According to information released by the Ministry of the Interior, the number of single adults living alone in China was about 92 million by 2021. They often seem free and live comfortably, but they can feel vulnerable when they suffer an illness.
When people get sick, they often want someone to help, especially if they live alone. As a result, “accompanying doctors” has become a popular occupation. They are highly sought after on social platforms.
The day-to-day tasks of this job consist of registering a care number, attending to patients while traveling, talking to and assisting doctors, lining up payments, picking up medication, and reporting diagnoses.
High wages, time off, low requirements, and high demand have become the defining characteristics of this occupation.
Guo Li, a lady born in 1995 in Dali, graduated from a university in Kunming and decided to stay and work there.
One day in October, Guo suffered abdominal pains and had to undergo testing. She did not tell her family in Dali or her relatives in Kunming. She read the “Service included” advertisement and decided to try it.
Guo searched local healthcare websites on social platforms and found a suitable accompanying doctor, and after confirming the fees, he quickly contacted her. After checking Guo’s condition, Zhenzhen immediately reminded her to skip breakfast, bring her medical records, and take a COVID test.
On October 19, the two met at the entrance to the hospital. In the hospital Zhenzhen helped Guo load her medical card and line up to get a number.
Zhenzhen chatted with her to help stay calm. Guo said, “Zhenzhen talked to me about many things every day. After he learned that I am from Dali, he even talked to me about the customs of my hometown, which made me feel very comfortable and friendly.”
After taking all the necessary tests, Guo felt dizzy and a little sore. Zhenzhen helped her sit on a chair and just silently sat by her side. Guo said, “I didn’t want to talk at that time, he didn’t say anything, he accompanied me quietly, only this is what I needed at that time.”
Saving time is also a factor that Guo takes into account when looking for an accompanying doctor. After graduating, she worked as a new media executive at a private company. She often worked overtime to edit texts, “If you look for a therapist to accompany you, he will help you get your medicine and so on, which saves me time.”
Guo spent $18 (129 yuan) for a four-hour accompanying medical examination, which is almost half of her daily salary, but she felt very happy.
In people’s inherent thinking, the elderly should be the group with the greatest need for a doctor to accompany them. In fact, more and more young people have this need. According to media reports, young people account for more than 60% of people seeking a doctor.
A reporter from the Beijing Youth Daily found on the Tianyancha search engine that 746 companies were searched for the keyword “doctor” and 536 are still in operation. More than 4,700 notes (#Tags) are related to this topic on the Xiaohongshu platform.