Humans of Medicine

Humans of Medicine
Humans of Medicine

🌍Sharing stories of healthcare professionals, one story at a time.💉🩺 🖊 📧: doc.humans.of.medicine@gmail.com (DM or e-mail to share your story).

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We need your help! 
 
As you all know, we recently started a new IG live series (which you can also find in our IGTV section).  
 
The main purpose behind this was to conduct fun and candid interviews with doctors and other medical professionals. And in this way, we hope that people can get to know medical professionals better- their life in medicine, their fun side and their life outside of medicine!

We hope that you will enjoy these videos and that they can garner a few laughs! 
 
And here’s where we need your help: please give us a few suggestions regarding how we can conduct these interviews better, fun topics we can touch upon, the kind of questions we should ask etc.. 
 
Comment your suggestions below or DM them to us! 

Thank you!😊

Humans of Medicine

We need your help!    As you all know, we recently started a new IG live series (which you can also find in our IGTV section).     The main purpose behind this was to conduct fun and candid interviews with doctors and other medical professionals. And in this way, we hope that people can get to know medical professionals better- their life in medicine, their fun side and their life outside of medicine! We hope that you will enjoy these videos and that they can garner a few laughs!    And here’s where we need your help: please give us a few suggestions regarding how we can conduct these interviews better, fun topics we can touch upon, the kind of questions we should ask etc..   Comment your suggestions below or DM them to us!  Thank you!😊

Chennai, India

Humans of Medicine

“As a new anesthesiology resident, I was dejected to see the scrubs that I would have to wear for the rest of my professional life inside the OR. Having drooled over the quality and variety of scrubs available abroad, I always wondered how nice it would be to have such trendy scrubs in our ORs in India. With this nagging thought in the back of my mind, I went on with the humdrum of life.     When COVID happened, the number of doctors wearing scrubs to the workplace increased and I had a brainwave! I took a leap of faith, and my third baby SCRUB UP! was born! I thought that it was now or never; and with one tailor and 5 meters of cloth, I took my first order.     Juggling between patients in a pandemic, family and business is difficult, but I feel blessed to be able to have so much diversity in my life; not only in terms of profession but also in terms of what I wear to the OR! SCRUB UP! has been garnering much attention from friends and people from the medical fraternity.     Finally, I can see my dream being fulfilled- one smiling medical professional at a time. 😊”

India

Humans of Medicine

(2/2) “All these thoughts spun inside me, as my head lay back against the soft cushions of the seat. The emotions I had tried so hard to conceal began pouring from my eyes. I was distracted from these thoughts as the plane tipped forward, ready to land. The destination, Mumbai, had been reached. Grant Medical College became my new foundation. My days were spent attending college lectures and practicals. In addition to that, a brand-new hostel life awaited me. Staying up till midnight, studying and chatting with my hostel buddies became a part of my normal routine. This is where I learnt what it meant to have a family away from home. The time in medical college just flew by.     After my graduation, I moved again - this time back to New Delhi, where my family was living at the time. One Sunday, as I sat fussing over a Surgery question, my dad informed me that we would be moving to Nepal in a month. Even though a premonition of this moment had occurred to me, I sat open-mouthed, staring at the wall.     Before I knew it, the thirty days were over. Sitting on a chair in the Indira Gandhi International Airport, I counted the number of homes and schools that I had adjusted to. My medical college in Mumbai was my thirteenth academy and my home the twenty-fourth. Despite the sadness of leaving, I was excited to see a new culture especially that of India’s neighbouring country.     Reflecting on the moves I have embodied in my life, I found that they have taught me to treasure all my memories and made me realize the importance of  what I have, especially of the times that I spend with my friends. These experiences have moulded me into the person I am today.     As I imagined what Nepal had in store for me, a voice on the speaker jolted me from my thoughts. The final boarding call was announced, but I knew in my heart that this would not be my last journey…” -Dr. Neeharika Jaiswal (@brain.and_mind)

