Blog | Friday, June 5, 2015

Medical talks in India, part 1


I arrived in Delhi yesterday, enjoyed a day of sightseeing. Today I start giving a series of talks in 3 cities – Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Kochi. This year, ACP's India chapter became a reality. My talks will allow me to meet members and introduce other internists to the value of ACP India.

My talks today are:
1. Dangerous electrolyte disorders
2. Complex acid-base
3. Hyponatremia: diagnosis and management

Tomorrow:
4. Learning to think like a clinician
5. The dangers of guidelines
6. Dangerous electrolyte disorders

I am most excited to see the hospitals and medical schools in this country.

Yesterday during sightseeing I saw a variety of famous buildings both new and old. But the people are always more interesting than the buildings. Most people were dressed very similar to the United States, but some did wear traditional garb. As we looked around we could see the influence of a wonderful ancient civilization combined with a rapid advance into a the present.

Today I am in Chandigarh. Chandigarh is a planned city in northwestern India.

Chandigarh, also known as The City Beautiful, is a city and a union territory in the northern part of India that serves as the capital of the states of Haryana and Punjab.

PGI–The Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER)–was a major highlight. This institution and hospital (with more than 2,000 beds) is dedicated to teaching residents. They do not have medical students.

I talked about hyponatremia. Afterwards I met with internal medicine leaders of the Institute. In our tour today, I learned much about government hospitals in India. The contrasts are striking between the masses of patients in the outpatient department and emergency department and the more serene setting in the subspecialty units that had a great similarity to U.S. hospitals. In our discussions, I learned that chronic diseases are increasing in India and that they have the same variety of disease as we do, except they see very different infectious diseases.

The residents work very hard and have incredible exposure to the wide variety of diseases and presentations.

I am very grateful to the professors who discussed patients with me and helped me understand their immense undertaking caring for these many patients.

India thus far is a country of contrasts: parts extremely modern, yet parts rooted in the past. Everyone has been incredibly polite and gracious.

While I am here to give lectures and meet internists in India, I suspect that I am learning more that I am teaching. Understanding the courage of our Indian colleagues is a useful lesson.

db is the nickname for Robert M. Centor, MD, FACP. db stands both for Dr. Bob and da boss. He is an academic general internist at the University of Alabama School of Medicine, and is the Regional Associate Dean for the Huntsville Regional Medical Campus of UASOM. He still makes inpatient rounds over 100 days each year. This post originally appeared at his blog, db's Medical Rants.