Hektoen International

A Journal of Medical Humanities

Tag: Ravi Shankar

  • An uneasy relationship

    P. Ravi ShankarKuala Lumpur, Malaysia My paternal grandmother lived for nearly ninety-three years. She was a strong woman who faced life with courage and dignity. She developed some medical conditions later in life but was active, could carry out her activities of daily living, and lived a very disciplined life. Like many others in India,…

  • Movie review: Miss Evers’ Boys

    P. Ravi ShankarKuala Lumpur, Malaysia The Tuskegee Syphilis study was a dark chapter in United States history. In 1932, the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) began to study the natural history of progression of syphilis. The study was originally called the “Tuskegee study of untreated syphilis in the negro male” and is now referred…

  • Ragging

    P. Ravi ShankarKuala Lumpur, Malaysia The corridor was long, narrow, and brightly painted. The carpet was torn in a few places and the red wall paint was beginning to peel off. Sixteen of us walked through the corridor into the restaurant. The food was tasty, but we were too scared to enjoy the meal. Our…

  • Locked down!

    P. Ravi Shankar Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   Art by Devika Allath, Year 8, Willoughby Girls High School, Sydney, Australia, 13-year-old niece of the author. The sun was about to rise on another day of lockdown. At the beginning of a new day there is a vague sense of optimism, but that is followed by an…

  • Sparing the living

    P. Ravi Shankar Lalitpur, Nepal   Photography by Carlos Bartilotti Matos Krishna was dead. I was relaxing on the porch of my quarters next to the primary health center when Krishna’s relatives brought me the news of his demise. Though I was sad, I also felt a sense of relief. Krishna belonged to a poor…

  • The influence of the internet on medical student learning: A personal perspective

    P. Ravi Shankar Oranjestad, Aruba   The Medical College sprawls across a rocky hillside at Mulangunnathukavu (a real mouthful of a name) in a village some twelve kilometers from the town of Thrissur in central Kerala. It is a converted tuberculosis sanatorium, its various departments and administrative buildings housed in modified buildings. The kingdom of…

  • The humanities in a traditional medical school

    P. Ravi ShankarAruba, Kingdom of the Netherlands Having been involved with medical humanities for over eight years in medical schools in Nepal and Aruba, I began to think about my own medical education in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The term medical humanities was not in vogue in India during those days, and only…

  • The man who could not stop smoking!

    Ravi ShankarAruba, Kingdom of the Netherlands He was dark and swarthy, around five foot four. His posture was slightly stooped and the muscles of his upper arm and torso were becoming flabby. His hair was unkempt and he had stubble on his face and neck. He was around thirty-five but looked older and had streaks…

  • The doctor and the doll

    Ravi ShankarAruba, Kingdom of the Netherlands Norman Rockwell, one of the most famous American artists of the twentieth century, depicted ordinary American life from an optimistic perspective. He once stated that he did not portray the ugly and the sordid, but portrayed life as he would like it to be. One of his paintings, Doctor…

  • My grandmother

    Ravi ShankarOranjestad, Aruba The room was simple. A wooden bed on one side, a sofa for visitors on the other. Two unadorned wooden doors faced each other, allowing some cross ventilation. Both opened into long dark and cool corridors as was common in old houses in Kerala. I had often enquired as to why houses…