Covid-19 · Culture & Life · Medicine & Doctors · Public health

COVID-19 in India – Society and Culture – March 19 Diary

For the previous post in this series, see here. [Throughout history epidemics have served as excellent windows into social and cultural beliefs and norms. While this contagion-catalyzed uncovering of a society’s implicit and explicit thought processes helps historians understand past societies in better ways, for present societies it can potentially be utilized as a way… Continue reading COVID-19 in India – Society and Culture – March 19 Diary

Covid-19 · Culture & Life · Medicine & Doctors · Public health

COVID-19 in India – Society and Culture – March 17 Diary

[Throughout history epidemics have served as excellent windows into social and cultural beliefs and norms. While this contagion-catalyzed uncovering of a society’s implicit and explicit thought processes helps historians understand past societies in better ways, for present societies it can potentially be utilized as a way to understand our hidden biases, prejudices, and even kindnesses.… Continue reading COVID-19 in India – Society and Culture – March 17 Diary

History India South Asia · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors · Recommended movies, books etc.

Social histories of medicine – ‘Beyond the Great Doctors’

A book published in 1979, edited by two young historians Susan Reverby and David Rosner, and titled Health care in America: essays in social history, was among the first to popularize new ways of thinking about the history of medicine. The introductory essay was titled ‘Beyond “the Great Doctors”‘. A primary concern here was that… Continue reading Social histories of medicine – ‘Beyond the Great Doctors’

Culture & Life · History India South Asia · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors · Recommended movies, books etc.

How doctors became powerful – Arguments from Paul Starr’s ‘The Social Transformation of American Medicine’ – Part 2

Sociologist Paul Starr’s book ‘The Social Transformation of American Medicine’ is among the most important expositions of the evolution of medical practice and the biomedical profession in the USA. It was published in 1982 and won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. It is quite a thick book and contains several crucial arguments about… Continue reading How doctors became powerful – Arguments from Paul Starr’s ‘The Social Transformation of American Medicine’ – Part 2

Culture & Life · History India South Asia · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors · Recommended movies, books etc.

How doctors became powerful – Arguments from Paul Starr’s ‘The Social Transformation of American Medicine’ – Part 1

[Part 2 is here] Sociologist Paul Starr’s book ‘The Social Transformation of American Medicine’ is among the most important expositions of the evolution of medical practice and the biomedical profession in the USA. It was published in 1982 and won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize in General Nonfiction. It is quite a thick book and contains… Continue reading How doctors became powerful – Arguments from Paul Starr’s ‘The Social Transformation of American Medicine’ – Part 1

History India South Asia · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors · Politics · Public health

Why India’s founders championed a well-funded government-led healthcare system

This appeared in The Wire on 28 January 2020. Here is the article. I wrote this mainly in response to the Indian government’s gradual and timid abandonment of the universal health care goal for its people, with the latest setback being the plans to hand over our country’s civil hospitals to private agencies. “Immediately after… Continue reading Why India’s founders championed a well-funded government-led healthcare system

Cinema & Bollywood · History India South Asia · History of Medicine · Medicine & Doctors · Public health

How B&W Bollywood has preserved a multi-hued snapshot of India’s public health story

This was published on 28 Sep by the Wire India, here. Below are some excerpts: “TB was, and is, a formidable enemy but the foremost public health enemy in the early and mid-1900s in India, accounting for almost a quarter of all deaths every year, was malaria. Observers used terrible superlatives to describe it, such… Continue reading How B&W Bollywood has preserved a multi-hued snapshot of India’s public health story

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