.

5) You get free samples of prescription drugs. Doctors receive so many free sample drugs from drug companies, they don’t know what to do with them. If you’re a doctor, who else would you give your extra medication to than to your adoring prescription-drug-addicted Indian parents? The more samples you get, the less your parents will have to pay for drugs they might need.

6) You get to brag about your child to others. In the bragging wars of who’s child is better, just the fact that your child is earning 6 figures while saving lives as a physician is enough to put your parents ahead of the game. (If you’re comparing your child with other Indian children who are doctors, then we have to start looking at which medical specialty is better than the other. For example, a surgery specialty would trump internal medicine and radiology might trump orthopedics, etc etc).

7) Grandchildren. This one’s a no-brainer and probably the most important reason why Indian parents salivate over their children doing medicine. When your children are doctors, your grandchildren will most likely be doctors! When your children are doctors, they can afford to pay the escalating medical school costs for your future grandchildren doctors-to-be.

Remember that Indian children do have choices in this process and the system isn’t one of manipulation, domination and coercion into a field the child has no interest in. As I’ve heard many Indian parents tell their children, “We don’t care what you do with your life, we just want you to be happy. You can chose to practice in ANY medical specialty you’d like when you finish medical school.”

Now that I’ve told you why every Indian parent wants their child to be a doctor, I’d like to tell you in Part 2 of this article why every doctor out there runs away from Indian parents and Indian
people in general. Stay tuned!

This is a guest post by Vishnu of Vishnu’s Virtues. He’s not a doctor but has 2 brothers who are
which practically makes him a doctor. He blogs about spirituality and overcoming challenges at



Bjorn Karlman