Are Doctors men of Science?


Q:1  “Doctoring is not even the art of keeping people in health”. How far you agree with Shaw?

Or    The rank and file of doctors are no more scientific than their tailors. Elaborate.

Or       Doctoring is an art, not a science. Discuss.

Or       It is a popular delusion that every doctor is a man of science.


Shaw condemns the misconception that doctors are men of science. He says that science does not merely mean conjuring with retorts, spirits lamps, magnets, or microscopes. It is a system and a method of research. He says that doctors are not better than their tailors. A man who reads scientific journals can develop scientific taste. He can tell what to eat and what not to eat. Even an elderly lady at home can tell what to eat and what not to eat.

Shaw says that doctoring is an art, not science. It is not even the art of keeping people in good health. It is the art of curing illness only not of improving people’s health.

Shaw says that science is another name of research. Doctors do not make any research in their field. They seem to be the agents of pharmaceutical firms. They themselves do not make any intensive study of the ailments. They prescribe medicines as directed by Medical Representatives. Their main business is to collect money.

Hence Shaw is right in his contention, “Doctoring is the art of keeping people in health.” And doctors are not men of science. We have to agree with Shaw that doctors have failed in keeping people in good health. 211



Q:2     Is there any difference between Doctors and Quacks? Give illustrations to prove your point.

Or       Discuss the difference between quacks and doctors. Relate the story Bernard Shaw tells at the end of his essay. (P.U. 95-S)


Bernard Shaw does not find any difference between a quack and a doctor because both diagnose the diseases and then treat their patients in the same way. A quack is an unqualified doctor. Herbalists, bone-setters, and hygienists all are quacks. In Shaw’s view, the only difference between a quack and a doctor is that a doctor is authorized to sign a death certificate; whereas a quack is not.

Shaw elaborates his point of view by relating the story of an old lady, one of his relatives. She consulted a doctor about the symptoms of the need for a holiday or change. After diagnosing her depression the doctor prescribed a strong dose of digitalis a drug for heart patients. After using the drug she did not die because she was quite strong. Instead of medicine, she needed change and rest. A herbalist would have treated a heart patient and a farm laborer in the same way. Even heretical methods are used by some doctors. Quacks treat their patients with the help of herbs, plants, poisons, charms, and spells; while the doctors prescribe patent medicines. Hence, there is no difference between the two.


Q:3    Write a note on quacks in Pakistan.

Or      Do quacks earn more than qualified doctors?


A quack is an unqualified doctor. Bernard Shaw says that quacks, all over Europe are earning more than qualified doctors. Pakistan is no exception. A large number of quacks in Pakistan are earning, rather earning more than qualified doctors. The majority of the population in Pakistan is middle or poor class. These classes of people can’t afford the high fees demanded by qualified doctors. Moreover, the prices of the allopathic medicines are rising day by day. The people, therefore, consult homeopathic doctors or quacks who treat the people cheaply. Besides this, the quacks exploit the ignorance, illiteracy, and superstition of the masses.

In this, the quacks attract more patients than qualified doctors do. Hence, they earn more. Another factor is that there is no law in the country prohibiting the quacks from practice. Sometimes deaths are caused by the treatment of quacks, but these are in rare cases. Unless a law against quacks is passed, their thriving practice will continue

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