Fabulous!
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.

Shireen.


On 2/23/18, Payal Kapoor <paya...@gmail.com> wrote:
> hi,
> 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!
> https://www.google.co.in/amp/www.newindianexpress.com/cities/bengaluru/2018/feb/18/bengalurus-doctor-has-poor-vision-yet-a-unique-way-of-seeing-patients-1775107.ampHey
> 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
> low-vision!
> “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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