“How can I change?”: A South Asian carer’s story

Carer 2Over samosas and mithai, for a standard case study, an elderly South Asian woman narrated her experience as sole carer for her husband who had dementia. Her story was rife with cultural abuse that is mitigated under the guise of cultural sensitivity, while culture is ignored where it’s truly needed. I’ve spoken about culture and how it’s caused harm in previous clinical work but I still advocate for cultural sensitivity in healthcare, accommodating cultural beliefs even when they seem antiquated. Why should anyone endure shame, offense or distress to access services? Cultural sensitivity ensures they don’t and improves lives. But can it also hurt them? Continue reading

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A love affair with science writing: The Max Perutz Award

20171019_234000.jpgNobel Prize winning molecular biologist Dr. Max Perutz believed science makes “the impossible, possible”. He lived by this policy when he began his research on haemoglobin, which required a computer. At the time, the computer didn’t exist. Prof. Robin Perutz, his son, narrated this to us in a room at the Royal Institution in London, lined from ceiling to floor with grand hardbound academic journals, decades in the making. It was the 20th Max Perutz Science Writing Award ceremony and I was a shortlister. Continue reading