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.

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.
According to the World Health Organisation, replacing your knee, hip or shoulder is the second safest surgery in the world, after removing cataracts. So when is it time to have the operation? Ranjana Srivastava interviews a patient and a surgeon about their experiences.
Although my patient constantly and laughingly referred to himself as a "vegetable", I never got used to it. I cringed at the expression, often wondering how he really felt beneath the smiles. Short in height and morbidly obese, he hated moving and told everyone how much he loved fat and sugar, preferably together.
My young refugee patient is perched uncomfortably and too high up on an ambulance trolley. He is so small and malnourished that there is enough space on the narrow stretcher to accommodate the fat folder of notes that have come along with him for the ride.
My patient with an intellectual disability sits in a wheelchair, with enough capacity to mention the word "cancer" and to start crying, but not enough to follow the subsequent thread of conversation in which I tell him that there is no good treatment for his disease.