“Medical Profession. Long hours. Little sleep.
White Coat. Caught in books. Knee-deep.
Cups of coffee. Alert mind.Striking off DD*s .
A person.Inside it all.With a lot more to that personality”
(*DD= differential diagnosis)
The life of a doctor is no less than an epic drama series. It is interesting and exciting. But at the same time needs a lot of hard-work and determination. With lives at stake, it’s not easy to keep oneself neutral and still cling onto sanity. But it all seems so small, when we look at doctors who have their world under control, despite all the chaos.
So, what is it like really? We set out to find it by interviewing Associate Professor of Medicine, KMC Mangalore; Dr.Basavaprabhu Achappa.Born and brought up in the city of Davangere, he went on to do his MBBS in the esteemed JJM Medical College, Davangere . In 2004, it was Mangalore calling when he came to KMC Mangalore to pursue his course in M.D, where he bagged the prestigious B.M.Hegde Medal for cardio-respiratory medicine.
MB Mangalore : What made you take up medicine as a profession?
Dr.Basavaprabhu A : I come from a family of doctors. Seeing them day in and day out checking up on patients, writing prescriptions and saving lives; it seemed only natural for me to follow their footsteps. So there I was, knowing very early on that I wanted to be one of them.
MB Mangalore : How was undergraduate life different from your postgraduate life?
Dr.Basavaprabhu A : Undergraduate life was a lot of fun. The huge syllabus was always there, but we could still take part in a lot of extra-curricular activities, go for outings, trips and maybe sometimes even bunk classes. But PG life was quite serious. You are accountable for what you do, there are many responsibilities and less leisure time. But you can still manage to have some fun despite the hectic schedule.
MB Mangalore : What do you like doing in your free time? Any hobbies?
Dr.Basavaprabhu A : I love traveling the most. Till now I have traveled to 19 countries and counting. My favourite place in the world will always be Mangalore itself, but Rome comes a close second. It’s an amazing experience to explore new places, cultures and meet new people.Apart from that I like catching up on sports and watching movies.
MB Mangalore : What are your favourite movies?
Dr.Basavaprabhu A : There are many, Forrest Gump, Saving Private Ryan, The Terminal to name a few. Basically most of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks’ movies.
MB Mangalore : What’s the most replayed song on your playlist presently?
Dr.Basavaprabhu A : There are a lot of classics, some English songs , some Hindi songs. The tune I’m hooked on to right now is “Teri Gaaliyan” from the movie Ek Villian.
MB Mangalore : What advice do you have for the upcoming generation of doctors?
Dr.Basavaprabhu A : Study well but don’t let it be the only thing you do. One should always go for extra-curricular activities and learn how to work with a team. And another important thing for medical students today is research work. The opportunities to do research projects are endless and it helps make your CV better. I have guided my students for many such projects and they have been presented both in India and outside. Next thing to do after finishing the project is getting it published. A publication in a well renowned journal just adds a feather to your cap. I have 39 published articles, but still I feel driven to do more.
What students say :
“In our medicine posting , I remember once sir asked us something. Being in the final year, it was a lot of pressure on us to answer.We didn’t know the answer. So , sir quickly changed the topic to cricket and asked us the scores. And then moved on to many other topics of the world, making the atmosphere lighter. And then he told us what the answer was. Without making us appear as idiots in front of the juniors or scolding us, he gave us the answer. How cool is that ? ”
“Sir is very approachable. That is the reason so many students ask him to guide their ICMR-STS and other projects. Being from an absolute non-medical background, I had second thoughts and doubts about doing such a project. But sir helped me do it just fine and I even went on to present it abroad.”
“An absolute encyclopedia of everything. He knows everything! You name it and he’ll know about it .”
Wasn’t that inspiring? Breaks so many cliches. Yes, you can be a doctor as well as your own unique person at the same time.
Interested in being a doctor? Any medical school stories? You can send in your contributions and feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This interview was taken by Lydia Miriam Abraham and Sreya Banerjee.