Thursday, March 23, 2006

4 Week Old Update

Greetings! My apologies for the interruption - like everyone else, I'm looking forward to returning to our regularly scheduled Margi programming, but I just wanted to drop in a quick hello. My name is Amit Saxena, I'm a fourth year medical student from New York, and I was lucky enough to cross paths with Ms. Scharff last month during an international elective I was doing at Dharamshila Cancer Hospital in New Dehli. It was on the last day of my rotation that we met and though we talked for only a few hours, I'm sure all of her friends and family would not find it surprising that she left a lasting impression. Her story was incredible and in the truest sense educational, as I went to India to better understand the differences in health care across borders.

I can't thank Margi and all of you enough for letting me share and follow along with her from this side of the world, and I'd love to help out in any way possible. I'm assuming nobody would be interested in an update on how she was doing 4 weeks ago, and she herself is probably sick of people telling her that she didn't look very sick at all. But I at least can assure you that having spent a month in that hospital myself, I'm every bit as confident that she's getting the best care as I would be if she was in a top US hospital. Dharamshila is a private institution which has some of the most modern equipment in the world. Of course on the other hand, it is still an Indian hospital. There are some areas, like the wards, that may not jive with our notion of what a hospital would look or feel like. It's a dichotomy that may be somewhat of a metaphor for what it seems like India is like these days as a whole, but that's a whole different story. Doctors are doctors everywhere, there are good ones and bad ones - and Margi has tales of both, in the US and in India. But after sitting in on how decisions are made, watching how patients are treated as individuals, and seeing that they have the facilities to provide high standard of care, I have no doubt that she made the right decision to stay in India. The economic and spiritual factors are without contest, and I know that she will heal faster because of it.

Anyway, I'm so glad that Margi has made it to Dharamsala, and I can't wait to read of more adventures. I would be very happy to contribute in any way possible. If there is any medical information I could provide or questions I could answer, please feel free to ask here, or email me at . I can promise that what I don't know (which is plenty), I at least would be able to look up. And if anyone finds themselves in NYC and in need of anything, please don't hesitate to contact me!

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