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A multifaceted interventional radiologist

Doctors are morally and ethically bound to practice what’s best for patients and not what’s best for pockets, says Dr. T. Deepashree, a role model among women achievers  

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Published 18 days ago on Nov 17, 2020 Read

Dr. T. Deepashree, Head of the Department at Dr Rela Institute and Medical Centre, Chennai, is one of the winners of iconic women award and South India women achievers award (excellence in health care services category). European board-certified Interventional Radiologist holding EBIR qualification, Deepashree underwent training in radiology at Yorkshire deanery, United Kingdom.

Prior to obtaining her radiology qualification (FRCR from Royal College of Radiologists, United Kingdom), Dr. Deepashree also practiced as a general physician having obtained MRCP from the Royal College of Physicians. She is also a certified psychologist, and strongly believes that communication and understanding patient psychology is the key when it comes to making a patient understand the right treatment options.

“The practice in India is completely different from practice abroad. Here the focus should be on patient awareness. As doctors we are morally and ethically bound to practice what’s best for patients and not what’s best for our pockets. Unfortunately, the focus in India has shifted from evidence-based practice to economy-based practice and that needs a shift,” says Dr. Deepashree.

On her specialization, the doctor states that an awareness about Interventional Radiology is lacking, especially in India. Her mission therefore is to reach out to people to create awareness about various Non-Surgical treatments available, especially for women suffering from uterine fibroids which is very common.

Given the lack of awareness about the Non surgical treatment options available, most women opt for the most readily available treatment - surgery (hysterectomy – removal of uterus or myomectomy – removal fibroid).  There is absolutely no need to lose part of our body when there are safer, effective and efficient Non-Surgical options like uterine fibroid embolization. This is a simple day care technique wherein we take a small tube under X- Ray guidance similar to a coronary angiogram and block the blood supply to the fibroid.

Treating infertility in women especially when the fallopian tubes (tube connecting uterus and ovary carrying egg) are blocked is one of the simplest non-surgical techniques that an interventional radiologist can perform. Dr. Deepashree has so far performed over 2000 trans-arterial chemoembolization, over 200 uterine artery embolizations and several other vascular and non-vascular radiological procedures.

Among the few women doctors in India in her areas of specialization, Dr. Deepashree says it is unfortunate that women doctors tend to steer clear taking up Interventional Radiology because of the fear of being exposed to radiation. “Women also don’t take up due to long working hours and 24/7 services,” says Dr. Deepashree, admitting that the field is very demanding due to emergency cases. Most women back down thinking it’s a man’s world.

In 2015, Dr. Deepashree was chosen as an international scholar to represent India at Society of Interventional Radiology Meeting, Atlanta, USA. She coordinates activities and organises teaching sessions for post- graduates as part of Chennai Interventional Radiology Forum also called MIRACLE (Madras Interventional Radiology CirCLE)

A fellowship programme director of Interventional Radiology, she has been accredited a 2-year fellowship programme….. Given her extensive experience working in the UK and India in this niche speciality, she is a much-sought keynote speaker at different forums in India and abroad.

 Dr. Deepashree’s quest for fitness has led her to explore new horizons in life. Her passion for fitness has also won her several laurels and many admirers. Her transformational journey through many life challenges led her to author a book called Art of Balance, an obsession for life, health and fitness.

This book imparts the lessons she learned as an outstanding doctor, award-winning fitness icon, a motivational speaker, Zumba instructor and a half marathon runner. She currently runs a YouTube series called Get Fit India to motivate and inspire every person to get fit not just physically, but mentally and spiritually also.

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