All of us have had our own dreams and aspirations as to who we would become when we’re all grown up. Some of us have pursued what we wanted to do, while the rest of us had to deviate from our planned routes. Now that we’re all grown up, no matter which line of work we are (or studying to be) in, we tend to forget a very important part of ourselves. Lost in the chaos of down-payments, loan interest rates and deadlines, we tend to lose our other passions. This happens more commonly in medicos, given the pressure and plethora of work they’ve to go through each day.
Yes, work is worship. But to do “just” work can be monotonous and might even diminish the quality of work. Having other interests side by side lets you have something to look forward to and helps you pull through rough times. So instead of comforting yourself with the notion of you being “busy” with hardly any time to spare, trust Dr.Akshay Prabhu when he says, “If you’re really passionate about something, you’ll always find time for it no matter what.”
Born and brought up in Kochi, Kerala he did his schooling from Bhavan’s Vidya Mandir, Girinagar and went on to pursue MBBS from the esteemed Armed Forces Medical College, Pune. Post AFMC, he was Mangalore bound to join PG in the department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology(OBG). On one hand attending to an enormous number of patients each day and earning the prestigious late Dr Radha Bai Memorial award in PG, on the other hand he has balanced sports and music as his extra-curricular activities rather deftly. MB Mangalore discovers how:
MB Mangalore: Why did you join MBBS and what directed you towards choosing OBG as a specialty?
Dr.Akshay Prabhu: Maths was my favourite subject at school. But I didn’t like the specific shortcuts and quick tricks one had to learn in order to solve entrance math questions. So I never wrote engineering entrance exams. My mom is an OBG specialist herself. What influenced me to take up medicine and OBG is the time I spent with her in her clinic. I’d always wanted a surgical specialty. Also OBG is an end-specialty.
MB Mangalore: How was it doing UG in AFMC? How different was it from PG life?
Dr.Akshay Prabhu: To describe in one word, AFMC was – awesome. It’s an institution which gives equal importance to both extra-curricular activities and academics. That worked out favourably for me since I was into a lot of extra-curricular activities. I was the sports captain and played for the college basketball team. We went on to play for various tournaments all around the country. I also played drums for our college band and another band I’d with a group of friends. It was just a few days right before the exams that I’d sit and study. Even while doing PG I didn’t stop playing basketball. Once I was done with my work at the hospital, I’d devote the rest of the evening to playing basketball. And as far as music is concerned, my band is in the process of launching an album sometime in the near future.
MB Mangalore: The current generation of students show very little or no interest in playing sports. What do you think might be the reason for this? How can this scenario be reversed?
Dr.Akshay Prabhu: What I’ve observed is we have a lot of talented sportsmen in the college, equal to or better than any other medical college in the country, but they lack motivation. The girls’ team has been winning continuously since the past 7 years. Whereas certain other teams despite having good players and intense practice didn’t win. And that was a blow to the morale of the team. Victories keep the players motivated and inspire them to keep playing. In today’s fast paced world, everyone wants immediate results. Thus the players can be encouraged by giving them incentives like, if they win one tournament; they get to go for another, extra-marks based on extra-curricular performance and likewise. Also the system can be structured in a better way, having an assigned group of students to take up the sports related responsibilities solely. Playing sports keeps them fit, builds up their confidence, and conditions them to take decisions without panicking. This especially helps medicos a lot when it comes to decision making in clinics/hospital. And about time management, it’s hardly an issue if one is truly passionate about pursuing what they like.
MB Mangalore: Now that PG is done, what’s next on your plan? How’re you planning to incorporate your other interests?
Dr.Akshay Prabhu: I’m planning to do a course which would involve both gynaec-oncology and laparoscopy as those are my areas of interest. Once I’m done with that, I plan to go back and work at our hospital in Kochi. There’s a stadium next to my house where I first started playing basketball. And now, that’ll be my place to continue pursuing my love for basketball.
What students say :
“I play for the cricket team but I used to be fascinated by how Sir would train his basketball team. Sometimes I’d just go play basketball because I felt inspired to be playing when he was training.”
“I’d been posted in the same unit as Sir once, and I remember him being the only calm and composed person there. He’d handle the patients without breaking into a sweat. He used to take classes for us in the posting; he’d break down complex topics into easily understandable points. I used to be scared of OBG before, but once that posting got over, I was no longer afraid thanks to him.”
“No matter we won or lose, it was always a joy to be guided and trained by Sir. He’d always motivate us and build up our confidence. We will miss playing alongside him.”
To stay unruffled in a state of chaos is only possible if one has a stable mind. That is a necessity for all the doctors to have, once they are out there dealing with long queues of patients. Having a healthy and fit body, nurtures the mind to attain that sort of clarity. Medico or not, all of us need to have a calm mind in order to lead happier lives. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead. Dance, play, run!
This interview was taken by Lydia Miriam Abraham and Sreya Banerjee.
Got any interesting anecdotes or med-school stories? Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.