Asking members to become “brand ambassadors of health” for the society, the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has directed its office-bearers to refrain from drinking with “non-doctors”.
The representative voluntary organisation of doctors has also asked its members to observe dry days on July 1 (Doctors’ Day) and September 5 (Teachers’ day).
IMA, in a recent advisory, also suggests a “safe limit” for alcohol consumption – 18 ml for male and 9 ml for female doctors.
“No alcohol should be served at IMA meetings,” says the advisory, which is part of the IMA’s “alcohol policy”.
It says doctors have a responsibility to put into practice what they preach to patients on leading a healthy lifestyle.
It urges them to maintain dignity before patients, a dictum also laid down in the Medical Council of India’s (MCI’s) code of ethics.
“A physician shall uphold the dignity and honour of the profession. A patient should be able to trust his doctor and have confidence in him. Any public display of ‘undignified’ behaviour erodes the trust in the doctor and gives the profession a bad name,” said Dr KK Aggarwal, National President of the IMA.
Noting that the doctor-patient interaction is a key success factor in medical treatment, the IMA had also advised its doctors to start saying ‘thank you’ to their patients and after a survey revealed that 40 per cent patients expect their doctors to thank them.