Truth in Advertising – Is Kausthub Desikachar Licensed to Practice as a Medical Doctor?

Since he received his PhD, Kausthub Desikachar has insisted in using the title “Dr.” before his name in all communications and publicity.

For example, his YouTube channel is titled “Dr. Kausthub Desikachar.”

In every email and Facebook post that Kausthub and KHYF send out, he is always “Dr. Kausthub Desikachar.”

What are Kausthub’s qualifications? From his website:

“He has a dual Masters degree from the renowned Birla Institute of Technology & Sciences, Pilani, and a PhD from the Psychology Department at the University of Madras, where his topic of research was “Effect of Individualised Yoga Training on Quality of Life.”

(SOURCE: http://khyf.net/teachers-and-staff/)

(Incidentally, Kausthub’s supervisor for his PhD was Latha Sathish of the KYM, who was also on the panel formed to “investigate” the sex abuse complaints in 2007.)

From what we understand, it takes specific qualifications to become a licensed practicing psychologist in India. Being qualified to research and study psychology via a PhD is very different from delivering healthcare as a psychotherapist with patients. Like the difference in getting a doctorate in anatomy for research versus being a practicing surgeon, they are very different disciplines in relation to healthcare.

Does Kausthub Desikachar have the qualifications and licensing to advertise himself as a healthcare or medical practitioner?

In 2017, we find that Kausthub Desikachar has begun advertising himself as “M.D (alternate medicine)” in YouTube videos.

Kausthub Desikachar claiming to be an M.D. November 30, 2017 on his YouTube channel.
Kausthub Desikachar claiming to be an M.D. February 8, 2018 on his YouTube channel.

(SOURCE: Click on the images above to open the videos on Kausthub Desikachar’s YouTube channel.)

This would be illegal in most countries, U.S. and India included.

The issue of playing fast and loose with claims in healthcare appears to apply to KHYF as well.

KHYF has applied for trademarks under class 44 (Medical and Veterinary Services) in both India and the USA.

From the KHYF trademark application under class 44 in the USA, they claim to provide:

“Healthcare services featuring yoga therapy; consulting services in the fields of health and nutrition; dietary and nutritional guidance; physical therapy; medical services, namely, providing the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of pain; counseling services in the field of health, nutrition and lifestyle wellness.”

Kausthub Desikachar is the signatory to the above trademark application in the US.

Moreover KHYF claims that the first date of use in each of the above categories was “at least as early as 11/08/2005” and first use in commerce date was “at least as early as 03/23/2006.”

The Trademark Act now defines “use in commerce” as “the bona fide use of a mark in the ordinary course of trade, and not made merely to reserve a right in a mark.” Plainly, mere token use made solely to reserve a right in a mark can no longer meet the statutory definition.

(SOURCE: https://www.fr.com/news/dont-be-confused-about-whether-your-trademark-is-used/)

Kausthub Desikachar examining medical records at KHYF in India.

Has KHYF provided bona fide services in “physical therapy,” and “medical services, namely, providing the diagnosis of non-surgical treatment of pain;” since 2005/2006?

If they did, who were the staff they used and were they licensed to do so? Maybe Kausthub Desikachar claims to have been licensed to provide these services himself since 2005?

In India, KHYF’s and Kausthub Desikachar’s trademark application contains a much larger list of medical services and specialties.

Here is the list of medical services KHYF is attempting to trademark under its name in India and representing to be performing under the mark:

“Physiotherapy; physical therapy; therapy services; yoga therapy services; chiropractic, physiotherapy, acupuncture, osteopathy, sports medicine, massage and paramedical services; medical services, medical assistance, hospitals; medical clinic services; nursing, medical; medical equipment rental; blood bank services; health counselling; health centres; health care; alternative medicine services; hygienic and beauty care for human beings.”

Further, according to the trademark application, “the said mark has been continuously used since 01/01/2016 in respect of the said goods or services.”

Has KHYF has been providing all these areas of healthcare since 2016 in India? If so, where are the staff and licenses?

Would Kausthub Desikachar produce proof that he is M.D. (alternate medicine) from a recognized university?

Would KHYF produce proof of their licensing and clinics that deliver healthcare services?

Claiming to practice or provide medical services without a medical license or medical degree is not a minor issue.

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