CHENNAI: Eight hundred calls in 48 hours. This is not a situation a 27-year-old family physician can tell off very often. And for Rahul Jha who has barely had a moment’s sleep since he put up a Facebook post inviting people flooded-in to call in with their medical emergencies, the only drug that has worked to keep him pumped for the job, he admits, is coffee.
Ironically, the doctor, who is working at CMC Vellore, is not even in Chennai. But his parents are residents of Anna Nagar. “It’s my moral obligation to help out the city that I was raised in,” he said.
With word of the Facebook doctor reaching as far as Malaysia, the UK and the US, a good chunk of his calls have come in from abroad. “These are from foreigners and Indians, just connecting me to strangers whose posts they have seen on other forums,” he said.
The calls have covered everything from pregnancy scares to panic attacks. “I had this one mother sitting home alone in Porur with a three-month-old baby call in and yell several times, ‘I’m going to die!’” he recalled, adding, “Talking a patient out of suicide is hard enough, you add a bad cell connection to the mix and it gets really scary.”