Wednesday 9 October 2019

My Internship Experience @ Puttaparthi's Super Speciality Hospital

Shri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences - The temple of healing

My final year allocated a 6-week Elective Posting. This meant liberty in which we can get ourselves attached to any hospital around the globe to garner the experience we need.

My application to the Shri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences was initiated months before the posting. I was well informed about the extreme difficulty in getting approval from the God-built institute. Therefore, I did not expect much.

The institution was out of my list actually. It was my brother who encouraged me to give a try, which I did very casually.

With the grace of Swami, I got accepted. Swami's compassion is paramount. He literally gave someone like me, a chance to set foot into His very Hospital, to serve.


My accommodation in the ashram was pre-planned by my coordinator. Upon arrival, I ventured a little around Puttaparthi to reminiscence the nostalgia back in 2014 ( the first time I went to Parthi. My parents are dead against Bhagavan and I never had the chance to visit Parthi. I participated in an international scrabble competiton in Bengaluru in 2014. I managed to sneak into Parthi during that travel. Imagine the ecstasy in me back then, being able to visit Parthi after garnering championship in the very tournament. )

My Room - with beloved Ganesha on door ( North 1 block, adjacent to Gayatri Devi  temple )

I stepped into the magnificent hospital, commonly referred to as the temple of healing the next day, built rapport with my coordinator while thanking Bhagya Devata

Krshna at entrance. Lord Dhanvantri behind

Coordinator - Mr.Sai Shankar

My coordinator ( caretaker ) , Mr Sai Shankar is actually the son of swami's personal translator in the 70s

I spent my first 3 weeks in the cardiology department. I was under a Post-graduate student - Dr.Venu.His warm welcome progressed to a command to auscultate a neonate. An obvious continuous murmur surged confidence and I verbally spurted ' Patent ductus arteriosus ( PDA ) ' He appeared pleased.

This was my daily schedule ( except Sundays ). I had to take a staff bus at 7am and have breakfast in the hospital. I enter the playground at 8 and the bus takes me back to the ashram at 5pm.

Outpatient Clinic with Dr.Venu.

The cardiology dep was heavy. The patient traffic was immensely massive, as this hospital is completely free of cost. Not a single penny is taken, be it for a heart transplant or a simple vital sign assessment. In fact, it is not equipped with a payment counter.

The PG students blew my mind.

At one instance, Dr. Venu palpated a boy with mitral stenosis to find an opening snap. That was the first time I had seen something that awesome in my life. It took some effort to reposition my dropped jaw.

I spent time in three different settings - the outpatient clinic, the echocardiography unit and the CCU.


Patients all over the nation came to the hospital and statistically quoted rare cases were a norm there.

For instance, I saw 2 Ebstein's anomaly cases in a day. This case is supposedly a rare occurrence - found in only 1 out of 210 000 live births.

Echo buddies Akhila and Gayatri

Echo buddy - Jabil Ullah

It was a blessing that I saw more Cardio-cases in a week here in comparison to all the internal medicine postings combined in 3 years back in Malaysia.

Within a week, I improved so much that I could recognise most cardiac murmurs to a heightened degree of accuracy.

Armour for Catheterisation Lab

With Head of Dep - Dr.Iyer.

Researcher Sasidhar - Also one of the lead Veda reciters in Prashanti Nilayam. 

Cath lab

Anesthesiologist Dr.Anand

Plastic Surgery

I spent 2 weeks in the plastic surgery department - For only one reason - I wanted to experience Sushruta's grace.

This dep was very light, with very few patients. Being a hospital dedicated to the needy, cosmetic interest is of no preference here.

Surgery mostly involved patients who were disfigured by burn and trauma.

I considered myself blessed as the first procedure I witnessed was something which grandmaster Sushruta was famous for - reconstructive surgery with flap

It was a girl who had her finger severed. An abdominal flap was made to reconstruct her digit. Meaning - her traumatised finger was stitched with a segment of tissue in the abdomen rich in bloody supply. She had her finger stuck to her belly for some time.

General surgeries were also done in the operation theatre. I received guidance from two giants - Dr Gurumoorthy ( also Director of Hospital ) and Dr Reddy.

Dr Reddy

I was under Dr Reddy specifically. We spent some time in the afternoon - post-lunch where he sometimes shared food and importantly - a lot of his experiences.

Dr.Reddy serves food for the entire OT team once per week. We sit together and feast all sorts of delicacies post-surgery.

Esmita had her ear reconstructed with a skin graft taken from her thigh. She had microtia- a condition where the ear is underdeveloped.

Esmita, me and a Ganesha I gifted her


Most of the staff here do not take a salary. They consist of many prominent medical figures who live to serve.

He is 90 + in age - Works without a salary.

Coincidentally, they had a youth programme during the last week of my stay in Puttaparthi, where I met fellow Malaysians and friends from other parts of the world.

I was supposed to make a trip to Hyderabad when my local mentor Dr Sathya Rao Jogulu changed my mind to join the programme.


Felt grateful for having been given a chance to lead Veda recitation for the opening and closing ceremony.

With comrades Sarthak ( on my right ) from Nepal and Thinesh from Shri Lanka, reciting Rudram for the opening ceremony.

Practice with bros

The programme was fantastic - especially having the chance to explore the student campus.

My usual dinner at the western canteen

One of the chefs in the western canteen, Edo Vimukti is Indonesian. He is also a neurosurgeon. He adds Nasi Lemak and Mee Goreng Mamak to the menu occasionally, upon my request.

                              Watching Dr.Edo cook fried rice

From right,Dr Akshay,a dentist, chefs Dr.Edo and Shweta from Ukraine.

One of the walking spots in the evening - with the echoes of Veda recitation and Bhajans

With Damarik Sai - a resident of Prashanti who travels around the world to teach Vedas for free

                                 Friends from Mauritius

    Lepakshi's Veerabhadra temple visit with Hyderabadi buddies

 Till we meet again...


  1. Wow! Loved your pics and writeup! When are you likely to return to Parthi? Would love to catch up

    1. This was in april. Has been many months since I came back

    2. Yes, I was asking when you're likely to visit again.

    3. Oh sorry I misread as " return from" .not sure actually

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