I believe that my life is nothing but a cumulative human form of all the kindness people have showered on me over the years. Born in a family of four, where the only source of income was the inconsistent wages from auto-rickshaw driving in a small town (Chiplun), I was extremely lucky to have received education in a wonderful school with some really great teachers to guide me. Most of my schooling happened through scholarships and informal financial assistance. Courtesy good grades, I could get into BJ Government Medical College in Pune, where I studied medicine and graduated in Feb 2010.
While doing my rural posting at Ratnagiri District Hospital, I came in intimate contact with the public health system of the country, and couldn’t help feeling it was colossally inadequate. Instead of simply cursing it though, I decided to understand India and public health more deeply and work towards a positive change through such an understanding. I resolved to study public health formally and then use the knowledge in advancing health systems in India. Thus, in 2011, I decided to apply for a master’s degree in public health (MPH), preferably from the USA which is world-renowned for its public health education. I had to wait till 2014 to earn enough to stabilize my family and then go abroad.
After my MPH in May 2015, I decided to come back to India despite opportunities to work abroad, especially because I wanted to look at India’s public health system once again with the new insights that my education had offered me. The time spent in India (2015-16) helped me better understand several new aspects of the country, its politics, and its health policy. One aspect which made a great impact on me was the relationship between Indian society and India’s doctors, or the ‘doctor-patient relationship’. The strain that had characterized this relationship for several years had begun to intensify and affect, directly or indirectly, a majority of the citizens of the country.
I thus decided to work on this aspect of India’s healthcare challenges further. I am currently in a PhD degree program at Harvard University (since Sep 2016), focusing on the history of the patient-doctor relationship and medical ethics in India, and trying to find ways in which the problems in the medical profession can be addressed in a sustainable way. (For more on what I am researching, please see here.) I have also written several op-eds on the topic: here, here and here.
If you find merit in my life, my thoughts, and my work, and if you are able to help, I would highly appreciate financial assistance to help me repay my educational loan which helped me finance my MPH degree. It amounts to several thousand dollars (or several lakh rupees); drawn form the Harvard University Employees’ Credit Union (HUECU), Cambridge, MA, USA. The assistance would translate into not only helping me, but also helping many students from poorer nations who apply for loans at the HUECU, for the money paid back by former students is used to finance loans for current and future students.