One man’s meat is another man’s poison. Your idea of what’s “safe” may give someone else sleepless nights of terror! So this is always going to be a tricky trait to define – or adopt. Personally, you may be a risk-taker who thinks it’s safe to go base jumpingtry whitewater raftingdrive fast without a helmetdoContinue reading “Safety”

Get Tough, Stand Up

My all-time favorite clip from the film ‘Rocky Balboa’ begins with this: “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a mean and nasty place. And I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there – if you let it.” Sylvester Stallone goes on to outlineContinue reading “Get Tough, Stand Up”


I’ll often spend 10 or 15 minutes explaining to parents the complex heart operation my little patient will require. I go deep into the technical challenges of it. Draw pictures to show what will happen. And talk about the very real, very serious danger to the child’s life. Many times, after listening carefully, one ofContinue reading “Confidence”

Nurture Humility

“You ask me if I have a God complex,” sneers Alec Baldwin, playing a heart surgeon in the film ‘Malice’. “Let me tell you something…. I AM God!” He set the bar high for self-aggrandizing blasphemy! Watch the clip here: We’re constantly being told to be humble. Even as a child, folks told us thatContinue reading “Nurture Humility”

Decorum and Poise

At least twice or thrice every year, when I was in school, the law college hostel became a hot spot. Riots broke out. Buses were hijacked, even burned. Shop windows were shattered by rocks and soda bottles. Storefronts shuttered as violence erupted. For a while, we lived near one of the city’s most infamous artsContinue reading “Decorum and Poise”

Work Ethic

Groggy after a long night on duty at the hospital, you stagger sleepily into your room. Too tired to take a shower or even eat, you drop into bed. Within seconds, you’re out like a light. A few hours later, you awaken dazed and unsure. It takes a few moments to reorient yourself. And then,Continue reading “Work Ethic”

Respect Privacy

Oooh, you just can’t wait to tell them all about it. That titillating tidbit. The funny incident. All that yummy (or yucky) news about what’s going on in the hospital. It seems such a thrill to regale your friends and family with anecdotes. Sharing juicy gossip, after all, is fun. But as a doctor, youContinue reading “Respect Privacy”


A tiny toddler struggles to her feet – and tries to run to her mother. She takes a few shaky steps, then stumbles. And falls to the ground. She sits there, crying. Now imagine what would happen if her mum walked up to her… And slapped her on the face – for falling down! Isn’tContinue reading “Forgiveness”

Come To Terms With Death

“Aayiram paerae konnaven arai vaidhiyan”(One who has killed thousand people is but half a physician) There’s a grain of truth in this pithy quote. Every doctor in training is grimly aware of it. In your chosen profession, mistakes can be costly. And yet… Death is the common destination we all share. It’s true that weContinue reading “Come To Terms With Death”