Let us make things better: the “Indian medical doctors on the web” survey

I am doing a survey.

Do you know how many Indian medical doctors who use the Internet blog? well, no one does. Neither do we know how many of us are students, how many are on twitter and how many talk about work online. We most definitely do not know if any of us follow professional guides to using social media written specifically for doctors. I want to find out, and I think irrespective of your profession, you would want to know more about your friendly neighbourhood doctor on the net. Without being creepy, of course.

This is a survey of Indian Medical folk on the web. By Indian I mean practising in India, and by Medical folk I mean allopathic doctors(medical students too). The reason for this “Discrimination” is convenience and because I can.

If you are a medical doctor, please take the survey, if you know one, mail her a link. Thank you very much.

If you are not a doctor, don’t take it, there are trick medical questions and I will know.

Here you go. Click here for the great Indian medical doctors on the web survey.

Feel free to re post this link on your site, or embed it. For convenience and tracking you can use this URL to email people: http://bit.ly/indsurvey

The survey will run for 14 days starting Monday September 12th. Email me with suggestions and feedback at Uberschizo at gmail

Indian Doctors and Medical Students on the Web Survey by Dr. Anand Philip

Indian medical Doctors and Medical Students on the Web Survey by Dr. Anand Philip

PS: There are no trick medical questions.

Top Criminals in Indian Hospitals

Criminals in hospitals Image by murplejane

Ten years inside hospitals gives you a great instinct to pick out criminals. Oh yes, there are a lot of them in the hospitals. Here are the greatest offenders and how to deal with them.

The Poor:

They can’t afford the services, yet they come. They never do what we ask them to, want multivitamins and “saline” and never come when we ask them to. They are dirty, and don’t pay even if they can afford it. Definitely deserve the long waiting times and getting sidelined for “paying” patients.

The old:

Slow, stubborn and forgetful, they can never come to the point. If they have bellyache, they start with the time they stubbed their toe back in 67 and the time they met a white doctor who gave them a red liquid for the belly ache. Definitely deserve the patronizing behaviour that we have perfected; don’t pay attention, just nod, agree and give them something for symptomatic relief. Talk loudly, most of them are deaf.

The very rich:

Scum of the earth, just the worst people in India. They walk around like they own the hospital and treat us like we are beggars. Clearly they deserve to be robbed. Such sense of entitlement, such low respect for the profession. Keep changing doctors, want results yesterday, stingy. Definitely deserve the over charging and the excessive tests, they ask for it.


90% of their problems are psycho somatic and they create such a fuss about the rest 10%. If you are a guy, they wont let you touch them, if you don’t, and get the diagnosis wrong, they curse you. In the labor room they wont push when they need to and scream like a banshee, as if it’s an elephant coming out. Never open their mouths if their husbands hit them, so we can’t do anything. Definitely deserve being given antidepressants for the vague symptoms and the slaps on the labor table.


You can smell them from a mile away. Sure they work in the fields and have animals, but can’t they buy soap? or at least some chap perfume? many of them are rich but pretend to be poor, they don’t change their clothes and treat the women so bad. if you are a girl then you’ve had it, your old man wont spend a penny on you. Depending on the case, definitely educate them about taking bath and sending their girls to school.

Prostitutes and homosexuals:

Why can’t they just say it? how many times will I have to “guess” their tendencies and do the right test?  I mean I am a professional, trained to deal with them in a professional way, then why can’t they just open up? They hem and haw and beat around the bush and never tell you what’s really going on. As if they can fool anyone. Anyway, poor women, forced to live like this, sometimes I feel sad, but I have to do my job and I can’t care for emotions. For them always do STD panel, even if they complain of head ache, they actually mean something else, so no point in asking if you should do it, they will just say no.

Criminals in hospital Woody allen being chased by a gorilla

Image by JohnMcNab


Surely, I am joking. Right? How can an educated, cultured professional hold such beliefs. These show the beliefs of a micro minority, right? No lessons to be learned here, just how some people can’t be cured by education. Correct?

Kind words

Help from unexcpected places Kind words from a stranger often touch and comfort you more than those from a friend. If you are on twitter or similar online forum, you’ve probably told your followers about your sorrows and joys. And if you are like me, you’ve been surprised at how deeply total strangers seem  happy for you when something great happens and mourn with you when something goes wrong.

I have wondered why this is so. What makes a stranger empathise with you more than your best friend?

Maybe it is because what you want and often get, from strangers, is momentary and strong emotions, when your best friend is trying to give you what you need, which might be a kick on your backside.

Maybe it is because you hold  people close to you to a higher standard, and don’t expect much from strangers.

