Education in person-centered medicine: Indian perspectives

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Roy Abraham Kallivayalil
P.N. Suresh Kumar


The origin of person-centered medicine can be traced back to ancient civilizations and traditions, both Eastern (such as Chinese and Ayurvedic) and Western (particularly Greek), which tended to conceptualise health broadly and holistically. The ancient Indian system of medicine, Ayurveda, paid much importance to the person, his family and his circumstances. In education, the Guru - Chela (Teacher - Disciple) relationship was the cornerstone of clinical teaching. Here, the student or the disciple lived with the Guru (the master or teacher) and learned the art of healing by watching, emulating and learning from him being considered, during this time, almost as a member of the Guru’s family. The Guru was held in great respect or awe. Ayurveda considered medicine as a great vocation. In fact, to become a physician was considered a gift of God. The physician rendered his services as his responsibility to the people around him. Often, it was without consideration of a fee. Whatever was given as a token of gratitude by the patient or his family was accepted. For this reason, the poor and the under-privileged needed no hesitation in approaching the physician, as no demand for a fee or any form of remuneration would be made.

Article Details

Fourth Geneva Conference on Person-centered Medicine: Education in person-centered medicine
Author Biographies

Roy Abraham Kallivayalil, Dept of Psychiatry Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, Thiruvalla, India

Professor & Head, Dept of Psychiatry, Pushpagiri Institute of Medical Sciences, Thiruvalla, India Awarded MBBS from Med College, Kottayam (1977), DPM from Madurai Medical College (1980) and MD (Psychiatry) from Post graduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India in 1984. Was Professor & Head, Dept of Psychiatry, Govt Medical College, Kottayam and Trichur and later Principal at Co-operative Medical College, Kochi.Positions Previously held:State President, Indian Medical Association Kerala Chapter (1998-1999).State President, Indian Psychiatric Society, Kerala Chapter (1995-1996)General Secretary, Indian Psychiatric Society (2002 – 2006).Secretary General, SAARC Psychiatric Federation (2004-2006)Current Positions:President-Elect, Indian Psychiatric Society, New DelhiPresident, Indian Association for Social PsychiatryPresident, National Alliance for Mental Health (NAMH), IndiaCo -Chairman, Preventive Psychiatry Section, World Psychiatric Association, GenevaMember, International Network for Person Centered Med (INPCM), New YorkMember,Faculty of Medicine& Tech,Cochin University of Science and TechnologyAssociate Editor, Indian Journal of PsychiatryAwards & HonoursGovt of Kerala Best Doctor Award, 2007SAARC Psychiatric Federation Award, Kathmandu 2006Ramachandra N. Moorthy National Award for distinguished service in the field of Psychiatry for the year 1998-99 by Indian Medical Association, New Delhi.IMA CGP National award for health administration - Indian Medical Association (2000).

P.N. Suresh Kumar, KMCT Medical College

Professor of Psychiatry, KMCT Medical College, Calicut, Kerala, India


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