(c) Dr.Sudip Raina
I completed my MBBS in 1994 and Post Graduation in 1997… both from SMS Medical College, Jaipur. I subsequently did my Senior Residency from Government Medical College, Jammu. It was during those days that I decided my inclination was towards Surgical Oncology.
I worked for 3 years at Tata Memorial Hospital, Mumbai for my Superspecialization in Surgical Oncology and had 2 years of Experience at Government Medical College, Surat as an Assistant Professor.
In effect, I had worked in either Government or quasi government Institutions for 18 years before I entered Private Practice in New Delhi in 2005 !!!
I was clueless of the ways of Private Practice, especially in the cut throat competition in India’s Capital city. For the first couple of years I tried to conform to what was touted as the ” standard way ‘ to achieve success in Private Practice.
I wined & dined with referring Doctors, attended Conferences, gave Talks , conducted Camps , traveled to neighboring towns blowing my own trumpet, indulged in some form of Cut Practice and spent long hours outside home generating work. It seemed to be working well…… my work picked up quite quickly and I was making good money.
While my work picked up, I noticed that I was spending less & less time with my wife and son . I was doing nothing for my own fitness and was adding on the kilos & losing my stamina. My Blood Pressure started rising. I needed Zolpidem to sleep.
Losing my Father in 2008 came as a rude shock out of the blue. I never imagined that my Superman could actually die…. I somehow presumed he’d always be around. The unraveling of my fantasy world was a wake up call. I HAD TO REGAIN MY OWN LIFE.
Fast forward to today….. I don’t work for more than 6 or 7 hours a day …. I’m back home by 4PM. I do an Out Patient Department ( OPD ) for only 1.5 hours in the morning. No evening Clinic or Consultation. I have stopped attending or traveling to Conferences. I don’t give Talks or travel Outstation for Meetings. Zero Cut Practice. No Referral System. I allow my Team to attend to the Evening rounds. No wining & dining for Professional purposes.
Despite this…. I operate almost as much as I did in the earlier days, I’m making more money, I am a regular at the gym, my Blood Pressure and Weight is normal, I’m physically stronger than most people 20 years younger than me , I sleep 8 hours a day and it isn’t chemically induced or maintained, I travel & vacation regularly, I spend more time with my wife & son …… in short, I’M HAPPY.
We Doctors seemed to have fallen into a trap of our own making. Not realizing that life, especially youth, is not infinite….. in trying to achieve what people expect from us we barter away our lives & happiness chasing an elusive Chimera. I have seen so many Doctors fall into this trap of Minimum Guarantee Payments , Targets , Revenue and Conference hopping….. and end up with pathetic lives.
. PRIORITIZE. YOU , YOURSELF ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT PERSON….. YOU CAN’T HELP OTHERS IF YOU YOURSELF ARE SLEEP DEPRIVED, STRESSED, CHASING TARGETS OR UNHEALTHY.