Coming from a lower middle-class family in India in the late 90s, I didn’t have much of an option but to pursue medical. Doctors were sought to be noblemen and were treated with respect. I was good at academics, so I became a first-generation medical student. Once graduated, I did my Masters in Surgery, and I worked at the Government Medical College, Mandya, and eventually became the Head of the Department – Surgery.
I always wanted to help the needy with medical facilities, especially those who couldn’t afford it. By helping people around, I gained this sense of confidence and responsibility to do more, but the challenge was how?
I’m a colorectal surgeon, so while practising medicine, I came across several cases of men and women, from villages, who suppress their bowel movements for more extended periods and in turn develop fissure, fistula, haemorrhoids, etc. Women do so because they don’t have toilets in their houses and wait for sunset or go before sunrise to defecate. Men who serve as labourers can’t afford to pause in their shift times in fear of losing money. While working at the hospital and running a parallel practice, I developed this philosophy that we should not turn people away for the lack of funds. This philosophy was then translated into the team I ran my parallel practice with, and we started practising it in whichever way possible.
The practice was pretty unorganised and then arose the need to put some structure to this practice. I turned to management institutes but then turned it down simply because I wanted to learn how to run a hospital. The faculty at ISB resonated with my philosophy, and my dream to open my own practice began to materialise.
I was always a parallel entrepreneur but coming to ISB’s Advanced Management Programme for Healthcare, completely transformed me as an entrepreneur. I left my job and became a full-time entrepreneur in 2017-18. By implementing the learnings from ISB at my practice, the revenues of my facility went up by 10x, and we are now four units across old Mysore and Bengaluru region. We are the fastest growing colorectal treatment facility in the country.
Currently, about 36% of India’s population suffers from some colorectal problem. Moreover, 50% of people have experienced some colorectal issue in their life. Recently, I interacted with Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman of NITI Aayog, and we are now working towards making a national movement to create awareness about colorectal problems. I joined Equitable Healthcare Access (EHA) Consortium through ISB, which has served over 36,000 people since 2018. With this, I am creating awareness among people about the seriousness of colorectal problems, lifestyle diseases and whom to turn to in case of problems.
I believe all clinicians should gain some management education to become good doctors. Patient experience, patient engagement, acquiring patient, clinical outcomes, etc. are all essential to becoming good doctors. It is extremely humbling to take away people’s pain and watch them smile.
This #DoctorsDay, I advise doctors to rekindle the spirit of serving and healing people within the medical community.
Know more about AMPH, here.