About Me

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The name is Selvamani.R. I was born in Rangoon, Burma now known as Yangoon and Myanmar respectively. I had my schooling in I.E.S. .Khalsa School there in Rangoon and came to Tamilnadu, India, did my Pre-University in Sir Thegaraya College,Chennai and M.B.B.S., in Madurai Medical College. Later did my Diploma and Masters Degree in the Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Egmore, Madras Medical College, Chennai.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010



Another incident of much less importance took place when a Rep showed me a chess position declaring ‘check & mate’ to emphasize the drug’s dual mode of action.
I asked him whether he played chess. When he said ‘No’ I said that the particular position is farce as it could never occur in actual chess play.
As he has newly joined he can make himself noted if he pointed that out in their company’s monthly meeting.
When I met him next month he confided that he didn’t put the matter forward.
After my persistence he blurted out “Sir. The advertisement has passed through much scrutiny. There must have been chess players in many departments and no one has raised any objection. How do I know that you are right?”
I said his doubt is perfectly tenable and asked him whether he had any friends who play chess. .When he said yes, I asked him to show the picture to them and ask them whether the particular position can occur during actual chess play.
When he came next month he was all smiles. He said he first showed it to two of his friends who confirmed what I said. Then he raised the issue in the monthly meeting.
The managers first refused to believe him. But due to his persistence they consulted others and agreed.
He said they have stopped printing the advertisement and the reps have also been asked not to flash it!

Sunday, September 26, 2010



When I was working in RIO [Regional Institute of Ophthalmology], a medical rep Mr.K briefed me about an eye drop- a combination of antibiotic and steroid. Being a Multinational company it has come out with lot of very good looking advertisements with nice clinical pictures.
Listing the conditions in which it is indicated, it also showed Corneal Ulcer with a picture.
I just looked into the picture solemnly.
The representative caught my look and said ‘the picture is very good, isn’t it sir?’
I asked him whether they are promoting the drug to General Practioners also.
He said “Yes. Why, sir?”
I said the eye drop is actually contra-indicated in Corneal ulcer and if used may even cause loss of the eye.
The ophthalmologists all know it and will never use it and will not pay any attention to what you said. But the GPs might think it is a new approach and may use it, I said.
K took the message very gravely. “But sir, I have shown this to many eye doctors. Nobody said anything about it.”
“You need not take my word. Ask any ophthalmologist directly. He will confirm what I say.’
Rattled, K left me.

The very next day I saw him with about five of his colleagues in front of the new building. We were doing ward rounds and I was following the chief. I saw K pointing me to his colleagues.
After finishing the ward rounds I met them.
K introduced me to his senior manager.
The manager said he has confirmed what I said to K. He said it is surprising why it has not been pointed out before.
Any advertisement will have to pass various stages and included approval from the concerned specialist.
I said they must have spent a lot on their advertisements and if they can stop at least printing it again it will do.
“No, sir!” He said firmly. “We are withdrawing all the pamphlets from all over the country at once. I have already spoken to our head office and they have agreed to it.”
I thanked him but he said it is for them to thank me.
“In future I have asked the management to consult a group of Ophthalmologists before it goes for print.”
I am writing this to show the promptness of the company in setting right a wrong thing without considering their ego or loss of their revenue.

Sunday, September 19, 2010



Those of you who don’t know what “teenage books “mean, better skip this narration!.
One day a doctor colleague was in melancholy mood.
After some time he shook off and said sadly that his wife has found an ‘Adult Book’ under their son’s mattress. His son incidentally was studying in 11th standard, at that time –about 16 years old.
So what did you do was the universal question.
“I gave him a severe tongue thrashing” he said. “Now he doesn’t face me, and hardly talks to me.”
“You have done a wrong thing” said one.
“What would you have done?” he asked
“I faced the same problem a year back. My wife found a ‘book’ under my son’s bed and brought it to my notice. At that time my son had gone to school. I saw the book and told her to replace it as it was and also not to give any indication that we have found it.
My wife protested. I replied ‘What’s wrong? Actually it is good to know that our son has normal physiological reactions and his hormones are normal!
We kept up the surveillance and shifted the position of the book slightly just enough to make him suspicious.
The books stopped.
Nobody was embarrassed. Our son, though he suspected we know, didn’t know for sure and we continued our relationship as before.”
Everyone appreciated his deft dealing.
But the first doctor persisted ‘Isn’t it wrong? He may go bad.”
“O.K. At what age did you read that kind of book?”
Completely bowled over he muttered “But I didn’t bring it home.”
“So, the only difference is that he was caught and you weren’t.”
Everyone laughed.
“It is quite common at that age. Just ignore it.”

Thursday, September 9, 2010



One day a doctor bragged about his memory.
He said about 10 years back a cute girl has brought her father for injury in one eye.
He found he had a small tear in the Conjuntiva [a membrane covering the white of the exposed eye] and sutured it.
After that they used to come to his clinic often.
The girl had her eye checkup and he has prescribed glasses for her.
Later she got married and shifted to another place.
When she came to see him after about 5 years, he had addressed her by her name and she was very pleased.
What memory you have got doctor, she had said. The doctors in my place don’t remember my name even if I go often.
Saying it, he looked at us with a beaming smile.
After some time one colleague asked mildly “O.K. Can you tell us the name of the girl’s father?’
The narrator’s face was a sight to behold as he couldn’t remember it and there was loud laughter and jittering.

Sunday, September 5, 2010




One day in our Eye Hospital in the coffee room one doctor entered hastily and said “I don’t know what to make of our people. I just witnessed an accident. I saw a person lying on the road with blood around him. He was moaning. But the passers by just went on.
Nobody, I mean nobody did anything.”

To the quiet audience he continued “I mean someone could have taken him to hospital or at least phoned for an ambulance.”
After a few minutes one person asked. “So, what did you do?’
It was clear he didn’t expect that question and dramatic to watch his face undergo a vast transformation.
“Well, I…. “ he spluttered. “Well,…I….I had to come to the hospital “he said lamely.
“So you continued your work and didn’t do anything..
You are blabbering about it just to ease your conscience. “

There was meaningful silence now.
It is always better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.



In our Head Quarters Hospital there was a veteran doctor who faced any circumstance calmly and often turned it to his advantage.
He was posted in Skin Out patient which is usually overcrowded.
One day we saw him after the O.P. with a bag full of eggs.
When asked he grinned and narrated the following incident.
Two days back in the crowded OP hours one person demanded special attention showing a letter from the Munsif [Village Admn Officer]].
Usually we will brush them off with a scathing remark.
But the doctor took the letter, read it calmly, said he knew the man well, treated the person according to the merits and wrote on the back of the letter asking the Munsif to send a dozen eggs if they are available at cheap rate there, saying he will pay the cost..
After two days the person has brought not one but two dozen eggs and stubbornly refused payment.
Our Munsif said not to receive even a dime from you sir, he has said.