Mentoring in Medicine: LEXIMEET 2022

-Dr. Tejal Lathia

It was my privilege to attend the LEXIMEET 2022 – superbly organised by Dr. Suranjana Basak and her team at Navi Mumbai recently. I was invited for a panel discussion to discuss why I chose Endocrinology as a specialty. 

Endocrinology is a branch that maximises the quality of life for patients, is very rewarding for the doctor to treat, has great work: life balance, and the best part is – you will never run out of patients with the raging epidemic of diabetes and obesity our country is grappling with.

Dr. Vaishali Lokhande, an eminent physician from Navi Mumbai gave a well-prepared insightful talk highlighting the attributes needed to make a good physician, the pros and cons of becoming one, and how the experience was in the field depending on what kind of practice you had – private vs government vs municipal practice. It needs the ability to upgrade knowledge quickly and manage several bodily systems simultaneously.

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Dr. Pawan Ojha spoke of the giant strides in the field of Neurology made in diagnostics and treatment. He discussed the advent of artificial intelligence and how there was scope for research and practice in neurology.

Dr. G R Kane, a cardiologist was in a sentimental mood – reminiscing about the respect the doctor in his village received, how he became a doctor not by choice but because his parents chose it for him. How interventions in cardiology revolutionised the field of cardiology, reducing their reliance on cardiothoracic surgeons. He spoke of much sub-specialization in cardiology and each of these had become an entity all on its own.

But as I was preparing for this talk, I confess I was feeling just a teeny tiny bit jealous. I found myself daydreaming as to how amazing it would have been if there had been such interactions with seniors in the healthcare field when I was a young student. 

Much of the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty would have been minimised.

I remember struggling with the choices at the time of my DM counseling as to what branch to opt for. I had never even met an Endocrinologist in my life when I chose my specialty. Though I have no regrets today, it would have been nice to jump into the field with a little more clarity.

After the discussion, 2 students walked up to me, requesting if I could help them with some kind of remote research work that would aid them in their applications for training abroad. As some of my research work is with a group of medical students based in Birmingham, UK – I could guide them – open doors for them. 

From the outside, healthcare practice seems to be highly competitive and cutthroat.

Time to get rid of toxicity from our medical curriculum. 

I have always received help from good mentors and seniors. It is time that we encourage timely, healthy interactions between medical students, PG students, and faculty to foster harmony and understanding. 

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