The days when you would see a doctor with a stethescope in his hand right besides your bedside and keeping your spirits alive is long gone. This is due to the simple fact that the General Practitioner or GP as is popularly known is sadly on the verge of extinction in India. The major reason for this steep decline is the commercialization of what was considered to be a noble profession i.e. doctor.

Unfortunately the advent of commercialization has forced doctors to consider specialization within the profession for the simple reason that being a specialist pays you more than just being a GP. This decline in GP’s although a new phenomenon in India has been quite a common occurence in countries like America. The decline in GP’s was so rapid in America that in between 1958 and 1964 that the number of GP’s halved. At the moment India is exactly experiancing what America experianced in the late 1950’s. One of the major reason in decline of GP can be attributed to faulty health policies in India As Dr. Mohan Rao of the Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health and Jawharlal Nehru University so rightly feels that the tendency of doctors to over-prescribe and send patients for unecessary tests these days as certainly played a part in a decline of GP’s in India today. What is also been seeing in India today is the sudden rise in the number of seats for Post-graduation studies as opposed to few years ago. This only indicates that specialisation is the need of the hour and also the fact that it is in specialization that “money” lies hence the demand for it.

So the one solution to this problem is to encourage a MD family medicine programmes within various parts of the country. Another alternative that can be worked on is to link medical colleges to district and community centres to make students comfortable in a community environment which is a very a necessary quality for a GP to imbibe. With the decline in GP’s really becoming steeper in India it is high time the necessary corrective steps is taken before GP’s really become an extinct breed in India just like the dinosaurs eventually became.

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The days when you would see a doctor with a stethescope in his hand right besides your bedside and keeping your spirits alive is long gone. This is due to the simple fact that the General Practitioner or GP as is popularly known is sadly on the verge of...