Article 18 of our constitution has abolished titles of distinction and honor like Diwan, Raja, Maharaja, Rai Bahadur as being against the principle of equality for all as propagated by the constitution. Article 18 states as follows: “No title, not being a military or academic distinction, shall be conferred by the State No citizen of India shall accept any title from any foreign State No person who is not a citizen of India shall, while he holds any office of profit or trust under the State, accept without the consent of the President any title from any foreign State No person holding any office of profit or trust under the State shall, without the consent of the President, accept any present, emolument, or office of any kind from or under any foreign State Right to Freedom.”
But doctors are allowed to prefix ‘Dr’ to their names. It’s a privilege accorded to us not by law, but as a practice that has been accepted by the society. It is presumed that a person who writes ‘Dr’ before his/her name will not refuse help in any medical emergency.
Just as the titles of honor and distinction such as Rai Bahadur distinguish the recipient from the rest of the society, so does the prefix ‘Dr’. Doing so makes us identifiable as someone who will render all help, unconditionally, in any medical emergency. To treat and save the life of a person is our dharma. This is why we chose to become doctors.
The MCI Code of Ethics Regulations has defined guidelines with regard to the conduct of the physician. Doctors have a responsibility to adhere to these guidelines.
“A physician shall uphold the dignity and honour of his profession (1.1.1).The prime object of the medical profession is to render service to humanity; reward or financial gain is a subordinate consideration. Who- so-ever chooses his profession, assumes the obligation to conduct himself in accordance with its ideals. A physician should be an upright man, instructed in the art of healing. He shall keep himself pure in character and be diligent in caring for the sick; he should be modest, sober, patient, prompt in discharging his duty without anxiety; conducting himself with propriety in his profession and in all the actions of his life (1.1.2).”
“I solemnly pledge myself to consecrate my life to service of humanity”. This is the first principle in the Declaration at the time of registration.
Medicine is a noble profession. It’s a challenging profession and one which requires dedication, hard work and endless working hours.
Being a doctor therefore means being available 24×7 and ready to help in all emergencies.
This is what makes doctors special and different in the society.