I belong to a family of scholars. Even though I was good at academics, I was not someone who knew what she is going to do in her life. I happened to join a course in alternative medicine because a friend was doing so. The subject never enticed me, but it gave me a direction. I believed that I could be a good fit in managing hospitals.

With that bit of clarity, I took a distance learning course in management and started working at Indus hospitals as a Team Lead – Quality Compliance. I continued working at Indus, and in due course, I was made the Head of Department – Preventive and Occupational Health at Indus Hospitals.

I soon discovered that managing a team and managing a department required very different skillsets. I had acquired some of them, but those weren’t enough. I was to draft plans for bettering several procedures and procurement processes along with the daily management and operations. I believe that I am fortunate to have realised and acknowledged the fact that I need to learn to acquire newer skills sooner to become better at my job.

I looked at several programmes, but none of them seemed as polished and refined as the Advanced Management Programme for Healthcare at ISB. The faculty at ISB understood my background and my aspirations. The programme had peers from various backgrounds but similar seniority levels. The class diversity helped me understand different facets of running a hospital and revealed perspectives that I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

In my medical education, I was taught almost everything about healing the physical ailments of a patient, but never about patient experience, patient engagement, acquiring patient, etc. These skills are imperative for running any hospital today, simply because of rising competition. Digitalisation has taken over several processes and has saved human intervention for mundane jobs. It was only at ISB that I learned the importance of having these skills and the impact of having lesser waiting time at the hospitals’ receptions.

Today, I am managing five hospitals in the Tricity area – three in Mohali, one in Fatehgarh, one in Derabassi – all while being a single mother. I take pride in saying that the waiting rooms of my hospitals have optimised wait time, and all the operations are run efficiently.

This #DoctorsDay, I ask doctors to continue their learning process and do not limit it to clinical education. There is a lot that is needed to become a good doctor than just having clinical expertise.

– Dr Vandana Sharma
Director – Administrative Services at Indus Hospitals, Mohali
AMPH Class of 2019