> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 24 April 2013
  • ISBN: 9780143569640
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $9.99

Dying for a Chat: Penguin Special




Winner of the 2013 Human Rights Literature Award



Medical oncologist Ranjana Srivastava contends that our healthcare professionals are ill equipped for frank discussions with patients, leading to misdiagnosis, avoidable medical complications and even death.

Winner of the 2013 Human Rights Literature Award
Medical oncologist Ranjana Srivastava contends that the best medicine begins with a good chat, to guide the decision-making of both doctors and patients.

Increasingly, people are unable to properly comprehend the complex treatment choices on offer, or are self-diagnosing and demanding unnecessary or risky procedures. Doctors, in turn, feel unable to deny the requests of patients and their families. Narrow specialisation also means no-one is discussing the overall picture of a patient's health. Srivastava warns that people are suffering – even dying – as a result, and the medical profession should be taking responsibility.

In a frank and clear-eyed assessment of an unacknowledged crisis, she makes an impassioned case for healthcare training to incorporate effective communication skills.

  • Pub date: 24 April 2013
  • ISBN: 9780143569640
  • Imprint: Penguin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 96
  • RRP: $9.99

About the Author

Ranjana Srivastava

Dr Ranjana Srivastava was educated in India, the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. She graduated from Monash University with a first-class honours degree and several awards in medicine. In 2004 she won the prestigious Fulbright Award, which she completed at the University of Chicago. Ranjana is now an oncologist and educator in the Melbourne public hospital system.

Ranjana's writing has been featured in Time, The Guardian, The Week, New York Times, The Age and Best Australian Science Writing, and in numerous prestigious medical journals including the New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet. In 2008 her story 'Ode to a Patient' won the Cancer Council Victoria Arts Award for outstanding writing and in 2012 Ranjana won the Nossal Global Health Prize for writing. She has published two books: Tell Me the Truth, which was shortlisted for the NSW Premier's Literary Award, and the warmly received Penguin Special Dying for a Chat, which addresses the lack of communication between doctors and patients.

Ranjana lives in Melbourne with her husband and three young children.

Also by Ranjana Srivastava

See all

Praise for Dying for a Chat: Penguin Special

“A humane treatise exploring the relationship between doctors and their patients.”

West Australian


Awards & Recognition

  • Human Rights Award

    Winner • 2013 • Literature Award


Related titles