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 · 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

Medicine & Doctors · Public health · Uncategorized

Cochrane and the challenges of producing trustworthy evidence in medicine

This was published in the Wire on 18 Nov 2018. Here is the link, and below is an excerpt: “In 1972, a British doctor Archibald Cochrane wrote a book titled Effectiveness and Efficiency: Random Reflections on Health Services. It had a great influence on ideas about decision-making in medicine and public health. Archibald was concerned with… Continue reading Cochrane and the challenges of producing trustworthy evidence in medicine

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

Review of the book ‘Healers or Predators: Healthcare Corruption in India’ by Nundy, Desiraju, Nagral

This review was published in Wire.in on 18 Oct 2018. Here is the full article. Below is an excerpt: As a former physician now studying the history of the medical profession in India, I found the chapters written by veteran doctors most interesting. M.K. Mani, who has been in medicine for the last 60 years,… Continue reading Review of the book ‘Healers or Predators: Healthcare Corruption in India’ by Nundy, Desiraju, Nagral

History · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors

The time when ANYBODY could practise as a doctor in the United States

I wrote this as an answer to a question on Quora, Has there ever been a time when doctors were widely mistrusted (as a whole)? It might be perhaps accurate to say that healers in general – or doctors as we would call them today – have never received complete, unadulterated trust from the public… Continue reading The time when ANYBODY could practise as a doctor in the United States

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

The history of medicine in India: Some reading recommendations for doctors and other healthcare practitioners

Over the last two years I have fortunately had the time and resources to read some excellent scholarship on the history of medicine and public health in India. These books and articles have immensely helped me to understand the historical beginnings and trajectories of the different aspects of healthcare in our country. For example, one… Continue reading The history of medicine in India: Some reading recommendations for doctors and other healthcare practitioners