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Tara Rajendran

Physician-Musician, Ph.D. student in music

Annamalai University, Chidambaram

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There is nothing you can not do. Be unabashedly ambitious.

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

As a physician and classical musician, I help bring change in patients by introducing music into the Indian palliative oncology infrastructure. By founding the 1st ever lecture-concert advocacy program, ‘Oncology and Strings’, I travel across Indian cancer centers and medical schools to spread awareness among med students, oncologists, and palliative care physicians. My music has reached out to over 10,000 patients.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

India, although, has an extensive repertoire of musical cultures, the potential of music has been massively underutilized in healthcare. India lags by at least 60 years compared to the countries with music therapy as an established healthcare profession. As a physician-musician, I could not help but work to bridge these gaps in the health infrastructure.

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

By visualizing the bigger picture, trusting my intuition, and not giving up.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

The ones who disparage a young, relentlessly ambitious girl is speaking their insecurities; don’t take them seriously.

Don’t let failures paralyzed you. It is important to fail! As Robin Sharma quotes, "Successful people on the planet have failed more than ordinary ones."

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

It is an extraordinary privilege to witness birth and death. In healthcare, every clinical decision, every scientific breakthrough, and every public health initiative directly impacts people and their lives. I am deeply grateful to be in this noble pursuit.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

There is nothing you can not do.

Be unabashedly ambitious.

There is only one you!

INSPIRATION

"Create the highest, grandest vision possible for your life, because you become what you believe.” – Oprah Winfrey  in her commencement address to Wellesley College in 1997.

“If you’re afraid of failing you won’t get very far.”— Steve Jobs