AE023 – New Delhi, Early Reflections

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Insight India 2016 pushed me out out my comfort zone and challenged me to open my mind.  It was an immersion in a distant country with different culture and customs.  I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to see this part of the world and to feel the impact of how an experience of a different culture changed me.  Part of how I felt that was the desire to share it through the podcast format.  Anecdotal Evidence has developed into an ongoing discussion about the phenomenon of our health as we experience it.

At the end of the trip I was exhausted and my mind was blown.  Brooke and I had 36 hours in New Delhi to recover before embarking on the 38-hour journey back home.  Unfortunately New Delhi has the worst air pollution in the world.  By the end of the trip the exposure had taken a toll as I was coughing and my clothes were permeated with the smell of burning coal and air toxins.  So we decided to bunker down at the Holiday Inn to ride out our time there.  It’s actually an exceptional hotel, so we quickly found that we’d lucked into a Shangri-la.

Dr. Indu Arora was the leader of our trip and a great yoga teacher who will be the guest of next week’s podcast.  She is a remarkably dynamic scholar and teacher and I look forward to sharing that conversation next week.  But while we were saying our goodbye in New Delhi, she encouraged me that our accidental 36-hour layover in New Delhi had its own purpose.  And it felt like that well wish came true.

The Holiday Inn was a welcome place to wind down from a hyper-stimulating journey.  And in the bookstore I lucked into finding a complementary book to the trip.  The Laws of Medicine is Siddhartha Mukherjee’s reflection of his discovery of 3 Laws of Medicine from his experience as an observant physician practicing in Boston.  He outlines his 3 Laws as follows:

Law One: A strong intuition is much more powerful than a weak test.
Law Two: “Normals” teach us rules; “outliers” teach us laws.
Law Three: For every perfect medical experiment, there is a perfect human bias.

I took the opportunity to reflect on these laws in the context of my experience as a psychiatrist abroad in India.  I recorded these early reflections while watching the sun set over India for the last time, a few hours before our early morning departure back home.  The hope was that it would serve as a structure to organize my developing memories of India.  I hoped to integrate what I learned on the trip with any eye in mind as to how it would serve my work and my growth back home.

I hope you enjoy these early reflections and that they serve you in your deeper understanding of your own experience.
Download the episode here

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