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6 inspiring TED Talks for Indian Doctors

M3 India Newsdesk Jan 12, 2020

Service to mankind is the very base of your profession. But should service always cost you your life’s choices and preferences? We bring to you hand-picked TED Talk videos of inspiring Indian doctors, some of whom have used unconventional means of contributing to healthcare and society.

“I want to become a doctor and save lives”, how easy it is for kids to say such a thing! But as a doctor, you know how difficult it can be to save lives of the rich and the resourceful, let alone, the poor or the ones in rural areas, who don’t have access to even the most basic treatments.

It is a heart-wrenching fact that rural India still lags behind when it comes to decent healthcare programs and services. Yet you see doctors, who sacrifice a lot to ensure they can reach out to patients in rural areas and serve them. Yes, it is amazing what they do and we are sure, you would like to do it, too. But sitting in a metro or a mini-metro, how can you serve the people without giving up too much or say, changing your location? The answers are few and complex, yes, but you can surely seek inspiration from some of them and find ways to be that doctor, who did something to bring about a change.

We give you powerful TED Talks by Indian Doctors, who did what they could to provide service:

  1. Dr. Parmar, an Indian physician in the US starts his private practice for refugees and still makes money.

Dr. Parmar is a physician from Denver, Colorado. Having made interesting observations about the US Medicaid facility, Dr. Parmar identified the demand for doctors, who would be ready to see resettled refugees and other Medicaid patients. These patients otherwise didn’t get timely medical attention due to the rules of Medicaid.

He banked upon the gaps in the system and started his own private practice – Ardas Family Medicine, only for the resettled refugees. Catering to the low-income group living on Medicaid, he could ensure they were attended to, and it also meant that he had very little competition. He then went on to establish ‘Mango House’, which provides accommodation to these refugees and select healthcare services, and runs food and clothing banks, among other services to ensure they get direct help.

Click here to watch.

  1. Dr. Dhillon’s grit and determination to start her practice is inspiring. What’s incredible, however, is her aspiration to serve the patients, irrespective of their location.

Dr. Ramindar Dhillon from Chandigarh started her practice much closer to the age of retirement. She chose to work as a volunteer with the United Nations to serve in war-torn countries. Her work took her to far-flung places in Trinidad, Tobago, Afghanistan and South Sudan, among others.

Dr. Dhillon had to treat patients who had lost their family members to war and had themselves faced death, and yet, sat in front of her seeking treatment to get better and live on. She sought her strength in theirs. Despite being surrounded by constant violence and being away from her own family, she found within her a passion to continue serving such patients. Her secret, as she says, is to always find a way to ‘adjust, adapt and negotiate.’

Click here to watch.

  1. Dr. Yogesh Jain, a doctor who sees problems in healthcare as his motivation to serve the society.

Once an MBBS, MD (Paediatrics) at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Dr. Jain talks about the blatant inequity between healthcare services available in cities and rural areas. The hard-hitting facts that he mentions make you realize of the urgency there is to reach out to the under-privileged for healthcare.

Using these issues as his motivation to serve the poor in rural areas, he shifted to Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh and now serves as a paediatrician through a social organisation. He and his team take up initiatives towards facilitating better healthcare and reducing the inequity that our rural population faces.

Click here to watch.

  1. Dr. Ravi Kannan- a doctor who turned into a dedicated healthcare provider with the sole mission to serve cancer patients.

Dr. Ravi Kannan worked as a surgical oncologist at the Adyar Cancer Institute in Chennai, where he saw that the less-privileged could not avail of the most basic treatment for cancer. That is when he made ‘providing inclusive cancer care to the poor’ his mission in life.

He then started a Cancer Care centre in Assam’s Barak Valley and then went onto start the Cachar Cancer Hospital and Research Centre in Silchar to continue serving the patients. The talk highlights the progress he and his team has made over the years and of course, inspires doctors to take bold steps.

Click here to watch.

  1. “No one should die because they live too far from a doctor”, believes Dr. Raj Panjabi.

An Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Dr. Panjabi is hailed for his venture, Last Mile Health. The non-profit organisation was founded with the vision to work alongside governments to make primary healthcare available to the people in the remotest settlements of the world. His initiatives to control the spread of the deadly Ebola in West Africa were not only commendable but also awe-inspiring.

Click here to watch.

  1. A doctor by a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from a US university, Dr Kanav Kahol returned to India to put his innovation to use for rural areas.

While we speak of Indian doctors working towards better healthcare for the under-privileged, we cannot not mention Dr. Kahol. Dr. Kanav Kahol’s dream was to innovate tools that could enable patients to take charge of their health. His experience and research work during his tenure as an assistant professor in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering in the Arizona State University and an assistant professor adjunct in Mayo Clinic, USA, brought him closer to his dream. He went onto invent ‘Swasthya Slate’ to cater to the bottom billion living in rural areas.

‘Swasthya Slate’ offers the ease of diagnostics to the people in rural India. Built with a software that can conduct 33 different tests and provide results instantly, this tool ensures timely diagnoses, which further helps in timely treatment of illnesses. Dr. Kahol’s Slate has already been put to use in various states of India and also been deployed in centres across Nigeria, Canada, USA and Europe.

Click here to watch.

This article was originally published on 15.10.19

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