India

Humans of Medicine

(1/2) “Two AM. Feeling restless, I peered out the window of the airplane, glancing longingly down at the country I was about to leave. A voice within spoke,  wanting me to stay. It seemed like yesterday that I had first come to Thailand. Three years flew by. Being the daughter of a diplomat, I had to move and this was not the first time.     The whole globe has been my home. At the age of four, I moved to Zanzibar, where I spent two years. The image of being driven to school in a ‘dala-dala’ (a vehicle) is still fresh in my mind. Here, my first independence began: I learned to read, write and swim on my own.     The next place in my journey was Hazaribagh. Attending the same school as my cousins and living with my mother’s side of the family for a year, I grasped the idea of sharing my toys, food and books. This fun soon ended when my mother announced that we would be moving to New Delhi, seven days later. At the age of six, I wondered why we had to leave.       With New Delhi came another life, a different school and new friends. Slowly, I settled down in the new environment; but after two years, my father declared that we would be moving again; this time to Ashgabat.     With tears in my eyes, I watched my family pack, gazing avidly at my toys and books being placed in a carton. I said goodbye to my friends and we left for  Ashgabat, where hikes, trips, gardening, and pottery entertained my time. Every day the librarians anticipated my arrival and the books waited for their pages to be turned. Reading and writing poetry became an inseparable part of me. By collaborating with my classmates on projects, I acquired team work skills. Feeling a great sense of pride and satisfaction, I helped several foreign exchange students with their English.     Next destination in my life was the Big Apple - New York City. I developed my identity at this place as my formative teenage years were spent here. At my high school here, I made friends from all corners of the globe having diverse cultures, religions and languages. These experiences shaped me to be an open-minded and non-judgmental person.” -Dr. Neeharika Jaiswal (@brain.and_mind)

Mumbai, Maharashtra
“A hub to a million imaginations
Stand right in front of me
Which one I want to be a part of 
Is a question daunting.
 
I pick a love story
Trying to be a part of the flowery romance
It might seem a little distant at first
But soon it grows over me at its pace. 
 
And then I flip pages of a thriller
Escaping my life stuck in a lag phase
The twists and turns get sharp ahead
I am still trying to figure out the maze. 
 
Time to get inspired 
I choose one of the autobiographies
The life of a protagonist is so overwhelming
And yet, they are just like you and me. 
 
Shooing away the melancholy in four walls 
I pick up the genre of comedy
Without watching any facial expressions
I still laugh on every joke, remark and parody. 
 
They are just a bunch of pages
Bind together so strong and neat
Is there anyone alone in this world
When you have books to greet?”

Humans of Medicine

“A hub to a million imaginations Stand right in front of me Which one I want to be a part of  Is a question daunting.   I pick a love story Trying to be a part of the flowery romance It might seem a little distant at first But soon it grows over me at its pace.    And then I flip pages of a thriller Escaping my life stuck in a lag phase The twists and turns get sharp ahead I am still trying to figure out the maze.    Time to get inspired  I choose one of the autobiographies The life of a protagonist is so overwhelming And yet, they are just like you and me.    Shooing away the melancholy in four walls  I pick up the genre of comedy Without watching any facial expressions I still laugh on every joke, remark and parody.    They are just a bunch of pages Bind together so strong and neat Is there anyone alone in this world When you have books to greet?”

London, United Kingdom

Humans of Medicine

“Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians have such a vital role to play in patient care and our contribution is often overlooked. Throughout the pandemic, pharmacy teams around the world have worked tirelessly on the front lines to provide direct patient care. I am a pharmacist working in ICU at Royal London Hospital. I want to shed some light on our roles as hospital pharmacists in the NHS. We participate in bedside rounds with ICU doctors, nurses and other inpatient teams to advise on the optimal medications, ensuring correct dosing, preventing drug-drug and drug-disease interactions, side effects & suggesting alternative medications where necessary. We also assess patient’s kidney, liver function and other relevant tests and advising on minimising toxicity and improving efficacy of prescribed medications. We have a significant role in developing COVID-19 management protocols, research protocols and clinical trial protocols. We provide advice on alternative routes of administration, where there are drug shortages or patients are unable to swallow or absorb medications. We help in optimising the drug choices where there are critical national drug shortages. We help in adapting medication schedules to reduce nurses' time spent on administering medications. And, we continue to provide access of all essential medications timely, throughout the day. I want to thank my dream team, pharmacists Rubeena and Bijal and Pre-registration pharmacists @Raisa.rhmn; everyone has been working incredibly hard to make sure that critical medicines are never in short supply at ward level and ensuring timely delivery of medications to patients.”

