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Treatment Options And Treatment Compliance

There are many options available in the form of different stream of practitioners available in our country. Broadly they can be divided in two heads:

  • AYUSH Indian Medical System: comprising of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy 
  • Allopathy ( Practitioners of Modern System of Medicine)

 The Allopathy is the predominant system of medicine which is being taught in more than 600 medical colleges across the country. Every system of medicine has its strengths and weaknesses. 

Healthcare professionals who practice allopathic medicine tend to take an evidence-based approach when they treat disease. This means they try to follow current literature guidelines and may request several diagnostic tests before deciding on the best course of treatment.

The advances in this system of medicine has contributed immensely in increasing the average age of survival as well as in creating many specialities and super specialities. Advances in this system no doubt has revolutionised the treatment options but has also made it very expensive and risk prone. 

Further guidance is related to this system of medicine. 

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading:

 Indian Systems of Medicine: A Brief Profile


Most allopathic doctors will take patient’s history and examine and may ask for tests to diagnose and as a part of treatment and follow up, they may:

  • Vaccinate people
  • Prescribe medications
  • Perform procedures and possibly surgery
  • Refer people to more specialized care ( example like dialysis) 
  • Refer for adjuvant therapies ( example like physio therapy) 
  • Conduct research
  • Provide counselling


This is to avoid the onset of an illness:

 It has eradicated small pox and polio , and contained many more diseases like measles, tetanus, whooping cough etc. In the recent pandemic of corona virus also vaccination has helped to control severe form of the disease.

Another area of preventing diseases has been ushered in by deeper understanding of underlying causes of diseases as well as advances in genetics. Doctors are able to predict chances of one developing diabetes or certain types of cancer. 

CURATIVE TREATEMENT – (to cure a patient of an illness), can be MEDICAL or SURGICAL


Typically the doctor will advise interventions such as medication, injections, precautions, dietary suggestions, monitoring etc. They will also prescribe the next review cycle. Many of these are written in prescription and others communicated verbally. 

  • The aim of treatment can be symptomatic at times to relieve pain or fever or it is to attack the underlying cause like antibiotics to treat bacterial throat infection, for example. Symptomatic treatment is helpful especially in self-limiting diseases.
  • Many adjuvant therapies like Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy, and Dietetics are equally part of medical treatments. 
  • Medical treatment usually are on Non -Invasive line. However many procedures like endoscopies, bronchoscopy, angiography and angioplasty are being done by trained physicians.
  • You may have to be admitted in intensive care especially when close monitoring of our vitals are required.


 For certain illnesses, the doctor may prescribe surgical treatment or an invasive procedure. 

  • Surgical interventions are sometimes the only/optimum choice. Since surgical procedures means hospitalisation and post care as well, you must plan to have a caregiver to commit time
  • Technology has dramatically improved the success rate of surgery and safe quick recovery. It is mainly due to advances in anaesthesia– it is important that the anaesthetist should know about your medical history and other parameters like hypertension, diabetes, or earlier diseases. 
  • Anaesthetist will examine you before surgery and even order some tests to make sure that you are fit to undergo surgery.


  • Palliative care aims to improve the quality of life of patients and that of their care givers who are suffering from life-threatening illness.
  • Palliative care involves providing a range of services delivered by a range of professionals ( like physicians, nursing, support workers, physiotherapists and others) to help physical, psychological, social or spiritual well-being of the patient and their family.

RELEVANT LINK for further reading 

Palliative Care


You may consult more than one doctor and take a second opinion , in order to make an informed choice about the optimum line of treatment for your illness. This is particularly important for major illnesses, and surgical treatment. Remember it is your RIGHT to ask for a second opinion.


  • Treatments like intensive care and surgery can be expensive. It is ok to find out about the full costs of your treatment and its coverage under insurance.
  • Do not hesitate to ask questions about side effects of medicines, direct and indirect costs of treatment and time taken for post operative recovery. 

RELEVANT LINKS for further reading

Types of surgeries: