Dear Dr Srivastava,
Just letting you know your patient died yesterday. I hope you have a good weekend.
At a chaotic time I appreciate when residents take the time to write but this time I can’t help thinking about the missing word: your patient died alone yesterday.
With large parts of Victoria in a second lockdown, frontline providers continue to show up to work and maintain a sense of normality for patients that we ourselves don’t feel. Thankfully there is no...
Dr Ranjana Srivastava OAM, is an internationally-renowned oncologist and healthcare authority, as well as award-winning author and broadcaster. She is a regular columnist for The Guardian newspaper and is a health presenter on ABC television and ABC 774 radio. She speaks frequently on health matters, ethics and doctor-patient communication at scholarly and community events. Educated in India, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia, she graduated from Monash University with a first-class honours degree and several awards in medicine. Ranjana undertook her internship, residency and specialist training at various Melbourne hospitals. In 2004, she won the prestigious Fulbright Award, which she completed at the University of Chicago. She was admitted as a fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 2005 and started practicing oncology in the public hospital system. In 2014 Ranjana was recognised by Monash University as the Distinguished Alumni of the Year. She was also appointed an adjunct associate professor in the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences. Ranjana was included in Westpac’s 100 Influential Women of 2015. Ranjana’s writing has been published worldwide, including in Time magazine and The Week, and in medical journals The New England Journal of Medicine, Lancet, Journal of the American Medical Association and Journal of Hospice and Palliative Care Management. In 2008 her story Ode to a Patient won the Cancer Council Victoria Arts Award for outstanding writing. Ranjana’s inaugural Melbourne Magazine column was featured in the Best Australian Science Writing of 2012. Her first book, Tell Me the Truth: Conversations with My Patients about Life and Death, was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award. Her second book, Dying for a Chat: The Communication Breakdown between Doctors and Patients won the Human Rights Literature Prize. Her two books on navigating cancer, A Cancer Companion and After Cancer: A Guide to Living Well have been warmly reviewed and widely used. Her fifth book, What It Takes To Be A Doctor: An Insider’s Guide, was a finalist in the Australian Career Book Awards.