‘Lending A Receptive Ear Is Vital’

Dr Varun JOSHI responds to ThinkWellness360 questionnaire. 

Why and how did you think of becoming a doctor? 

I owe it to my parents who wanted me to become a doctor, right from my formative years. It was much later that I found joy to being one.

What made you think of, study and specialise in the system of medicine you now practice?

I specialised in Kaya Chikitsa. This corresponds to general medicine in the conventional [modern; allopathic] system of medicine. This was also, doubtless, my profound area of interest since my grad days.

What has been your personal and professional experience as a doctor?

It has been a good for over a decade now. Learning is a never-ending pursuit. So also knowledge, or wisdom. As one Indian philosopher put it, “Knowledge is limited; it is never absolute.” This does not, of course, mean that we accept the dictum without qualm — we need to scale up our graph of learning, move ahead, at every step, each of us in our own way, so that we have the [pre]requisite skills and the tools to doing our best, in every given, or not given, situation and in the best manner possible.

What unique and special skills you think you have that has made the big difference for your patients?

Patience. Also, the ken to listen patiently to my patients’ complaints and stories, including their sensitivities and sensibilities. To think of each patient as unique — as distinctive as one’s signature, or fingerprint. You’d call it personalised, or bespoke, medicine — which Ayurveda has always emphasised upon for thousands of years. Add to this my own mode of counselling my patients, and this has helped me to make the big difference.

What is your best definition of optimal wellness and why?

One that encompasses optimal physical, mental, emotional and social wellness — not just the absence of illness.

Your ‘best’ case?

A case of inveterate psoriasis — which did not respond to conventional medicine and other therapies. The patient came to me as his ‘last hope.’ I was delighted that he responded to my line of treatment most favourably.

Your ‘not-so-good’ case? 

A case of advanced cancer — with my line of treatment as adjuvant.

What appeals to you the most?

That big, happy smile on my patient’s face after they have gotten over their illness — with my Ayurveda treatment.

What annoys you the most? 

Patients who do not follow-up and are irregular with their appointments.

Your favourite book?

Clinical Methods in Medicine: Clinical Skills and Practices by Dr S N Chugh.

Your favourite joke?

I love watching cartoons, rather than ‘listening’ to stale, repetitive jokes.

Your favourite song?

There are just too many of them — I’d find it difficult to list them with brevity.

Your favourite movie?

Geeta Govindam [2018; Vijay Devarakonda/Rashmika Mandanna/Subbaraju/Rahul Ramakrishna/Nagendra Babu]. 

Your favourite TV, Netflix show?

The Family Man [2019; Manoj Bajpayee/Priyamani/Sharad Kelkar/Neeraj Madhav/Sharib Hashmi/Dalip Tahil/ Sunny Hinduja/Shreya Dhanwanthary/Samantha Ruth Prabhu].   

Your other interests, or hobbies?

Watching Kannada movies.

Your goal in life?

To take my professional skills to the next level, and keep at it, all the time, to treating and helping more and more patients heal through classical, pristine and modern Ayurveda.

Dr VARUN JOSHI, MD [Ayurveda], is Head of Department of Kriya Shareera at Shri C B Guttal Ayurvedic Medical College and Hospital, Dharwad, Karnataka, India. He also runs a successful private practice.

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