Blog | Friday, June 12, 2015

Medical talks in India, part 2

The trip is wonderful thus far and very interesting. Yesterday and today we are in Hyderabad in southern India. Hyderabad has a large IT presence and is famous for its biryani, which we had for dinner last night. It was outstanding.

Some observations thus far:
1. Internists throughout the world treat mostly the same diseases and have the same concerns.
2. Infectious diseases are decreasing in India with improved public health. Cholera has become much less common.
3. Non-communicable chrnoic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, etc. are increasing rapidly in India. They have significant numbers of chronic kidney disease and cirrhosis.
4. Medical care in India includes the same highly specialized treatments that we use in the U.S., such as transplantation, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, emergency dialysis, interventional cardiology, etc.
5. Professors worry that learners are not as good at taking a history and doing a physical examination as were trainees 20 years ago.
6. Residents work much harder here than in the U.S., the types of hours we worked back in the 1970s.
7. Each talk is well received with the same types of questions that a U.S. audience would ask.
8. Medications are much less expensive, giving the physicians the ability to use meds that some of our patients cannot afford.
9. Likely health care has greater disparities (based on socio-economic factors) than we do in the U.S. We have visited both government and private hospitals and the clientele and atmosphere have major differences.

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.