United Kingdom
“As an individual, but more importantly as a nurse, this is one of the best things I can do to protect myself, my patients, my family and my friends- getting the COVID-19 vaccination. 

I feel blessed and privileged to have received it.

Please don’t hesitate — take the vaccine when it is offered to you. Don’t believe any of the antivaxxer narrative, this disease is real and serious as I have seen first-hand, it has sadly both harmed and taken lives.

Much love!❤️”

- Soumya Sononey

Humans of Medicine

“As an individual, but more importantly as a nurse, this is one of the best things I can do to protect myself, my patients, my family and my friends- getting the COVID-19 vaccination. I feel blessed and privileged to have received it. Please don’t hesitate — take the vaccine when it is offered to you. Don’t believe any of the antivaxxer narrative, this disease is real and serious as I have seen first-hand, it has sadly both harmed and taken lives. Much love!❤️” - Soumya Sononey

Chhattisgarh
“One day, when I was working in my OPD, a 14-year-old girl came to me for consultation. Her complaint- not looking good enough. She smiled timidly and said, ‘Please doctor, I want to look better. Prescribe some medications and creams so that I can become beautiful.’ 
 
Her worried mother had accompanied her; and she told me in private that her daughter is obsessed with how ‘perfect’ actresses look on TV, that she was willing to do anything to look like them and that she had developed a negative body image. Her mother begged me to explain to her daughter the difference between reel life and real life, since the girl would be more accepting if a doctor told her that. 
 
This incident got me thinking about the number of facial filters and editing apps available today. When these were rolled out initially, they were exciting. Looking at edited and ‘filtered’ versions of ourselves gave us a lot of fun. But this is slowly becoming problematic. It is detaching us from the reality that all of us have flaws and imperfections- and it is beautiful; they complete us. When these apps airbrush away our acne, add eyelashes, lip tint and whiten our teeth, a false ‘flawless’ beauty image is created. Constantly looking at ‘filtered’ versions of ourselves and sharing edited images on social media is fostering a fixation on how we look to others, to the point where a negative body image develops and it affects our mental health. 
 
Millions of new images are uploaded on social media every day. And, with the rising use of filters, the images to which people are comparing themselves to are not a reflection of reality. Real beauty lies in embracing imperfections, since they make us who we are. It is time we ditch the false beauty standards created by social media and start being happy in our own skin. 
 
Be-YOU-tiful. 
 
P.S: I’m sharing my own picture with and without a filter; it took me courage to share this since I do NOT like myself in the edited version.”

Humans of Medicine

“One day, when I was working in my OPD, a 14-year-old girl came to me for consultation. Her complaint- not looking good enough. She smiled timidly and said, ‘Please doctor, I want to look better. Prescribe some medications and creams so that I can become beautiful.’    Her worried mother had accompanied her; and she told me in private that her daughter is obsessed with how ‘perfect’ actresses look on TV, that she was willing to do anything to look like them and that she had developed a negative body image. Her mother begged me to explain to her daughter the difference between reel life and real life, since the girl would be more accepting if a doctor told her that.    This incident got me thinking about the number of facial filters and editing apps available today. When these were rolled out initially, they were exciting. Looking at edited and ‘filtered’ versions of ourselves gave us a lot of fun. But this is slowly becoming problematic. It is detaching us from the reality that all of us have flaws and imperfections- and it is beautiful; they complete us. When these apps airbrush away our acne, add eyelashes, lip tint and whiten our teeth, a false ‘flawless’ beauty image is created. Constantly looking at ‘filtered’ versions of ourselves and sharing edited images on social media is fostering a fixation on how we look to others, to the point where a negative body image develops and it affects our mental health.    Millions of new images are uploaded on social media every day. And, with the rising use of filters, the images to which people are comparing themselves to are not a reflection of reality. Real beauty lies in embracing imperfections, since they make us who we are. It is time we ditch the false beauty standards created by social media and start being happy in our own skin.    Be-YOU-tiful.    P.S: I’m sharing my own picture with and without a filter; it took me courage to share this since I do NOT like myself in the edited version.”

