Dr. Ranjit S. Rajpal, who practices cardiology in Madera also is president of the Fresno-Madera Medical Society. As such, he writes a monthly column in Vital Signs, the medical society’s magazine, and I usually look forward to reading it. Besides being a highly regarded physician, he also is a careful and creative user of the English language.
His column in the magazine’s August issue focuses on “social determinants” of health in the Central Valley, and he opens it with this quote from author William Saroyan:
“In the time of your life, live — so in that good time there shall be no ugliness or death for yourself or for any life your life touches. Seek goodness everywhere, and when it is found, bring it out of its hiding-place and let it be free and unashamed.”
Rajpal writes about the health of the people in the Valley. Though much progress has been made in the three decades he has lived here, he says, much remains to be done.
“... the health of our Valley is not reflective of what it can and should be,” he says. “The air quality of our cities is consistently rated among the most polluted in the nation, too many of our children are afflicted with obesity, we are faced with an impending fresh-water crisis, poverty and unemployment rates are mounting, gaps in access to health care, quality education and housing stability persist; the challenges we face as a community are varied, complex and multifaceted.
“It is, therefore, of paramount importance that we, as a society, broaden our scope and understanding of what it means to have a healthy community.”
He goes on to write that not only doctors are responsible for keeping us healthy. “Rather, our health is determined at the confluence of medicine and various fields such as law, education, business, agriculture, engineering and urban design.”
He points out that health gaps can be closed by “securing essential human security needs and fostering relationships of equality and respect ...”
The challenges and opportunities stand before us, he says.
That sounds like a good prescription, doctor.