Healthcare for all: dream of Indian-origin doc who oversaw Tiger Wood’s treatment

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Following his automobile crash on Tuesday, 15-time main champion Tiger Woods was taken to the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, the place he was operated upon for a number of accidents by a staff of docs below Dr Anish Mahajan, the hospital’s 46-year-old Chief Medical Officer who traces his roots to Jalgaon in Maharashtra.

“I have followed Tiger Woods’ career, watching him on television. I believe the way he won the 2019 Masters was very inspirational and it speaks about his will power to come back after so many injuries which proved how strong he is as an individual,” Dr Mahajan, who can be the interim CEO of the 570-bed hospital, instructed The Indian Express.

Woods was concerned in a crash on Hawthorne Boulevard at Rancho Palos Verdes in LA County. Dr Mahajan’s hospital is one of 5 level-1 trauma centres within the county, offering specialised surgeons, emergency room docs, and anaesthesiologists, usually for victims of automobile crashes, industrial accidents, and gunshot or stabbing accidents.

Woods was subsequently transferred to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, the place he acquired profitable “follow-up procedures”.

“The first thing is to ensure (when patients such as Woods are brought in) is their vital systems are working fine and (to) access what kind of injuries are there. If there is a brain injury, neurosurgeons come fast, if there are internal injuries, the general surgeon trauma should come in, and if there are bone injuries, orthopaedics trauma specialists should come,” Dr Mahajan, who supervises all 12 medical chairs on the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, mentioned.

Dr Mahajan is the grandson of the late Yadav Shivram Mahajan, who was the Congress MP for 5 phrases in Lok Sabha, as soon as from Buldhana, and 4 occasions from Jalgaon. His household moved to the United States within the Seventies, the place Dr Mahajan’s father, Prakash Mahajan, joined the Stevens Institute of Technology, New Jersey, for a Masters in electrical engineering.

Dr Mahajan initially pursued a Bachelor’s in public coverage earlier than getting his MD from Brown University. He accomplished his MPh in worldwide well being from Harvard School of Public Health, and his MS in well being companies from UCLA. He visited India usually, spending time together with his politician grandfather – this, Dr Mahajan mentioned, was one of the explanation why he opted for research in public coverage earlier than switching to review medication.

“As a child, when I visited my grandfather at Jalgaon, I would see children from surrounding villages approaching him and he would spend time teaching them amid his busy schedule, speaking to their parents, and filling their forms. His desire to work for the poor inspired me to dedicate my career towards the medical profession. I did my graduation in public policy since I believe that improving the health of the population requires changes at the policy level, and not just on the clinical side. My interest was to improve healthcare for people who are poor and indigent,” he mentioned.

Dr Mahajan, a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation medical scholar at Brown University, was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009 to function a White House fellow within the workplace of Management and Budget (OMB). In this position, he acted as a particular advisor throughout the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Obama’s signature healthcare initiative.

“My belief is that healthcare is a right if you are a human being. In the USA, healthcare depends upon who you are, what is your immigration status, or your social status. And that means that you may have access to different levels of healthcare. I believe people should have equal access to it. I see the same kind of challenges in India, where people who are poor and indigent have a different kind of healthcare. The focus needs to be on giving access to good health to all, irrespective of who you are,” Dr Mahajan mentioned.

Los Angeles noticed a spike in Covid-19 instances in December-January with over 8000 sufferers, on the heels of 1,000,000 instances earlier with 20,000 deaths. “Initially, there was a lot of stress and anxiety. When the second and third waves came, the challenge was to tackle the high number of cases and the fatigue factor. The staff also had to deal with the human sadness,” Dr Mahajan, who can be affiliate dean of the UCLA-David Jeffen School of Medicine, mentioned.

In the course of an extended and dreadful 12 months, his hospital needed to search the assistance of psychological well being specialists, he mentioned. “Most doctors and nurses had to undertake extra shifts. Many of the staff members also got sick from Covid-19 while at home… We had sessions with psychologists. My role was to support everybody on every single day, be it Christmas or New Year’s, bring them food on such special occasions amid the gloomy atmosphere. When I got some free time, I read Amitav Ghosh’s new novel Gun Island… It relaxed my mind,” Dr Mahajan mentioned.

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