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Humans of Medicine

“When the MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) issued my compulsory COVID-19 duty order, I was really stressed. With the times being uncertain, I was really apprehensive and didn’t know what to expect. But I cleared my head, made up my mind to stay strong and face this challenge. I was posted for a month in the ICU of the biggest designated COVID-19 hospital in Mumbai, Seven Hills Hospital.    My ICU team consisted of 40 doctors who had come from Kerala for Mission Mumbai, and they were the most fun doctors to work with! The senior doctors, Dr. Aneesh and Dr. Sajeesh were very patient and helpful while teaching us the basics of the working of ICU, ventilation and critical care. (Unfortunately, I don't have a picture with them.) Our colleagues who came from Kerala were highly efficient and really helpful; I'm thankful to them, for, without them, we wouldn't have been able function so smoothly like we did. I also made some really great friends while on this journey- @ash_shinde10, @nidhi_shah1294, @sushrutkerkar2309 (Thank you guys for making this easier!❤️)   Donning and doffing the PPE is no easy task; but with every change in shift, we knew that we had to relieve our colleagues, enter the ICU and take care of the patients, who were suffering from this dreadful disease. We were their only source of comfort since they were all away from family. I hope that, throughout my days in the frontline, I gave some care and comfort to the patients, to the best of my ability.     I pray for the people catching COVID-19, for them to recover quickly and for them to reunite with their families... I hope this pandemic ends soon; but in the meantime, I strongly recommend caution to the general public- wearing masks, washing hands and maintaining social distancing. PLEASE. It's the only way. As doctors, we are doing our job and following simple measures is the least that can be done to reduce the burden on the healthcare system until this storm passes...”

Bangalore, India
“MOSAIC
 
A regular twilight by the seaside shack
With familiar aromas of sand and dusty undertones
Smiled away a bright bunch of florals
Unmasking the grey horizon, struggling to blend in
 
That numbing glass of wine
And the coffee with sugar so high
Whispered along with moderation
Surpassing the screams of indulgence

As the caged bird chirped along
Oblivious to existence, yearning for validation
Blissful waves and anxious prayers
Echoed around in an orchestra
 
A ricochet of regrets and rejoices
Patterned fumbles and flourishes
Encompassed the sundown
Overlooking the next rays
 
With warm wind blowing upon her face
And worn feet over the old mosaic, she thought
As she arched her neck with a wry smile
Well, ain't this how it's supposed to be?”

Humans of Medicine

“MOSAIC   A regular twilight by the seaside shack With familiar aromas of sand and dusty undertones Smiled away a bright bunch of florals Unmasking the grey horizon, struggling to blend in   That numbing glass of wine And the coffee with sugar so high Whispered along with moderation Surpassing the screams of indulgence As the caged bird chirped along Oblivious to existence, yearning for validation Blissful waves and anxious prayers Echoed around in an orchestra   A ricochet of regrets and rejoices Patterned fumbles and flourishes Encompassed the sundown Overlooking the next rays   With warm wind blowing upon her face And worn feet over the old mosaic, she thought As she arched her neck with a wry smile Well, ain't this how it's supposed to be?”

Munich, Germany
"I’m Ibrahim and I'm a 25 year old MD from Germany. I finished medical school this year; I'm now aiming to become a surgeon. My motivation to get through medical school became the image of the doctor I want to be in the future- someone who’s both up to date with clinical knowledge and capable of building a strong rapport with patients and colleagues."

Humans of Medicine

"I’m Ibrahim and I'm a 25 year old MD from Germany. I finished medical school this year; I'm now aiming to become a surgeon. My motivation to get through medical school became the image of the doctor I want to be in the future- someone who’s both up to date with clinical knowledge and capable of building a strong rapport with patients and colleagues."

