A Doctor with a Difference!
I began my journey with NIRMAN in 2014. I was a 2nd-year student of MBBS at the Grant Medical College in Mumbai at that time. As every medical student, my goal was clear, to pursue post-graduation. But what next? What after PG? Maybe super speciality? Maybe private practice? Maybe government practice? I had no idea. As most of the students, I was also unaware of the problems in our society.
When I attended the 1st NIRMAN workshop, I started understanding the challenges which our society faces every day. In the beginning, it was really difficult to digest them and my reaction was that these problems are so big and I can’t do anything about it. It made me helpless. But that’s when I started consciously looking around me and started understanding the gravity of issues faced mostly by the poor and most vulnerable communities in our society. Being working in a government hospital, I did not have to go somewhere else to see how much people suffer. I could feel their helplessness, their limitations to get the healthcare that they really deserve. The 1st workshop of NIRMAN gave me the insight to look into the community and how to identify the problems. As someone said, “Your eyes can’t see what your mind does not know.” So my mind opened and so did my ‘eye’.
But this was just about realisation. What next? Was it enough just to have a realisation of the problems? The answer was NO. This is where the 2nd NIRMAN workshop helped me. The 2nd workshop was about – “Yes there are problems, but how can I contribute to fix them?” The 2nd workshop gave me the tools required to break down a large problem into smaller ones and then try to fix them. It helped me to convert my helplessness about a problem into a realistic approach to solve it, at least partially if not completely. It also helped me keep realistic and achievable targets and not to be in some dreamy state. The first two workshops were mostly about theoretical knowledge though we also got chances to interact with many people who have done significant work in their fields. But again a question came in my mind that these all people were very senior, age-wise and experience-wise, to me. And as usual, I thought it would be easier for them to solve the social problems with their expertise but I’m nowhere near them to do so. The third workshop of NIRMAN was a perfect solution to this query of mine!
In the 3rd workshop, I actually got to meet a lot of youngsters who were of similar age to me and who were currently working on some specific problem in society. This gave me the confidence that this can be done by young people too. As perfectly matching with the true concept of NIRMAN, this was meeting with and being a part of a ‘Team of Young Social Changemakers’!
Throughout these three workshops, one thing has been common – I have made new friends who think like me and who are willing to do something for society.
The whole NIRMAN process helped me to think rationally and make my decisions wisely and not just based on what others are saying or what is trending. I got a habit to put ‘why’ in front of every choice I now make. There are so many influences in our lives, if we go as per their choices then it’s not our life. I got that courage to go against the flow when I felt I should.
After completing my MBBS, I joined the SEARCH Hospital in the remote district of Gadchiroli and worked as a Medical Officer for 10 months. I saw more than 10,000 patients, predominantly from a low socio-economic background, during this period. I handled OPD and IPD duties, helped organize surgical camps, handled emergencies including snakebites and malaria.
This entire experience helped me grow academically, socially and personally and solidified my conviction. I gave my 100% efforts during this MOship, saw a variety of patients and learnt so much clinically. Slowly I started treating the patients as humans and not as persons with a disease. Every patient I saw was an opportunity to learn new things. Talking to patients not just about the disease but about their family and occupation was also a learning experience for me.
I was lucky enough to get guides who helped me understand the meaning of ‘medicine’ beyond the disease and I will be forever grateful to them. I have always believed in quality care and not just a quantitative number of games. Every human deserves quality healthcare. During my MOship period, I met with many people from a variety of backgrounds and learnt a lot about things other than medical education, some of them will be staying with me for the lifetime. With this in mind, I decided to pursue post-graduation in medicine and started preparation for the NEET entrance exam. The preparation year was full of stress and competitiveness, but my experience in MOship helped me in solving my questions and the memories with my patients motivated me to do better. After spending one year exclusively with books I, fortunately, got a good rank and I have now joined a residency in medicine in Mumbai.
I’m looking forward to providing quality care to each and every human being I come across in my work and alleviate his/her suffering as much as possible. I feel that at the end what matters the most is not having any regrets, that I could have done this or that, but I didn’t. I feel content that I enjoyed organising college festivals and going for bike trips with friends during MBBS, I helped my patients during my MOship and also studied day and night when required for the PG preparation. Hopefully, this journey of personal satisfaction and social contribution will continue for years to come!
Dr Amit Giram
NIRMAN 6 Batch
The goal of the NIRMAN program is to contribute to the flourishing of youth in India, facilitate their search for pro-social purpose and nurture them as social contributors.
The selection process for the next batch of NIRMAN is going on right now. To join in the participants have to fill up an introspective application form and a first of kind youth purpose questionnaire.