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

Notes on the history of Ayurveda – 2: Ideas of infection and contagion in the past

[In this series I attempt to inform readers of the excellent scholarship that exists on the history of Ayurveda, which is one among several of the premodern medical traditions of South Asia. See here for the previous article.] The book ‘Contagion: Perspectives from Pre-modern Societies‘ (2000) is a great introduction to how people in the… Continue reading Notes on the history of Ayurveda – 2: Ideas of infection and contagion in the past

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

Notes on the history of Ayurveda – 1: Zysk, Chattopadhyaya, and the origins of Ayurveda

[In this series I attempt to inform readers of the excellent scholarship that exists on the history of Ayurveda, which is one among several of the premodern medical traditions of South Asia. Click here for the next post.] In this first installment we will look at the work of two important historians: Kenneth Zysk and… Continue reading Notes on the history of Ayurveda – 1: Zysk, Chattopadhyaya, and the origins of Ayurveda

Covid-19 · Medicine & Doctors · Public health · Recommended movies, books etc.

COVID-19 in India – Health Journalists and Public Health Experts You Can Follow on Twitter

In view of the large amount of misinformation about COVID-19 being circulated in India, especially after the Indian PM made some announcements which then had to be elaborately (even if incorrectly) justified, I thought of compiling a list of people/accounts that provide the most accurate and up-to-date information on the pandemic in India. Besides news,… Continue reading COVID-19 in India – Health Journalists and Public Health Experts You Can Follow on Twitter

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

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 India South Asia · 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