Medicine & Doctors · Public health · Recommended movies, books etc.

Being a good ‘doctor’, not just a good ‘clinician’: Reading recommendations for MBBS students

As I came to appreciate after countless hours in darkened lecture halls, the biomedical view of disease looks piercingly through a patient toward some essential, objective, solid reality of biology—and yet in doing so it loses, like an X ray, almost any sense of flesh of the person. – Chris Feudtner, ‘Bittersweet: Diabetes, Insulin, and… Continue reading Being a good ‘doctor’, not just a good ‘clinician’: Reading recommendations for MBBS students

Culture & Life · History · Recommended movies, books etc.

Why reading is as important a parenting duty as any other

We are almost never introduced properly to one of the most important skills one needs in a complex, and now increasingly lies-filled, social world: critical thinking. What follows is excerpted from a post I wrote on Quora in answer to a general question What is it that Indian parents are collectively doing wrong? This answer… Continue reading Why reading is as important a parenting duty as any other

History · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors

A short history of Delhi’s Lady Hardinge Medical College, with pictures

Lady Hardinge Medical College, located in the heart of New Delhi, is one of the premier medical institutions in the country. Established in 1916, it recently celebrated a centenary of existence. The seeds of its foundation, however, lie in the late 1800s, when the British colonial government began to take some reluctant interest in providing… Continue reading A short history of Delhi’s Lady Hardinge Medical College, with pictures

History · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors

Some historical nuggets about India’s premier medical institute: AIIMS, Delhi

AIIMS Delhi has a fascinating history. Most of what follows is indebted to the PhD thesis of Anna Ruddock, formerly at King’s College London. The thesis is titled ‘Special Medicine: Producing Doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)’, and a PDF is available here. The genesis of the idea of AIIMS lies… Continue reading Some historical nuggets about India’s premier medical institute: AIIMS, Delhi

History · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors

How did George Washington, the first US President, die? (Hint: much blood was spilled)

[Reference for the details below and image: Death of a President | NEJM] The year is 1799, the month December. A wealthy old man somewhere in Virginia begins to feel some discomfort in his throat and runs a temperature. He is fragile, often gasping for air as he finds breathing more and more difficult. Not… Continue reading How did George Washington, the first US President, die? (Hint: much blood was spilled)

Culture & Life · Fiction · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors

A riveting 1947 short story featuring India’s medical education system

Popular representations of medical systems, professionals, and of illness itself, are an important source of knowledge for historians of medicine. During my research into the history of the Indian (bio)medical profession in the post-independence period, I recently came across a very interesting short story, published in a Sunday edition of the Indian Express in October… Continue reading A riveting 1947 short story featuring India’s medical education system

History · Politics

Why Indian historians do not write about the West as frequently as Euro-American historians write about India

This is an understandable discrepancy.. until one realizes that that history of colonial India and of what we know as India’s ‘struggle’ for independence is as much a history of the West and Western actors as of India! I wrote this as an answer to a Quora question (here). I copy most parts of that… Continue reading Why Indian historians do not write about the West as frequently as Euro-American historians write about India

History · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors

How the 1835 Calcutta Medical College catalyzed the ascendancy of biomedicine in India

Two versions of this essay were published recently. I wrote one for the KEM Hospital Mumbai’s internal publication, named ‘Reflections on Medical Humanities’. The other version was published by the Wire on 29th March 2019, full article here. Below are some excerpts: One of the most striking developments in the first year of the CMC was human… Continue reading How the 1835 Calcutta Medical College catalyzed the ascendancy of biomedicine in India