Shengliver’s Note: A Chinese teen casts doubt on her doctor’s conscience.


A Chinese high schooler, Miss Yuan Wen, saw the doctor last Sunday. She had an ear problem.


When she arrived at the doctor’s surgery, the nurse on duty told her that the doctor would not come until 8.30 am. Yuan Wen had to wait. Luckily in the room there were only an old couple who had come before her. They waited patiently.


The doctor turned up around 8.30. He changed into his white uniform and took the seat behind the desk.


He questioned the couple and diagnosed the old gentleman as suffering from an ear problem. After examination, he told the old man that he needed to be hospitalised for further treatment. The old man asked if the treatment was expensive and if he could get treated at home alternatively. The doc said he couldn’t, adding, “Your health matters more than your money.”


While the old man was being processed, a middle-aged guy came in and exchanged greetings with the doc. It was clear that the two knew each other very well.


When the old man was being ushered away by the nurse for more procedures, the middle-aged man, who came later than Miss Yuan, jumped the line and took the seat before the doc, ignoring Miss Yuan’s existence.


Miss Yuan was understanding. She thought that the uncle probably was in a hurry and might have more appointments to go to on the day.


After examining the man’s ear, the doctor told him that it was not a serious problem and that after a few days, the trouble would be gone. While the two were chatting and bantering, Miss Yuan listened in.


The doc said, “If you met another doc today, you would have to spend a fortune on some drugs. You are lucky, buddy.”


Both men burst into laughter.


Miss Yuan took her turn finally. The week before, Miss Yuan had come to the same department and a different doc had examined her. She had been given some drops and told to drip the liquid into her ear three times a day. She felt the pain had been eased with the help of the drug.


This doc examined her ear and gave her a prescription for the same drop. This time she was instructed to apply the drop six times a day.


Miss Yuan was bewildered. She explained to the doc what she had done to the ear the previous week, but the doc said that he wanted to make sure that her trouble would be completely gone as soon as possible.


Actually Miss Yuan noticed that the middle-aged man, the doc’s friend, had the same trouble as she. But the doc gave the man no drug at all, and the man was reassured that his trouble would be gone soon without using any drug.


When leaving the doc’s office, Miss Yuan found herself pondering the questions, “Is this doc honest? Is he good? Why did he treat the three patients with the same complaint differently?”

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