Dr.Rajan Dewar, MBBS, PhD, practices pathology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and serves as Clinical Assistant Professor of Pathology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Dewar’s sub-specialty disciplines in training and practice are hematopathology and molecular genetic pathology.
After completing medical school (Madras Medical College) and a PhD in biomedical engineering (Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay), Dr. Dewar performed his residency at Yale University School of Medicine, with sub-specialty training at Stanford University Medical Center.
Over the past five years Dr. Dewar has been deeply engaged in global health work, specifically in creating infrastructure for diagnostics and screening of cervical cancer in rural India. His work involves creating local human capacity for cytology-based cervical cancer screening. He has teamed with local hospitals and physicians to implement cytology-based laboratories, and to train cyto-screeners in the semi-urban and rural districts.
In the course of this work, Dr. Dewar witnessed first-hand that there is an immense disconnect between the providers of health care and the villagers that these activities are supposed to benefit. The villagers were disengaged in the process of health care delivery, even though it meant prevention of a fatal illness.
In an effort to study this and other related issues in greater depth, and to encourage well-being in these communities and help bridge the gap between the goals of health care professionals and the local populations understanding and engagement, Dr. Dewar plans to study the religious and spiritual nature of these people groups. In collaboration with HDS researchers in Science, Religion, and Culture, he will investigate the following questions: Is it possible to engage the villagers and provide health care through spiritual means? Is alleviation of poverty the only means to deliver effective health care? Is spirituality an alternate means for providing health care? Or is spirituality the soul food of only those who are satiated?