Humor in Military Medicine – Part 3 – “Second Opinion” – “Cut Practice”

Here is the third story in my series on Humor in Military Medicine – “Second Opinion” or “Cut Practice” 

Continued from Part 1 “Doc Daneekas” in Uniform 


and Part 2 “Dentists” in Uniform 



[NB: The generic Hindustani word “Fauj” refers to all arms of the Military (Army, Navy, Air Force) – so – the term “Fauji” or “Soldier” refers to all Military Personnel in Uniform of the Army, Navy and Air Force (Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen) – and the term “Faujan” refers to all Military Wives)]

My Hilarious Encounters with “Fauji” Doctors




This happened more than 33 years ago – in the mid 1980’s – at IAT Girinagar Pune.

I had newly arrived in station.

Those days – IAT was an inter-service training establishment comprising Army, Navy and Air Force Personnel – but – it was run in typical “Army Style”.

During my evening walk – I saw a crowd of young student officers and families sitting on the lawns of the house of our Unit Medical Officer (MO).

Seeing the crowd – I thought that our Unit Medical Officer (Doctor) was having a party.

“So – Doc is having a party – is it…?” I shouted to them.

“No Sir. We have not come here for a party. We are waiting to see the doctor for medical treatment…” they said.

I was impressed.

I had thought that our Unit Medical Officer (Unit MO) was a typical “fauji” doctor.

Most Army Medical Officers followed strict timings and rules.

You had to visit the Medical Inspection Room (MI Room)/Clinic/Sickbay when you were sick (even if you were seriously ill)

This was because “fauji” doctors did not make house calls – nor did they entertain patients at their home.

That is why I was impressed to see so many patients at the “Fauji” Doctor’s home.

It was evident that he was such a good doctor – that patients were going to his house in the evening for consultation and treatment.

And – our Unit Medical Officer (Unit MO) – he seemed so compassionate, sincere and devoted to medicine – that he had started an “Evening OPD” at home for their convenience.

Thoroughly impressed by the dedication of the “Unit MO” – I said to the officers:

“That’s great. I did not know that our “Unit MO” sees patients at home…”

A student officer said to me:

“Sir – we have not come to see the “Unit MO”. 

He is a “Quack” – a useless “good-for-nothing doctor”. 

We have come to see his wife. 

She is an excellent doctor who works in “XXX Hospital” – the best hospital in Pune. 

In the evening – she does her “private practice” here at her home – and everyone comes to consult her. 

Of course – she charges quite a lot of money as “consultation fee” – but then – she is a really good doctor…”

I was stunned to hear this.

But – after a few days – I realised that the student officer was right.

A young Naval Officer told me a story a few days later which proved that the “fauji” doctor’s wife was a good doctor – yes – she was a really good doctor.

Let me tell you the story.


Once – the young Naval Officer got a strange cough.

During his morning run – in the expansive picturesque campus – he would suddenly get a spasm of cough – so severe – that it was almost like a convulsion.

He would sit down – terminate his run – walk home – and drink water – and take rest.

For the rest of the day – he would be okay.

These fits of cough happened only in the mornings during his runs – and – while jogging in the open.

The Naval Officer reported to the Unit Medical Officer (MO) (the “fauji” doctor) in the MI Room.

On hearing the symptoms – without even physically examining the officer – the Army Unit MO immediately concluded that it was “Asthma”.

And – the Unit MO referred the Officer to the “Specialist” at the Military Command Hospital (CH) Pune.

The Naval Officer was due for his “sea time” – immediately after the course.

His fellow Naval Officers scared the shit out of the officer – by putting all sorts of fears in his mind.

They told him that – if he went to the Specialist for Asthma – he would be subjected to all sorts of tests and examinations – and – the Specialists at Military Hospital would surely downgrade his “Medical Category”.

Now – if his Medical Category was downgraded – that would be the end of his “sea time” – and – as a consequence – his Navy Career would be badly affected.

All Fellow Officers and their Wives wife advised the “Asthma Afflicted Officer” to see the “fauji” doctor’s wife (the civilian lady doctor who practiced at home).

They all told the “Asthma Afflicted Officer” – that – before he “surrendered” himself to the “Fauji” Specialist Doctors at the Military Hospital – it would be better if he took a “second opinion” from the civilian doctor wife our unit “fauji” doctor – since she was a good doctor.

Of course – though she charged a hefty “consultation fee” – it would be worth it in the long run – rather than let the Military “Specialist” Doctors ruin his career by “awarding” him a “Medical Category”.

(In the Military – some Doctors are more adept at “awarding” Medical Categories rather than medically treating “fauji” patients…)


In the evening – the worried “Asthma Afflicted Officer” went to see the “fauji” doctor’s wife.

The doctor’s wife – the civilian lady doctor – she heard him out – she examined him thoroughly – and – she said to the officer:

“Don’t worry – it is not asthma – it is just a seasonal allergy due to pollen from the “congress grass” which is abundant on the campus. This allergy happens to some people in spring. Just stop your morning runs for a month or two. Don’t go out in the open in the mornings. You will be okay. Once it is summer – you can start your morning outdoor exercise and running again.”

“Any medicines – any treatment…?” the officer asked.

“Nothing. There is no need for any medicines…” said the “fauji” doctor’s wife (the civilian lady doctor) – and then – she advised the officer, “if you want – you can just add some Gavati Chaha  गवती  चाहा (lemon grass) to boiling water when you make tea in the morning – it will act as a “placebo” – there are plenty of Gavati Chaha bushes growing wild in the campus.”

Within a few days – the officer’s cough disappeared.

And soon – the moment the season changed to summer – the officer was absolutely fit and fine – and – he started his morning runs again.

Of course – the Naval Officer scrupulously avoided going to the unit MO in the MI Room – during the remaining part of his course.

And – at the end of the course – fit and fine – he went for his “sea time”.


In the civilian world – I  have heard stories of doctors referring their patients to fellow doctors – for a “cut” or “commission” – known as “cut practice

So – in hindsight – I wonder:

Was the “fauji” doctor much smarter than we thought…?

Was he “faking it” when he created a perception that he was clueless about medicine…?

By giving a “medical category scare” to all his “fauji” patients – was his “ulterior motive” to boost the private practice of his civilian doctor wife…?

Was the Unit MO “fauji” doctor indulging in “cut practice”…?

Ha Ha – I sometimes wonder – if – in the medical world:

Is “Second Opinion” an euphemism for “Cut Practice”…?

Dear Reader – what do you feel…?


Copyright © Vikram Karve
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  1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. 2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

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Link to my source post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Story was written by me Vikram Karve in April 2014 and First Posted Online by me Vikram Karve at4/11/2014 12:43:00 PM in  my blog at url:  and later I posted this story online a number of times including at urls: and and and etc


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