My heartiest congratulations to Dr. Sharad Philip. I'm particularly
happy for him because I had been among the many who had been
discouraged from pursuing a career is Psycho-therapy at the time.
And despite the few inaccuracies listed, what a fabulous interview
this is! He has said all the things that need to be said about
attitudes towards disability in no uncertain terms.
My best wishes to Dr. Philip.
On 2/23/18, Payal Kapoor <paya...@gmail.com> wrote:
> i remember having a conversation last year sometime when Dr. Sharad
> Philip's career as a psychiatrist was hanging in the balance after
> having completed his education. he has finally found some of his
> heart's desires as this article below speaks of. this may serve as a
> precedent and also carve a pathway for other aspirants such as Sharad
> to make their careers in medicine.
> Congratulations Sharad!
> before reading the article, there are some inaccurate and perceived
> information the newspaper seems to have derived from their
> conversation with Sharad. When I called to congratulate him, he
> mentioned the following inaccuracies:
> 1 there are no courses for the blind that NIMHANS offers . what i had
> meant to say was that NIMHANS was the only institution that allowed me
> to have the service of a scribe to give the online entrance
> examination and also the main written examinations within the course .
> 2 i have low vision due to retinitis pigmentosa and so it is not that
> i do not see my patients at all rather i am unable to see hem as well
> as i would liked .
> 3 i am directly involved in patient care and do not just suggest the
> therapies and go as the article reports .
> the article...
> Bengaluru: Despite poor vision, this NIMHANS psychiatrist has a unique
> way of seeing patients
> By Sridevi S | Express News Service | Published: 18th February
> 2018 05:01 AM |
> Last Updated: 18th February 2018 06:57 AM | A+A A- |
> BENGALURU: When Sharad Philip, a 32-year-old man, was handed his
> medical degree at NIMHANS in December 2017, an extraordinary thing
> happened. First, his classmates began to applaud, then their families,
> the faculty and university officials joined in. And within a few
> minutes all the people in Convention Hall stood up and cheered.
> Philip’s face shone with pride.
> Dr Sharad Philip with his mother
> Shalini Raji Philip at the
> NIMHANS convocation
> Dr Philip, a psychiatrist at NIMHANS, has a unique way of seeing
> patients. In fact, he doesn’t see them at all. He has low-vision
> since early childhood. “Who better than me, who has always been
> discriminated throughout my life, can empathise with the patients
> suffering from mental illness,” smiles Philip.
> Philip has retinitis pigmentosa in both eyes. This condition changes
> how the retina responds to light, making it hard to see. The degree of
> disability is 70 per cent and is permanent.
> Philip recalls that as a kid, he was not able to read what was written
> on the board in classrooms. “When I was in third standard, my mother
> took me to a doctor, who confirmed the disability. My mother was heart
> broken.” But, he decided to struggle against all odds.
> Philip’s day begins just like any of ours. He works at the
> rehabilitation centre in NIMHANS. He stays alone in the hostel given
> to the resident doctors. He wakes up, finishes his daily chores, and
> walks to work in the same campus. He meets patients, suggests the
> therapy required and goes on rounds with other doctors. He knows a
> knack for getting his patients to relax and open up with him. On the
> other hand, many of his patients won’t even know that he has
> “I take the help of technology and my colleagues to understand the
> patients’ problems,” he says.
> Clinical examination is one area that Philip feels is challenging when
> seeing patients. He won’t be able to understand the physical features,
> in terms of disability, of his patients and needs assistance from his
> colleagues. But once he gets the reports and diagnosis, there is no
> stopping for him.
> The biggest challenge, according to Philip, is that the lack of
> opportunities for people like him.“NIMHANS is one of the very few
> institutes which offers a course for the blind. I was fortunate enough
> to get admission and get a degree from here,” he says. Philip wants
> other institutions too to give opportunities to people like him.
> Philip is also grateful to assistive technology, like screen readers,
> which makes him less dependent on others.
> Philip has written all his exams with the help of a scribe. Vivek
> Perumal, who has been his scribe for the last three years, says,
> “Philip is extremely knowledgeable. Both my wife and I used to write
> for him. We are no value addition for what he knows. He is one of the
> most brilliant chaps we know.”
> Philip has two brothers and he is the eldest. All three of them have
> the same problem - retinitis pigmentosa. While one of them is pursuing
> MBA at IIM-B, another is pursuing BSc Mathematics in New Delhi.
> Philip says his parents were very encouraging. “My parents never let
> me make my health issues an excuse and are the most encouraging
> parents I could have asked for,” beams Philip.
> Proud mother ShaliniRaji Philip says, “Initially it was difficult for
> him to come to terms with his poor vision. Also, he used to be bullied
> at school especially during sports class. But Philip had the courage
> to take it sportively and outgrew it. His achievements today speak
> volumes about him.”
> Philip is also well versed in 5 languages -- English, Hindi, Kannada,
> Punjabi and Malayalam. He has travelled across the country with his
> friends and is learning to play the guitar. “Of course I see the world
> way too differently and it is a beautiful place. In fact, I credit it
> to people around me – my family, friends, co-workers and teachers –
> who make the world beautiful for me,” he says.
> ‘I don’t want to be limited as an object of inspiration’
> Philip is clear that he just doesn’t want to be seen as an ‘object of
> inspiration’. “When you meet someone with a disability, connect with
> them as a human. We are normal human beings with the same desires,
> drives, dreams, and ambitions as the next person. Give credit where
> it’s due, but don’t reduce us to an object of inspiration that is
> constantly overcoming simply by living our daily life. You might
> discover something quite extraordinary… that we are simply ordinary,”
> he says.
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