Maybe you are blind to all that people who love you are doing.

Maybe it is because it is easier to say “hugs” than hug.

I’ll be back when I have answers, but what do you think?

The wonderful Image is by By Jose Téllez

Personal names around the world and their Implications in Web design

W3 has an interesting paper on personal names and the problems that arise with the west-centric design of web forms, databases and more.

Names form one of the basic components of any information storage and exchange on the web. From Comments on blogs to filing your tax returns, there is no escaping the centrality of your name. If you are from India and have a traditional sounding name, then there is a good chance that you have been frustrated and flummoxed at some point in time, figuring out which of your names is “sur name” ” second name” and “family name”. If your name is Jesudas Sankaran Achuthanandan, and are called “unni”, not only do you declare a mixed religious background, but also pose a serious challenge for the web-form designer.

Quoted below are some interesting parts of the paper.

Question:How do people’s names differ around the world, and what are the implications of those differences on the design of forms, databases, ontologies, etc. for the Web?

Key scenarios to consider.

  • You are designing a form in a single language (let’s assume English) that people from around the world will be filling in.
  • You are designing a form in one language but the form will be adapted to suit the cultural differences of a given locale when the site is translated.

Examples of differences

Given name and patronymic

In the Icelandic name Björk Guðmundsdóttir Björk is the given name. The second part of the name indicates the father’s (or sometimes the mother’s) name, followed by -sson for a male and -sdóttir for a female, and is more of a description than a family name in the Western sense. Björk’s father, Guðmundur, was the son of Gunnar, so is known as Guðmundur Gunnarsson.

In the Chinese name 毛泽东 (Mao Ze Dong) the family name is Mao, ie. the first name when reading (left to right). The given name is Dong. The middle character, Ze, is a generational name, and is common to all his siblings (such as his brothers and sister, 毛泽民 (Mao Ze Min), 毛泽覃 (Mao Ze Tan), and 毛泽紅 (Mao Ze Hong)).

Spanish-speaking people will commonly have two family names. For example, María-Jose Carreño Quiñones may be the daughter of Antonio Carreño Rodríguez and María Quiñones Marqués.

You would refer to her as Señorita Carreño, not Señorita Quiñones.

Mixing it up

Many cultures mix and match these differences in personal names, and add their own novelties.

For example, Velikkakathu Sankaran Achuthanandan is a Kerala name from Southern India, usually written V. S. Achuthanandan which follows the order familyName-fathersName-givenName.

In many parts of the world, parts of names are derived from titles, locations, genealogical information, caste, religious references, and so on,  the Indian name Kogaddu Birappa Timappa Nair follows the order villageName-fathersName-givenName-lastName. In another part of India the name Madurai Mani Iyer represents townName-givenName-casteName.

Implications for field design

One possible approach is to localize forms for a particular culture, Unfortunately, there may still be a number of possible disadvantages to this approach:

  • If you need to centralise data from several locales within a single database, using localized form layouts will simply defer the difficulties of synthesizing the information across cultures until the time when you need to store the data.
  • Even within a single country people will typically have different ways of forming personal names. For example there may be foreigners living in the country, there may be different cultural elements within the country (eg. Singaporeans have names of Chinese, Malay and South Indian origin), or there may just be more than one way of using names. Therefore your forms will often need to allow for some flexibility.

When Designing Forms

  • ask yourself whether you really need to have separate fields for given name and family name.
  • Make input fields long enough to enter long names, and ensure that if the name is displayed on a web page later there is enough space for it.
  • Avoid limiting the field size for names in your database.

Read the full paper at www.w3.org Personal names around the world

Unity Reddit AMA

The programmers  behind Unity are doing an AMA on Reddit.

We are the Ubuntu Unity Development Team.

We will be here answering questions about Unity. If you ever wanted to know who does what, why we made certain technical decisions, or just what we had for breakfast, now is your chance! Ask away! We’ll be around for the next 5 to 6 hours but will try to answer what we can. Thanks for participating!
Note: We are the programmers for Unity, and make very little in the way of design decisions. We will try to answer whatever questions we can about Unity and its design, but there will be some questions we just won’t have answers for.

The conversation can be summarised as:

Unity Programming Team AMA Reddit Rage Comic

There seems to be no love lost between the programming team and the design team.  From the AMA, a clear picture of the Unity design team has emerged


While some would argue that taking such risks is essential for progress to happen, it is disconcerting to see that  the most detailed explanation about the inflexibility of Unity given  by team Ubuntu has been:

“Because we can”

As Mir Taqi Mir said, Aage aage dekhiye hota hai kya