Career Choices

Journey: From a dentist to a management student

‘For a healthcare professional like me, life has always been about contributing to society in the best possible way, hence, for me it is not just about succeeding. But it is about creating an impact.’

Makrand Wadodkar

Management Student at IMT Ghaziabad, Dentist (BDS)

In today’s time, when the world appears complex and extremely competitive, it is crucial to understand yourself and drive your career in a way that takes into consideration the bigger vision you have for yourself. Most of the students are at the pinnacle of their academic career after completing graduation when they opt in for higher studies.

For a healthcare professional like me, life has always been about contributing to society in the best possible way, hence, for me it is not just about succeeding. But it is about creating an impact.

Most doctors usually go for a masters in similar disciplines as their graduation. However, we belong to a time where aligning your skills to the best of your interests so as to contribute to the society in the most efficient manner is as important as analyzing and evaluating them.

During my graduation, I came across stories of Doctors who operated clinics successfully in a very crowded and a competitive space. Only after interacting with them that I got to know that most of the clinicians learnt this through years of trial and error. In the process, they had to go through a lot of personal as well as professional sufferings. I realized that our curriculum does not emphasize as much on these skills.  It was evident that medicine today is no longer just a doctor-patient relationship but a multifactorial process involving hospitals, physicians, pharmaceuticals, hospital administration, medical equipment, clinical trials and much more. Business acumen and sense of professional service delivery being some traits of successfull doctors. This drove me to understand the need to learn the basics of business and management.

A few years back, I was one student, amongst rest others, who was happy to have earned the highly coveted white apron. It was only after attending an enriching seminar from Dr. Rajeev Chitguppi, a dentist and an entrepreneur, that I started evaluating myself on various fronts. He mentioned the role of management skills in healthcare and healthcare individuals.

I think of myself as an inquisitive individual trying to look at things from various perspectives. Hence, being the cultural head of my college, I started exploring management skills, understanding the dynamics of team work, accountability and responsibility followed by a purpose driven approach. I gradually realized that the skill sets that I have can also be put into practice on the management front, for a greater good.

However, a rational decision cannot be completely intuitive. After passing my final year and commencing with my one-year mandatory internship, I had the opportunity to engage on a personal level with my professors and mentors. I made a short list of skills and requested them to rate me for each on a scale of 1-10.

I observed that most of them gave me a much higher rating for skills such as communication and organization in comparison to operative or hands-on skills and dexterity. This further bolstered me to pursue a career in management. I was fortunate enough to reach out to a few senior medical professionals who followed the same path and I had their guidance throughout. I also came across a few people who would criticize me saying that I might regret my decision. It always reminded me of Zig Ziglar’s words, ‘With integrity, you have nothing to fear, since you have nothing to hide. With integrity, you will do the right thing, so you will have no guilt’.

It is delusive that someone from a medical or any other diverse background cannot perform well in the management entrance exams. Undoubtedly, the challenges ahead are manifold. As Winston Churchill once said, ‘Success is not final; failure is not fatal; it is the courage to continue that counts.’

The challenges are going to push one out of one’s comfort zone and build up on previous knowledge with addition of newer skills. The synergy arising out of it can help an individual to evolve as a human being and develop a holistic approach towards problem solving. The opportunities are numerous and challenges enormous to embark on this career pathway.

I am now a proud student of IMT Ghaziabad, a renowned b-school. And to sum it all I would just say that the paramount purpose of our lives is to manifest our talents in such a way that they add value to this world and make it a better place to live in.

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