Rendezvous with Padmasri Dr.Alka Despande

-Interviewed by Hitaishi Thakkar, Medical Student and Blogger

LexiMeet: Medical students empowerment summit was the first ever conference organized by Lexicon magazine to commemorate a decade since its inception.

It was held in Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani hospital on 3-4 September 2022.

It was an absolute honor to be in the organizing committee and experience this wonderful one of a kind event. One of the highlights of the event was the speech by Padmasri Dr. Alka Despande.

Dr. Despande, she’s the quintessential example of the boss woman that she is, graced us with her presence and inspired our delegates.

Her talk included her success story. It’s inspiring how she went from a small town village girl to becoming the pioneer and changemaker in the field of medicine.

She spoke about her struggle with the English language when she started MBBS.

Quoting her, ” Medicine has no language”

We should be proud of our mother tongue and not be ashamed of it.

She also shared her post graduation journey and how she broke all norms and went for the subject she loved the most – Medicine.

During her post graduation, she also taught students passionately even though she was advised against it. Teaching is indeed one of the most gratifying jobs in the world and not “Thankless” as it was told by her peers.

Today her students always fondly remember her classes and that is her real accomplishment.

She went on to establish new wards and continuously break all norms and taboos in the society. In 1990 she set up the first HIV ward and JJ hospital and today she has seen over 25,000 AIDS patients.

She shed light on the various attributes of a good physician and urged the delegates to ponder and bring back the art of history taking in today’s diagnostic world. Medicine is the amalgamation of science & art. A good doctor is an artist, communicator, manager and a healer. Quoting Hippocrates “Wherever the i

art of medicine is loved, there is also a love for humanity”

Modern medicine has been mechanized with various diagnostics and tests. The advent of evidence based medicine has revolutionized today’s medical practice but are we trained to practice it? With all doctors these days running behind the so called ‘super’ specialities they are nothing more than ‘sub’ specialities as quoted by Dr .Alka.

She also spoke about how it’s always the doctor who’s termed as the ‘villain’ for earning money, while the truth is that a doctor being a lifelong learner spends a fortune in building up a successful practice as well as a significant chunk of his youth is spent while getting all these degrees.

Restoring people’s faith in medical science is important and conveying a doctor’s feelings and normalizing the charges is pivotal to the future of the healthcare profession.

Thank you Dr. Alka for gracing us with your presence and for inspiring all the delegates with your wonderful speech.

“Doctor, your devotion & care will bring healing, comfort and hope!

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