Book Reviews

"Dr. Rajshree Gaitonde, MD’s book, '8,596 miles: My Leap of Faith, My Journey' is a surprising testimony to one person’s ability to overcome multiple odds and to reach her highest potential. A story like this helps one see how one may defy stereotypes and exceed expectations in one’s life....

"In certain ways, her tale is shocking, as it connects her upbringing in high-caste India—her family had servants and her only duties growing up were to do her studies and practice music—with her later life in America where she became the first female physician at an all-male, maximum -security prison that housed some of the most dangerous and violent prisoners in California. Some readers will find the book brings them to tears.

"As Dr. Gaitonde relates in her many talks, her upbringing, her personal dedication and hard work to become a fine physician, and the grace of her Guru have all been strands of a fabric woven together that have aided her success. At her talks, her story is so inspiring that she often sells every book she brings with her....

"For me, it was inspiring to learn firsthand of a spiritually-based culture of higher-caste India, a culture that has long taught reverence for teachers, parents and mentors, and that even acknowledges subtle aid and support from devas and gurus—including a deceased guru—that are always present, affecting one’s life.

"Dr. Gaitonde says 'fear truly limits a person in so many ways. However, once it’s overcome, you are free.'”

- Steven Johnson, Journalist and Artist

"I am so very happy to have the opportunity to read '8,596 My Leap of Faith, My Journey'. Very inspirational for everyone. This book held my attention the whole time. The part on infectious hepatitis grabbed my attention, as well as home remedies. The love you share with family , friends and patient's touched my heart."         

- Marcella Willis

"Wonderful story of perseverance and pioneer work in helping inmates in Folsom prison."
          - Patricia Gaitonde

"You are a breath of fresh air. Some of the things I have only imagined you have experienced. I know music has calmed me but to have Healing properties is just wonderful.

- Anthony, Sacramento

"Dr. Rajshree Gaitonde's '8,596 Miles' is a truly heartwarming and inspirational story of leadership and courage and is a 'must-read'!! Her love of the divine, desire to serve the community, and strength to follow her passion clearly shines through her eloquent rendition in this book. Dr. Gaitonde's personal story of being the first female doctor in Folsom Prison and providing twenty-four years of selfless service there is awe inspiring! She is a role model for us all!"
- Satya Vishwanathan

"Excellent read. I recommend it wholeheartedly. I loved the quote from an inmate 'only when the love of power is overcome by the power of love will there be change.'"

- Jamuna, Stockton, CA

"Dr Gaitonde’s life story is truly inspirational... Cultural contrasts. Divine influence in a regular life. The power of respect and kindness. The confidence to take an uncharted course. The reader is left hopeful and empowered."

- Heidi Huhn

"Enjoyed reading this unique journey of my Doctor friend, mentor and guide.

"Couldn't put the book down. Felt I wanted to know more! Especially about Doc's unique experiences within the walls of a prison where the general public hardly gets to know about.

"A must-read for aspiring young girls who want to be future doctors, and a great message to 'follow one's dreams against all obstacles! "

- Meera Murthy

"I am delighted to review the book, “8,596 Miles” by Dr. Rajshree Gaitonde. It is an inspiring book which will be an eye-opener for many young people, especially women. I firmly believe this book is an inspiration to those who are struggling to find a place in this busy world, especially those who are of different backgrounds and faiths.

"For many, this book will re-affirm their faith in the Almighty and give confidence to achieve anything in life from Dr. Rajshree’s example. Being young and the first female physician, Dr. Rajshree Gaitonde worked at the all-male, notorious Folsom Prison with confidence and faith. This book is going to win many hearts and will also reaffirm faith in life to those who have lost faith and hope. I am looking forward to reading many books from Dr. Rajshree Gaitonde."

- Pavithrah Tharmaseelan

"In reading Dr. Gaitonde's book, I liked her humbleness in writing about her growing up in India. I enjoyed reading about India, her spiritual beliefs and how holistic health and home remedies can be used.

"This book will help guide us when encountering challenging and difficult situations."

- Isis S., Sacramento, CA

 " I met Dr. Rajshree during the 90's while she was working as a Physician at the California State Prison, Sacramento which is now a maximum security Prison, next to Folsom State Prison where Dr. Rajshree began her career as the first female Physician to work at that facility. Not many female Physicians aspire to work in such a daunting work place, yet Dr. Rajshree took it as a challenge and proved that she could do a great job, providing great medical care to male inmates, many of them were lifers. I am sure that her Law Degree was very valuable for her to do a good job providing health care for the inmates and yet avoid any litigation which can arise out of her work with the inmates many of them often look for ways to benefit from any minor errors committed by the medical care providers. Dr. Rajshree's medical notes very concise and precise and could withstand any scrutiny by her medical colleagues or by an Attorney involved in medical legal situation. I am sure many inmates liked her tender approach healing their illnesses and were very happy that she was their Physician. 

“Dr. Rajshree's great upbringing by her parents, specifically from her mother who was a psychologist and her divine beliefs and influences helped her succeed in her career as a Physician working at the Correctional facility. She also has tremendous support and guidance from her husband which was invaluable. Having worked in the Correctional system in California for almost two decades as a Psychiatrist, I admire Dr. Rajshree's courage and dedication to her work in the Correctional facility. Her book "8596 Miles" from home is very easy to read and she has included many philosophical pearls in the book including some of her own. I would highly recommend this book to other readers." 

                       - Muniyapia Rajappa, MD, Psychiatrist, Sacramento CA

"I found ‘8596 Miles,’ to be a spiritual reading journey of mystical experiences, unexpected miracles, with an abundance of medical knowledge, eastern and western. This courageous women's story captured my divine curiosity and undivided attention. I did not want to stop reading. There is a wonderful theme of a women's strength, power and persistence that inspires all women to not give in and never give up, with an enlighten energy to carry on, follow your dreams and succeed despite the odds." 

                 - Sharron Peterson, Psychologist