A Day in the Life at LV Prasad
By John Anhalt MD
A Day in the Life at LV Prasad
Mornings start at sunrise and already Hyderabadi life is in full-motion all around me. The walk across the street can be perilous at best as most of the day there’s no break in passing traffic. From my bedroom window, I can occasionally catch a glimpse of monkeys chasing each other across neighboring rooftops. The walk to work is short but offers a brief snapshot into local life as I pass market stalls, a queue of auto-rickshaws and a Hindu temple to Hanuman.
Once I enter LVPEI, I quickly join the steady rush of residents, fellows, optometrists en route to lecture on the 6th floor. Lecture hall doors lock at 6:59 AM. Every day (Monday-Saturday) there are a series of journal clubs, research presentations and Grand Rounds that are mandatory for all hospital clinical staff.
The environment is collegial and inclusive; everyone is expected to participate from senior consultants to ophthalmology and optometry students. A breakfast of Idly, sambar, dosas, or my favorite, poori, is always accompanied by a small cup of chai. Everyone eats together in the dining hall and, again, it’s a purposely collegial atmosphere with consultants, nurses, residents and janitorial staff sharing the same tables.The clinic day then begins. Patients, who often arrive overnight, start queuing at the registration counter and by 8 AM many of the waiting rooms are standing room only.
On the surface, it may appear a little chaotic but that is only because of the sheer magnitude of patients being seen. In reality, from registration to checkout, the clinics are a well-oiled machine. Lunch usually consists of more chai with potato samosa and brief tea time at 4 PM helps push along clinic well past sundown.
Similarly, OR schedules often run until 10 or 11 PM with nearly 200 surgeries performed daily. The day-to-day schedule is at times exhausting but nonetheless, the residents and fellows appear unfatigued and rarely complain. A testament to the dedication for academic and clinical rigor – this schedule is perhaps what has propelled the institution (only 32 years old) to a global forefront of research, clinical training and most importantly, patient care.
Update as of October 2019: Patients meet with registration counselor who will discuss payment options to delegate the tier of care. In short, all patients are seen by the same team of doctors and receive the same care whether paying or non-paying. The entire hospital system, however, is supported by patients who elect to pay for services. These payment tiers are range from paying essential “at-cost” for care to paying upwards of 3-5x as much for services. The “supporters” are offered faster clinic times and more customizable treatment options (ie. premium/multifocal IOLs, femto-assisted surgery etc…) but again, all patients regardless of payment status receive equitable care from the same treatment teams. This tiered system allows LVPEI to continue its work in South India in which 50% of the nearly one thousand patients seen daily are cared for free of charge.