In this page are sayings from Prof T J Danaraj, lessons from the University of Life that he had learnt in his long career which spanned across the era of British colonialism, the Second World War and Japanese occupation, and the period of Independence with subsequent National self-government.

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– Hippocrates said “where the love of man is, there also is love of the art” and this summarises aptly my life-long involvement in medicine.

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– Who will deny that modern investigative technologies correctly applied, is not a blessing, but who will dare say that history and physical examination are no more necessary?

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– In particular, let us not transpose local medical practice into big business, and involve our doctors in board room activities in pursuit of shareholder profits. Let not large health care corporations dominate our health care sector.

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– As physicians we develop an emotional bond that reaches out to the younger ones, students and doctors, and we pass on to them our knowledge and experience.

– In the curricular game we play, the quality of the student and the dedication of the teacher matter most of all in deciding on the final outcome. Curricular reforms are fashionable; they come and go but some of those proposed in the developed countries are not necessarily applicable to us. Our students are younger and their maturity is not the same. They need to be shown how to study at university level: how to develop good reading and learning habits, and how to use a library. They have to be encouraged to take responsibility for their own education.

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– However much you reform the curriculum, and this is easier to do than reforming the student and teacher, you must in my opinion retain two basic elements: a depth of knowledge of the basic medical sciences, the basis of modern medicine and the clinical clerkship, the basis of medical practice.

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– The hours for the basic sciences have been reduced in many schools to the detriment of its own graduates and the clinical clerkship is falling into some disrepute from its former standards and age-long concepts, because of less emphasis on clinical methodology and more dependence on investigations.

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The width, the breadth, and the depth of Medicine, I still have to reach after 50 years.

– If I rode on the wave of a crest, swelling with pride in my correct diagnosis, in time I would make a mistake and fall on my face.

I tell students that when you are right 60% of the time you are a satisfactory doctor, 70% you are a good doctor, 80% you are a top diagnostician and if you claim 100% correctness then you must be a liar.

– In front of students, it is a good lesson for them to know you can be wrong, more so when you are a professor. It is a salutory experience.

– My practice has included patients from all walks of life – the high and mighty, also the poor, the unemployed, the unwanted, and the unloved. Whatever the colour of the skin, however powerful and wealthy, they were all the same to me.

– I have told generations of students on their first day at medical school that medicine is indivisible: it recognises no division based on colour, race, religion, money, power or anything else.

– Medicine to which we are devoted is a special calling and a privilege granted to us by society. It is a glorious opportunity to enjoy work that is forever intellectually stimulating and emotionally satisfying yet providing social status and reasonable financial rewards. If you can associate this with young people – teaching and learning with them then you are indeed fortunate  and thrice blessed as I am.

– The primary objective of a medical school is to produce an undifferentiated doctor with a certain body of organized knowledge, certain skills and habits of scholarship and, hopefully, attitudes that will foster responsible doctor-citizenship. His vocational skills will be rudimentary, but his knowledge of the basic medical sciences, of social medicine and the principles of clinical medicine will provide a framework for future professional training.


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