After politicians, doctors receive the most heat on Nigerian Twitter. It’s from one gbas gbos to another. Although they have their flaws (like any other profession), they haven’t received the most kindness. Part of the reason can be traced to some Nollywood stereotypes about being a doctor.
To understand this better, I asked some doctors to correct a few of these stereotypes.
1) “Nollywood makes it look like one doctor can know everything forgetting that there are different areas of specialization in medicine. So, people always think you are wicked when you refer them to another hospital for something you can’t handle.”
2) “They make it seem like once there’s an emergency and you rush into the hospital, doctors will immediately jump on the patient and start performing magic. They don’t know that with how messed up and understaffed the system is, you can be like the 10th emergency in the emergency room. You still have to wait your turn.”
3) “How can a doctor just pronounce someone dead without doing CPR or anything, or even make a diagnosis without examining a patient? When he’s not a magician.”
4) “I haven’t watched a lot of clips but from short Twitter videos and talks, it ranges from poor examination of patients to a poor explanation of disease conditions. There are so many issues there.”
5) “The dressing. Wtf. Every doctor is dressed like a punk. They are dressed in jeans, rad shirts and they carry stethoscope everywhere, even to the toilet. Who does that?
They also don’t portray the nurses well. Nurses do more in real life but Nollywood nurses don’t inspire anything. They just put them there to gossip.”
6) “One classic mistake is wearing the stethoscope wrongly and also examining weird body parts with it. I have not seen a Nollywood movie where CPR was done correctly. It’s always like they are playing with the person’s chest.”
7) “Doctor’s don’t carry the patients to the theatre themselves. Especially after scrubbing for surgery.”
8) “Instead of sticking to simple diseases, they start mentioning highfalutin stuff. Most of which is wrong. Doctors are more thorough than that in real life.”
9) “Another one I have seen is a blatant disregard for code of ethics. Doctors don’t reveal patients’ secrets. I have seen a Nollywood doctor reveal secrets to a friend.”
10) “Classic Nollywood is that when the doctor can’t manage a patient, they recommend that the person visits a native doctor. Most times they say that the condition is spiritual. No licensed doctor will do that. Emphasis on licensed.”