A class of medical students thinks “upstream,” thanks to the gift of a book

TED Blog

Rishi Manchanda gives a talk in the TED office, about how doctors can think upstream to the real roots of illness. Photo: Ryan Lash/TED Rishi Manchanda has a message for doctors: that the real roots of illness are often “upstream” from the exam room, in patients’ home and work lives. Photo: Ryan Lash/TED

Before Jackie Hodges arrived for orientation at Tufts University School of Medicine, she got a gift from her soon-to-be med school: a free download of the e-book The Upstream Doctors by Rishi Manchanda.

In this book, Manchanda — who has worked for a decade as a doctor in community clinics around South Central Los Angeles — offers a bold idea for healthcare practitioners.

Check out The Upstream Doctors. Check out the book, The Upstream Doctors.

He asks doctors and nurses not just to treat the symptoms of illness that bring a patient to their exam room, but to look upstream toward the factors in their home, workplace and community that might be the root cause: factors like stress, poor housing, polluted air, poverty. 

This idea…

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