Rural Doctors?

#1 Jun 22nd, 2008, 10:28
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  • XianMD is offline
#1
Hi,

First time poster here. I am planning on traveling by myself to India from July 20-August 6th. I am planning on landing in Delhi and most likely move northward to see as much as I can before having to return. I am drawn towards smaller towns and was wondering if anyone on this board might be or know a physician who is practicing medicine in a rural/semi-rural area that might allow me to visit for a day or so.

As some background info, I am a Chinese male, 21 years old who is about to enter medical school in the USA for the upcoming year. I have a heavy interest in rural medicine and international health and would be deeply interested in following a doctor around for a day or so (or even half a day), just to see how things work in such a setting.

If you all know of any such person, would it be possible to provide me some contact info so we could maybe work something out?

Due to time constraints, I would not be able to stay long, so ideally the practice is not in an extremely isolated environment. English speaking is a must for me, and I am also not trained to do anything, I would just like to observe. I'd be glad to lug up a (small)care package for any physician if they are from the states in exchange. If your family might wanna send you some food or pictures or if you want some snacks or something not available in India, I would be glad to trade.


Thanks,

Xian
#2 Jul 24th, 2008, 12:52
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  • edwardseco is offline
#2
I hate to tell you this, many of the doctors in rural areas are people that you would not want to meet or even know of. Better doctors gravitate to the cities where their children can get an education. Typically the doctors, if they had any qualifications at all, would treat symptoms rather than cure illnesses. Instead of sending TB patients to the specialized hospitals in the early curable stage they kept patients on to maintain a revenue stream. I would suggest instead that you check out those hospitals. If they know of anyone less than criminal they would be able to refer you. In some ways Chinese rural conditions are much better than the Indian equivalent. Some urban doctors also make nearby rural visits to rich farmers. District Development officers are frequently a good source of info about who is good to see. Its not that quick of an operation to make contacts into rural India. But, I think it would be rewarding to attempt this. Take a letter of introduction from someone important to get another from someone in India. It seems to work wonders in getting things done.
My best wishes..
#3 Jul 24th, 2008, 15:39
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  • Radjesh is offline
#3
I can tell you in South India, there's this Isha Foundation, they run mobile clinics in many places in Tamilnadu. Maybe you can get in touch with them.

http://www.ishafoundation.org/
#4 Aug 6th, 2008, 22:37
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  • VJ HAWK is offline
#4
Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardseco "I hate to tell you this, many of the doctors in rural areas are people that you would not want to meet or even know of. Better doctors gravitate to the cities where their children can get an education. Typically the doctors, if they had any qualifications at all, would treat symptoms rather than cure illnesses. Instead of sending TB patients to the specialized hospitals in the early curable stage they kept patients on to maintain a revenue stream. I would suggest instead that you check out those hospitals."
Please.. Please donot make such generalizations and say all rural doctors are incompetent. There are many dedicated doctors, some of whom I call friends have sacrified high paying jobs elsewhere, some even after training abroad, to work in rural needy areas. There are incompetent doctors at all kinds of places including big cities so lets not generalize. I wish I have seen this thread earlier as I could have guided you a bit.

CMC hospital in vellore has community health programs(CHAD) and many volunteers from abroad come to work/learn/observe with them. RUHSA is another ruraloutfit related to CMC and so is SLRTC in karigiri, Leprosy research unit. These are some places close to chennai, he could have visited to learn/obtain great experience.

The link to CMC for future reference.. http://www.cmch-vellore.edu/main.asp

Cheerios,
VJ
Last edited by karuna; Aug 6th, 2008 at 22:46.. Reason: cleaning up code
#5 Aug 6th, 2008, 23:11
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  • karnail is offline
#5
First of all you need to understand the basic medical facilities set-up in India. It is very difficult these days to differentiate Rural India from Urban India these days. I come from a small village (1000 population)and live in Delhi. The thing is that almost whole of the first- aids in medication is being given by the quacks in the country side but there will be a well qualified Medico with a modern Hospital within 20 KMs almost every where. It is not that Quacks are only in rural areas, you will find them all over Delhi and other big cities treating around 30-40% of the patients in the clusters. In rural areas there is a very good net work of Primary Health Centers and Community Health centers all\most all over India but mostly Qualified Ayurvedic Practitioners are working in these centers subscribing Allopathic medicines and treating symptoms.
It will be better to tell first where you wish to go and what is your primary purpose. What data you want to get from the rural docs.

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