Transplant surgeon, organ donation advocate, TEDx speaker, blogger, research scientist, social entrepreneur, musician, and honorary Indian.
I am a liver transplant surgeon and organ donation advocate currently in India helping to establish deceased donor transplant programs in government hospitals as an Advisory Board Member to MOHAN Foundation and Official Transplant Consultant to the State of Rajasthan. After receiving my BA in Music at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I completed my MD and PhD (Immunology) at Tufts University in Boston. Then I served my general surgery residency at Stanford University followed by my transplant fellowship at the University of California San Francisco. I am a TEDx speaker (organ donation) and President of bLifeNY, a non-profit organ donation awareness group based in New York.
India cannot rely on luck to improve her ability to save as many road traffic accident and other trauma victims as possible. The people of this overwhelmingly caring society can and must do whatever is necessary to improve the broken trauma system in India.
The typical work culture in Indian government hospitals allows doctors to come to work at 10 am and leave by 3 pm. After hours work by doctors and even ancillary staff (ultrasonography and pathology technicians, immunology lab staff, etc.) can be difficult to ensure. The rigid top down bureaucracy discourages young rising talent to take on new and special challenges such as transplant.
History was made twice in Rajasthan in February 2015. On 6 February, the first organ donation and abdominal organ recovery was performed at Mahatma Gandhi Hospital in Jaipur, resulting in the first deceased donor kidney transplant in Rajasthan and sharing of the liver with the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences in Delhi via a green corridor for urgent transplant of a 6 year old.
So it was a "magic Jaipur night" of many firsts: the first multiorgan recovery, the first deceased donor transplant, the first sharing of a donor liver with a hospital outside the state, the first heart valve recovery and the first "Green Corridor" between Jaipur and Delhi.
All doctors and medical professionals should also understand that organ donation is all about saving lives, despite a single loss of life. If a single death can be transformed into many lives saved through organ donation (up to 8 or 9) and many lives vastly improved through tissue donation (more than 50), then this should be seen as a victory.
It's not that Indians have an intolerance for honesty, but they do have an alarming tolerance for dishonesty. This deeply rooted cultural behaviour comes from a desire to be polite, but on a daily basis and on a massive scale, this tolerance for dishonesty is holding India back from realising its full potential in the world.