Ever wonder why a lot of Doctors are poor?

Yeah, you got it right – free consultations.

Sadly, yours truly is a major offender.

If I was given a penny for every free consultation I have given, I’d probably be on a remote Island somewhere, sipping fruit juice under a coconut tree, being served by various butlers in black and white tuxedos.

The temptation to give free consultations comes in various forms especially via telephone and text messages; sometimes, you are even required to reply using your own credit.
Examples of questions I have been asked on the phone include:

“My son has what looks like a rash, what can I give him?”

“I have a swelling here, what do I use?”

Note, in these instances, I have no means of seeing the offending rash or swelling, nor am I given more information about it as regards the site, size or shape of the rash, but somehow, I have to provide a cure over the distance.

You could also be out in public and someone introduces you as a doctor, the next thing is, “Doctor what do you think this is?” “What can I use?”

I have decided to stop giving free consultations/ services because of my experience with two cases:

1. The case of Mr B.
Mr B works in a utility company. Lately, I have been billed ridiculously, most of the time through Mr B himself who claims not to have any say on the billing – but Mr B who is a diabetic/ hypertensive comes to my home to have his blood pressure and sugar checked and receives a new prescription, without me taking a dime from him.

2.The case of Mr E.

Mr E does some work and electric fittings for me, he is always paid in full; after his work he asks,”Dr I have this pain here, What can I take?” I am expected to give him a free prescription .


1. Medicine is a ‘ humanitarian’ profession.
This comes from the so called Hippocratic oath; reading through the original oath and the Modern version, no where did I see it written, “I shall work for free.”

2. Knew you before you became a doctor: Yes, we grew up together, or went to the same college, I don’t have to pay to see you or to ask your opinion do I?

3. Doctors lack of business sense.

So my new year resolution is – no more free consultations.

Are you in support? What is your take on the issue?

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  1. We do get asked anything and everything, that's for sure. One time I visited a dermatologist for a skin lesion. After I waited almost two hours to see her, she spent about 10 seconds examining my lesion. She then proceeded to spend the next 10 minutes asking ME about her child's reflux (she knew I was a pediatrician). And yet she still sent me a bill! Something seemed wrong with that picture.

    I don't mind getting asked questions by friends and relatives, but it is a bit awkward when they ask me about the prostate. Don't do too much with that organ in pediatrics. 🙂

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