Well, it seems that there are three types of Doctors in the Philippines. Which one are you?
I want you to know that there are scholarly studies about medical professional types, and I encourage you to research more about them if you’re interested. These researchers have categorized doctors and nurses according to personality traits, habits, and more. Some of these characteristics have contributed to these professionals’ success in the field.
However, as far as I can tell, we don’t have those kinds of studies in the Philippines yet. So, kindly allow me to categorize Filipino doctors informally (not based on the handwriting). I’m sure that you can think of your categories; tell me what you think.
The first type (from the Three Types of Doctors) is The Good Doctor (no, it is not from the hit TV series).
The pandemic has increased the demand for highly competent and compassionate medical professionals, or “frontliners,” as we now call them. There are even shopping lanes dedicated to health workers; I think they need all the appreciation they can get since they’re working so hard. Remember the times when we were locked in our condos and houses, and we saluted every doctor that came our way?
It’s easy to tell who the good doctors are. They are the ones who did not quit even when their colleagues got ill and even passed away. Some got COVID more than once; they won’t give up despite earning little. You can easily tell that these people are genuinely after our welfare.
Some doctors actively fight for the public’s health and safety. Dr. Tony Leachon, for example. He is a former advisor of the National Task Force against COVID-19. Because most people did not know what to do, Dr. Leachon’s recommendations were met with great resistance until many realized he was right. His leadership extends beyond the health setting; he also serves people through informative and inspirational posts on his Facebook page.
And who could miss Dr. Maria Rosario Vergeire, the Undersecretary of Health? She is a beacon of light during the days when the pandemic hung heavy over our heads. I can only imagine the stress she has to go through to provide daily guidance and prevent regular citizens from panicking.
Watching her interviews is a joy – she is like a dependable teacher who, despite really knowing her stuff or being burdened by the demands of her students, is neither arrogant nor uptight. I don’t know much about her background, but I imagine that she has military training because of her ability to keep calm under pressure.
Being a prepper and survivalist (I was one of those who got concerned about the world ending in 2012), I have been following Doc Ted Esguerra even before the pandemic. I consider him as a sort of Bear Grylls. He once explained that he became passionate about rescuing people after saving someone from drowning when he was young. He got a severe case of COVID (which he survived, fortunately), and even if it made him weak, the rescue doctor continued doing what he loves to do and taught people along the way.
Oh, I know there are so many other good doctors out there, but I can’t write about them all. Let’s go to the second type:
As the saying goes, bad times bring out the best and the worst in people. The second type (from the Three Types of Doctors) is The Bad Doctors.
Some doctors are in it only for the money or the clout. Someone (I won’t mention names) was controversial because of selling overpriced products that are claimed to cure this and that illnesses even if there was no evidence of their effectiveness. It was even claimed this particular doctor was harassing another doctor because he was educating people about the risks of believing this other doctor’s claims.
Other doctors have taken advantage of people during the pandemic. Some have charged several times more than the typical professional fee. I understand that when demand increases, so do prices, but wow, why the price hike when so many people don’t have jobs?
Some doctors sell overpriced medicine that they promise to cure their COVID or other illnesses. Fearing for their lives, they will buy even if there are cheaper alternatives. After all, a doctor prescribed them, so it must work, won’t it?
And we heard that there are some in the medical field who faked COVID-19 cases to get funds from the government. Well, yes, we all need money, but dishonesty is dishonesty.
The third type (from the Three Types of Doctors) is The Attractive Doctor (blushing…)
I don’t follow doctors simply because they are sexy or handsome, so I can’t give concrete examples. They are rampant in Tiktok and the likes. To be fair, some of them also teach their audience about health matters, while others (especially the not-so aesthetically pleasing ones) crack jokes. Comedian doctors also belong to this category because, according to studies, funny people are attractive.
This may be obvious, but it must be said since it is often ignored: we should not trust doctors just because they are pleasant looking. We should check their background and consider the skills they have. Most importantly, we must be careful of the “halo effect” or the psychological tendency to generalize one’s physical/social attractiveness to other unrelated traits like competency and reliability. Lives are at stake, people!
Three Types of Doctors in the Philippines
Admittedly, this categorization is unfair and maybe offensive for some. After all, no one is good or bad all the time, and a gwapo (handsome) for one person is pangit (ugly) for another and vice versa. It may also lead to stereotyping, which is a downside of any attempt to categorize a group of people.
However, I believe that this could serve as a reminder for all of us to evaluate our doctors carefully. Doctors must strive to be good (in other words, competent and kind) and not rely on good looks alone. And being bad is bad, period.
So which type would you like to meet from the three types of doctors would you like to meet?