Interesting Facts About Doctors On Call

2 doctors holding their stethoscopes

One of the most recognized, respected and highly paid jobs is being a doctor on call or other medical clinics. Medical professionals are exceptionally important in our society and are tasked with diagnosing and curing their patients. In countries such as Australia, where medical advice is so easily available, it is easy to take it for granted. However, it is important to recognise that this hasn’t always been the case.

The history behind the medical industry is vast, interesting, and in some cases shocking. It may surprise you to find out that whilst ancient civilisations did not have access to modern medical devices, they did have their own ways of dealing with health complaints.

Keep reading to find out four interesting facts about doctors on call.


Fact 1:

One of the most recognised pieces of medical equipment is the stethoscope; almost every time you visit your general practitioner they will get one out to listen to your heart. This is why it may seem hard to imagine what a doctor on call may be like without their trust stethoscope hanging around their neck.

However, this handy little tool didn’t always exist. Interestingly, the stethoscope was invented in 1816 by a French physician called Rene Laennec. Laennec worked at the Necker-Enfants Malades Hospital in Paris, and this was where he invented the now iconic device. This early version of the stethoscope came about because Laennec was uncomfortable placing his ear on the chest of a woman to listen to her heartbeat.

Although this invention is the predecessor to the devices we are familiar with, it looked quite different. Laennec’s stethoscope was simply made out of a wooden tube.


Fact 2:

Surgery is something that many people fear, even with today’s modern technology and emphasis on a sterile environment. Whilst surgery is relatively safe and now only done by highly educated doctors on call, this was not always the case.

It can be easy to forget that the ancient man also had ailments and health problems. Although we now know that they didn’t understand these issues or how to rectify them, ancient civilisations found their own ways of dealing with health complaints.

Interestingly, the Egyptians were the first known civilisation to practice surgery. There are physical remains and wall paintings that indicate that surgery was a routine procedure performed in ancient Egypt. These paintings actually suggest that Egyptian surgery was quite sophisticated and advanced.


Fact 3:

Throughout history, there have been numerous books and written records of medical discoveries and practices. However, the earliest written record that mentions medical practices is Hammurabi’s Code; this report is from the 18th Centenary BC in Mesopotamia.

This ancient report notes the code of laws for the doctors on call at the time. The text discusses the payments physicians could charge for curing people and the punishments if they failed to do so. The payment for curing wealthy people was higher, but the punishment for failing to cure them was also high. The text mentions that a physician may lose a hand if they were unable to cure a patient.


Fact 4:

It’s no big secret that becoming a doctor on call takes a huge amount of education. It may surprise you, however, to find out that some medical professionals’ study for up to 11 years before being considered as fully qualified. Oftentimes, general practitioners do not need to study for this long, but if a medical professional decides to specialize, it can often take much longer.

Whilst GP’s are some of the most highly paid professionals, many have admitted that they often have to work over time or longer hours in order to pay off their extensive student debts.