Indian Escapades: A Doctor’s Visit

I assumed a visit to the doctor in India would be a fairly straightforward incident. I was wrong.

“Do you know a good GP?” I asked my driver.

His eyebrows formed a V of confusion.

“A doctor, general practitioner,” I clarified.

“Yes, Madam,” his head wobbled.

The hand-painted sign above the building entrance read, ‘Gynaecologist and Obstetrician.’ I shrugged my shoulders and ascended the dusty, uneven concrete steps.

“Is there a General Practitioner here?” I leaned over the cracked glass counter towards the receptionist. “I have a bad flu.”

The receptionist led me into the doctor’s surgery and I found myself surrounded by baby toys and mother’s books.

“Hi,” I smiled to the woman in a stiff silk sari sitting behind a dented metal desk. “I think I’m in the wrong place. I need a GP.”

“You are not needing a gynaecologist?” her head tilted to the side.

“No, I have a flu. I need a general practitioner.”

“Ah, you are meaning general physician,” she smiled. “I am OB/GYN,” her eyes flitted towards the procedure bed in the corner of the room.

I took one look at its rusty metal stirrups and I did an abrupt about turn like a drill soldier.

“That was the wrong type of doctor,” I giggled to my driver as I hopped into the backseat. “I need a general physician.”

His eyes lit up with understanding. “I am knowing.”

The car bumped down a narrow street of wandering cows, piles of fetid rubbish, and giant idlis of manure swarmed by frenzied flies.

#20Expat Life_doctor“Get down,” my driver barked, stopping the car outside a hole-in-the-wall. Red laminate letters on its glass door read, ‘MB, Bangalore (passed) MBBS, United Kingdom (failed). What to do?

Sliding the door to the side, I stepped into a matchbox-sized cubicle.



“Myself Anil,” smiled a chirpy man in a white coat, “And your good name?”

“Hello, I’m Sarah,” I sat on the plastic chair adjacent to him. “I’ve had a flu for 2 weeks.”

“Madam is paining very much?” he peered into my open mouth like a miner foraging through a tunnel.

“Yeah, my throat feels like it’s on fire,” I croaked.

“I am thinking Madam needs some antibiotics only. Do one thing and purchase from pharmacy.” He scribbled the name of the medication on a blank piece of paper the size of a raffle ticket.

No prescription was required. Better still, the consultation cost me a measly $2. It was a far better resolution than a date with the gyno. You’ve got to love India.




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