Dr Ranjana Srivastava OAM

Oncologist, Fulbright Scholar, Writer & Broadcaster

Welcome to my website! I am a physician practicing oncology and internal medicine in Australia. I believe that the art of medicine is as important as its science and I am grateful for the support of the institutions and individuals who make it possible for me to promote my mission.

I invite you to read my columns and books and get in touch with your comments.

The first thing I notice is her beautiful hair. She is oblivious to the camera, but her casual beauty must have been hard to miss. The first thought to come to my mind is, "She used to look like that?" Next, I notice there is no space to sit or even stand.
"Have you told her yet?" the social worker asks. "I am waiting for an opportunity", I answer without disclosing the doubt and apprehension that nag me. The patient is 90, snow-haired and slender-built. She delights at our presence, treating us like a fond grandmother and showing unfailing gratitude.
"If there is a doctor on the flight, please ... " The call for a doctor reflexively ejects me out of my seat and towards the sick patient. One flight in every 600 incurs a medical emergency - until recently I used to pack my trusted stethoscope that could actually hear a thing or two amid the din of the plane, but it felt too much like inviting illness.
A door opens behind me, causing my shifting heel to land on a socked foot just as the resident warns me to watch out. "Hey!" an irate voice protests. "First you keep me in pain and now you are trying to kill me."

On The Art of Medicine | Ranjana Srivastava | TEDxFulbrightMelbourne

What I learnt from my experience is that while the technical things matter, what matters most of all is the art of medicine. Ranjana Srivastava is an oncologist, award-winning author and columnist for The Guardian. She was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia for her work on doctor-patient communication.
When my long-term cancer patient landed in a different public hospital with unexpected bleeding complications, it soon became apparent that he was at the end of life. There were no beds in that hospital and the patient was too unwell to transfer. He died in a cubicle many hours later.
"You are the cancer doctor? Promise you won't scare me," my patient says, clutching my hand. My heart melts. As we slowly navigate the short distance to my office, I worry about his unstable gait. "I am not here to scare you," I say gently, "but I hope to help."
Twenty years ago, there were only 500 weight loss surgeries nationwide. By 2015 though, that number had jumped to 23,000 annually. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the vast majority of weight loss procedures are done in private hospitals, and 79% of patients are women. Interview and production: Ranjana Srivastava for Radio National.
In my entire medical career, I've never heard of a patient who died because the doctor had an accent alking up some stairs to my office, I spot a flyer stuck in a busy thoroughfare area. By the time I absorb its contents I have to retrace my steps to take a more careful look.
Informed consent is a tenet of a good doctor-patient relationship, particularly when it comes to the elderly "What do you want?" "Whatever you say, doctor." "It would be helpful for me to know about your goals in life." "Goals?" He is nonplussed. A look of concern spreads over his face as if he has disappointed me.
Doctor Ranjana Srivastava is an oncologist working in one of the most diverse communities in Melbourne. She explains the challenges of delivering what is often the news no patient wants to hear.
As if cancer treatment wasn't trying enough, a common stress will be unwanted advice. But you can benefit from the wisdom of others mid the greetings of the new year arrives a simple text message, "What do you think?" The story is familiar enough but this time, the cast is different.