Doctors yesterday and today


The Doctor

Yesteryear, it was the most noble profession

Never chosen by the greedy only the dedicated men and women

Alas, trend today is not the same, tables turned upside down

Uppermost in minds of current men and women,

Money, power, envy emulating a greedy politician 

And out of the door gone, benevolence and compassion

Screen Shot 2018-01-25 at 9.48.19 PM copy


Ariya 2

Doctors today have many privileges

Receive government assistance throughout education

Receive car permits, regularly with tax exemption

Scholarships for education, including foreign travels

Generous off duty and leave; specified time for duty

No hesitation to jeopardise lives for their rights

Stooges of political masters, ready to walkout from work

Money driven puppets!

Ariya 1

Ariya De Silva OBE

17 thoughts on “Doctors yesterday and today”

  1. Dear Ariya
    I totally agree with you. I think the doctors of today are driven by money and not the care of patients. Praxy


  2. Dear Ariya,
    Correct – No more “The Noble Profession”, but look at any profession – Everything spins around MONEY – from Beggar on the street to Millionaires. That’s life !


  3. Ariya, I am inclined to contribute a few lines about this beautiful painting.I have a large print framed in my home.The original is in the Tate museum in London.The painting is by Luke Fildes.It was a painting commissioned by Mr Tate and he asked Mr Fildes to paint whatever he thought appropriate.This was 1890 and Fildes wanted £3000 for the commission and it was certainly a tidy sum of money at that moment in time.Fildes was very taken up with the doctor who treated his son aged 1, a few years earlier but unfortunately the child died..In the painting he wanted to portray the great admiration he had for the doctor who treated his child despite the child not surviving.Fildes painted the doctor in his image and the child’s face was that of his daughter.It is a soul searching picture with the family watching over the sick child .The doctor has been with child all through the night.You can see dawn breaking through the window.The parents worried, the doctor observing the child and a steady reassuring hand of the husband over the wife ,hoping that all will be fine as the new day begins.It is a great painting of the time and it depicts the people who practiced the art with limited resources..Times have changed.But, this painting is timeless.It should inspire all of us .It has been my inspiration as I see it every day.
    I hope this adds an insight into this beautiful painting and Ariya’s comments can be interpreted well when admiring this painting.Eddie.


  4. Thanks Eddie for illuminating us with the history of the painting.

    I admire your prifound knowledge on this painting and If I remember correctly on your presentation

    to the batch in 2014 reunion you did allude to the same.



  5. Thank you Eddie for the most lovely note on the painting that captures ‘ the moment ‘…. of the way it was back then, when doctors made house calls and stayed up with the patient / family .
    Very beautifully written- to tug at anyone’s heart strings .

    Yes- The Noble Profession- today- is the SAME all the world over –
    This is a very sad situation , when a patient is considered as “Money walking in from the Front Door, ” or a case of “State Funded Health Care Expense and Liability ” .

    Money Makes The World Go Round – who ever said, Hit The Nail On The Head !

    I am sooo glad I am out of it- got sick of it, after just 15 yrs of GP Locum Practice and quit in 2001, while the going was good with my health , and now live a simple minimalistic life of a Junglee Girl, in a small Ontario town, and enjoy every second of it !

    Cool Stuff !



    1. Deepthie, Over 16 years in retirement and content with life. You have a wonderful life and long may it continue.Enjoy. Eddie.


  6. Eddie, Deepthie, Seelan and Praxy

    Many thanks for your coroborative comments

    Glad we were doctors more than fifty years ago

    Today the noble profession has lost tge nobility

    It is as pointed out by many a very sad occassion



  7. Still there are many doctors doing a dedicated service. Patients and public still says some Doctors are like Gods. Doctor are not the riches pleple in the world.


    1. Dear Indragee,
      I agree with your point. Look at me for example !!! I am dedicated & still serving – I don’t worry about money !!!!!


  8. Thanks Indragee for your remark

    The observarion ‘doctors are not the richest in the world’ is true

    They have a distance to catch up, should not be the motive too

    Do not think doctors are morally the worst, yet there’s an erosion, gradual

    Presentation was aimed at highlighting two eras of the profession, noble

    Many doctors’ still are respected highly and majority are quite honourable



  9. Dear Ariya,

    I totally and completely disagree with you. I am retired for the last seven years. I always admire the profession now and then. Doctors have to live too. No body will give them food for free or look after their children free while they are working. We did not work free. Doctors should be paid for what they do. I am proud of our profession .



  10. Dear Swarana,

    There are many doctors with preserved human qualities

    Please see my comment in reply to Indrajith ‘s remark.

    It is the trend of deterioration of humanness that is worrying.

    The doctors comparatively are not poor and are paid a salary for a comfortable living.

    I am not familiar with your description of extreme poverty among doctors in any country.

    However the discussion was not on wages but the degree of Benovolence and Compassion.



  11. It was interesting to read the comments that arose from the picture that Ariya posted. Thanks Eddie for enlightening us about the history of the painting.

    In any profession there are the good, bad and the ugly. I think there are some dedicated physicians still practicing good medicine in Sri Lanka and elsewhere in the world. If we are looking for Albert Schweitzers in our profession then forget it. It is like trying to find a needle in a hay stack.



  12. Thanks Ariya and Nisantha. As a group of doctors in the profession for over 50 years, we must turn the light inwards and discuss what ails our profession.I believe that the Hippocratic oath is outdated and of little value.The expectation of our patients is changing rapidly.The average patient is now well informed even before he/she is in consultation with the doctor.Thanks to the net and Dr Google it is going to get more difficult to navigate the conversations that we have with patients.Patient rights, LGT persons rights are becoming regular parts of the conversation of patients with their doctors.Add to this new conundrums like the diagnosis of dying, end of life decisions, terminal care in the ageing patient together with the ethics of abortion and fertility issues( donor eggs/ sperm)and surrogacy and we have a plethora of new problems to resolve.This is only the physical aspects and we have not even touched the large area of mental health problems especially in the young.To compound matters we have genomic medicine already at the door of every consultation.
    The doctors of the future will have their work cut out.
    More importantly, are we training the right kind of doctor in Sri Lanka.?I believe that the single most important character essential for a good doctor is empathy and without it , our roles become meaningless.
    In all thie discussions of doctors and patients what is often forgotten is the maintenance of good health in the doctor.This means good work life balance.A tired and unhealthy doctor is of little benefit to the profession.
    I hope many will contribute to this discussion as it is important for the future of medicine.Eddie.


  13. Eddie, I agree with your observations hundred percent.

    Stories we hear from friends and relatives here are not all are rosy.

    Even relatives of some senior senior doctors are quite disturbed with attitudes of some doctors.

    However the ‘Ostrich attitude’ is not helpful to anyone.

    Again it is not everyone but the trend is worrying



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