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5 Smart Ways to Identify a Quack Doctor

Ireyimika Oyegbami

A recent study has shown that pregnancy/childbirth care, typhoid and malaria fever are the top medical conditions for which quack medical practitioners render services in Nigeria. A doctor is a called a ‘quack’ when they pretend to have medical skills that they do not actually possess. Quack doctors usually do not have the required medical degrees or certificates to treat their patients.

It is in doubt if the big, well established and well run (read expensive) private hospitals and the major government hospitals would employ quack doctors. However, some private hospitals are registered by the government as nursing or convalescent homes but they operate as full hospitals and their owners, mostly male nurses, present themselves to the public as doctors.

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A quack doctor can put the health and life of a patient being treated by him in danger due to lack of proper professional knowledge. This is because the patient is prevented from getting proper treatment on the assumption of being adequately treated by the quack and this can result in advancement of disease.

These are some giveaway signs which can tell you if your doctor is the real deal or a quack..

1. Quacks Don’t Have the Right Papers
If you visit a doctor and you just don’t feel ‘right’ about the medic, do yourself some good and ask to see his credentials. Real doctors in Nigeria graduate from Universities or Medical schools. A degree is needed to obtain the medical license and your doctor should be happy to show you his credentials; if not, leave and meet with another doctor.

2. Quacks Prescribe Medicine Without Tests
So the doctor just takes a look at your face and proceeds to treat you for typhoid fever; you should be highly suspicious. Doctors require scientific to be able to diagnose ailments and prescribe treatment. If you feel your doctor gives the impression of lacking adequate knowledge, don’t hesitate to change such.

READ ALSO:YOUR BABY’S HEALTH: 15 Warning Signs You Should Never Ignore (Part Two)

3. Quacks Claim to Have a ‘cure it all’
When a doctor claims particular medicines that he sells or makes will produce an immediate cure or remedy, it’s likely he’s a fake. A quack doctor may further prescribe too many medications because he does not know what they are doing. A good doctor will never try to sell you medicine or treatment. Rather, he would take time to consider which treatment or medicine is right for you.

4. Quacks Have Poor Communication Skills
So you visit the doctor and he says to you while sorting his files; ready to call in the next victim, sorry, patient,
“You have less than 5 months to live. There is nothing any doctor anywhere can do to help you. Please close my door gently as you leave”.
Really! A doctor ought to show some level of compassion not minding his level of stress.

5. Quacks Won’t Cooperate With You in Your Own Healing
So, you heard that this or that lab test might be worth doing. Or perhaps read an article or did some of your own research, but is your doctor interested? Is he willing to consider that you may know something? Does he even listen to you or give you the benefit of the doubt?

When quacks don’t have the answer, they don’t consider that there is anything for them to learn. They just blame you. Quacks look down their noses at you, but real health practitioners will cooperate with you in your own treatment. They will consider your feelings and your ideas; they will investigate along with you and work with you to help you regain good health.

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Overall, trust your instincts. If you feel that your doctor is a quack or is unqualified to treat you or is merely a bad doctor who is trying to take advantage of you, go somewhere else and get a second opinion.

There are doctors out there who are so poorly trained and a nuisance to the society. However, a poorly trained doctor can have his valid license revoked but a quack doctor’s licence was never valid in the first instance. You simply need to protect yourself and your family by keeping completely away from bad hospitals, poorly trained doctors and quack doctors.


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