Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialty Centre (DMDSC) is the first I have seen of its kind! A sister branch of the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, this hospital provides the most comprehensive care for diabetes in India. They have 20 branches in India, of which 8 are in Chennai. Let’s go on a tour of my workplace, the main branch in Gopalapuram (GPM), Chennai.
STOP 1: Reception (Ground Floor)
Here, both new and current patients can check in. DMDSC sees about 100,000 patients a year, and I can assure you there is never a dull moment. The center is always lively, with patients coming in and out, dieticians running around, and doctors shuttling from place to place. I could definitely see myself working in a place like this.
Let’s move on. So at a normal hospital, you would sit in the waiting area, wait for the nurse to take you in, see the doctor, etc. Not at Dr. Mohan’s!
STOP 2: Diet Cabin (Ground Floor)
The first person a patient at DMDSC sees is…wait for it… a dietician! Many patients are confused, and are often looking for medicine that will fix all their problems. However, as I have emphasized, controlling our diet (alongside physical activity) is just as important as adhering to our pills.
STOP 3: Obesity & Weight Management Centre (Ground Floor)
Approximately 139 million people in India are obese– that is 11% of this country’s total population! Weight reduction in both diabetics and non-diabetics is important in controlling or preventing diabetes. At Dr. Mohan’s, a team of nutritionists, fitness trainers, clinical psychologists, and bariatric physicians work together to help motivated patients lose weight. They even have a gym equipped with cardio and weight equipment for patients (and staff!) to use. In extreme cases, bariatric surgeons may perform a Gastric Bypass to help with weight loss.
STOP 4: Diabetic Foot Care (Basement)
Feet. Otherwise known as our walking organs, people with diabetes may have affected nerves (neuropathy) and a reduced blood supply to their feet. This can result in deformed feet, callus formation, or other infection, all of which Dr. Mohan’s can diagnose and treat. Even better- they have their own line of shoes, custom-made specially for diabetics!
STOP 4: Telemedicine with Chunampet (Basement)
Telemedicine is a field that I am personally interested in, because it breaks one of the greatest barriers to receiving proper healthcare: distance from the hospital! Dr. Mohan’s has a mobile van that travels to rural areas such as Chunampet, Chennai (where I will be visiting soon!) This van has a telemedicine unit set-up, where patients in rural areas can communicate with diabetes doctors at Dr. Mohan’s through video-chat platform such as Skype. At Dr. Mohan’s Hospital, there is a huge noise-free room set up with a TV and computer, just for this remote consultation. Pretty cool, and affordable too!
STOP 5: Canteen (First Floor)
Yummmm food. My favorite stop of all 🙂 Canteen is another word for cafeteria. They serve breakfast, morning chai/coffee, lunch, afternoon samosas/snacks and dinner. I’ve never been here late enough to see if they serve midnight snacks. The food is pretty good, too- or maybe I’m just not sick of it yet. You basically have two options: diabetic meal or non-diabetic meal. My first non-diabetic meal consisted of white rice, papad, a vegetable dish, a kidney bean dish, rasam, sambar, yogurt, spicy pickle, and salt. Phew! So much food in one plate.
The diabetic meal is beautiful, and really captures the essence of a healthy and balanced diet specialized for the Indian diabetic population. This low sodium and low fat meal includes steamed vegetables and yogurt with a special type of high-fiber white rice developed by Dr. Mohan’s (more on RICE later!)
STOP 6: Diabetes Laboratory (First Floor)
Blood & Urine. Not so yum as the canteen, but the 90+ tests performed at Dr. Mohan’s state-of-the-art laboratories provide quick results about markers indicating a persons diabetic condition.
It’s pretty cool, because I’ve learned about these different blood/urine markers such as HbA1c in my nutrition biochemistry classes. I’ve also used the same lab equipment (such as HPLC and ion-selective electrodes) in analytical chemistry, and its super exciting to see its application to diagnose and monitor diabetic patients.
STOP 7: Eye Clinic (First and Second Floor)
1 in 5 people with diabetes in Chennai develop damage to their eyes, which can ultimately lead to blindness if left untreated. At Dr. Mohan’s Eye Clinic, opthamologists both detect and help care for these patients. While the best way to prevent further damage is by controlling diabetes, lasers are used in severe cases for treatment.
In addition to these services, Dr. Mohan’s also offers Diabetic Cardiac Care, Stress Management, Physiotherapy, Dental Care, Radiology, and Preventative Care. There’s also a library with every journal article on diabetes you could think of, and an auditorium for special events like staff yoga and school programs.
Dr. Mohan’s is definitely the most comprehensive specialty care hospital that I have ever seen. I admire their work with the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, and I am so excited to contribute to their mission “to advance diabetes care, prevention, and a cure worldwide”.
Well, that wraps up the tour of Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialty Centre- see you next time 🙂