Derby UK

Humans of Medicine

“The main reason I became a doctor is to make a difference... Whilst my career as a doctor is extremely fulfilling and rewarding, I have always had a passion for music and playing the piano.     The morale has been low during COVID-19, with my trust in particular being badly affected. Just before Christmas, I had the idea of playing Christmas Carols in the Paediatric Outpatients Department. This Christmas was not like any ordinary Christmas; COVID understandably had taken away the focus from what is usually a fun and exciting time of the year, especially for the children. My aim was to bring a smile to their faces! It was not a lot, but I'm glad I was able to bring some festive cheer to boost the staff and patient morale!     As mentioned previously, making a difference to people’s lives is what motivates me. Whether that’s in my capacity as a doctor or a musician, I will always strive to do my best for patients and people in general!  I’m Sidharth; and I’m a Junior Doctor working at the Royal Derby Hospital.”

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Humans of Medicine

“I received an email from the MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) on the 16th of June, 2020 for compulsory deployment to the COVID ward and ICU for frontline duty. I appeared for the interview and received a pleasant surprise- my friend, Shwetha (who’d been my colleague for many years) was also posted for duty in the same hospital! We were posted for a 30-day shift in a BMC hospital.    On our first day, we were anxious because, BMC hospitals are known to be a little chaotic and overcrowded with patients. But surprisingly, the hospital was maintained well. It was when we donned the PPE for the first time did we realise that it was no walk in the park... 9-10 hours with no food, no water, no washroom breaks and not touching our face... I also had an additional problem because, the PPEs that were available to us were of universal size, and being 5’10’’ tall, it was certainly an issue to put it on! It wouldn’t cover my legs completely and the cap wouldn’t reach my head; it was a task for me and Shwetha to tape ourselves up with all the tight bandages (like Egyptian Mummies!), and we couldn’t even see clearly through the glasses. After doffing the PPE, the most challenging part was to not drink water until after taking a shower despite being really thirsty.     It was definitely tough working the frontline; staying away from family for 2 months straight was not easy; there were gloomy days when we sorely missed them and just a video call wasn’t enough. Then again, we were working for the greater good and our day brightened whenever patients showered us with love and gratitude for taking care of them. Working in the frontline taught us a lot; not just in terms of medical knowledge, but, how when a total stranger is lying sick in a hospital bed, you become their emotional support... their family...    And amidst all this, I and Shwetha were each other’s support systems. When our posting and quarantine ended, we were relieved and eager to go home and see our family; but there was a part of us which missed working in the frontline together... And this was the highlight of 2020 for the two of us.”

London, United Kingdom
“I finished a very busy week in the pharmacy, and I’m feeling exhausted and tired... Also a little lost for words.

My colleagues and I have witnessed how different this lockdown feels. Sadly, people are simply not taking it seriously this time. 

We’ve seen huge numbers of people coming into busy pharmacies to browse at candles, beauty products, and even to get their photos developed. I’m not quite sure how essential these things are. 

If anyone needs medical advice or genuine essential items, then of course, we urge people to please do come and see us. (This is in no way meant to deter anyone away from that.) We are very much open and are supporting the NHS as best as we possibly can. 

But please, if anyone needs non-essential items - think twice about coming inside a pharmacy where there are potentially vulnerable patients.

Let’s end this pandemic together.”

Humans of Medicine

“I finished a very busy week in the pharmacy, and I’m feeling exhausted and tired... Also a little lost for words. My colleagues and I have witnessed how different this lockdown feels. Sadly, people are simply not taking it seriously this time. We’ve seen huge numbers of people coming into busy pharmacies to browse at candles, beauty products, and even to get their photos developed. I’m not quite sure how essential these things are. If anyone needs medical advice or genuine essential items, then of course, we urge people to please do come and see us. (This is in no way meant to deter anyone away from that.) We are very much open and are supporting the NHS as best as we possibly can. But please, if anyone needs non-essential items - think twice about coming inside a pharmacy where there are potentially vulnerable patients. Let’s end this pandemic together.”

Nagpur

Humans of Medicine

“One day, early in the morning, I received a call from my colleague saying that one of our patients who had a fractured tibia and was admitted under us since a few days, had tested positive for COVID-19. This patient was tested as a part of the hospital protocol of testing all the in-patients for COVID-19. Since all the doctors in the unit had been seeing him every day, we were all required to get tested. 
 
None of us were symptomatic. But our whole unit collapsed. We were all quarantined for more than a week. After the quarantine period, we were tested again. Surprisingly, only one of us tested positive.     Later, the patient’s relatives started to blame us that their patient turned positive BECAUSE OF US! I was shocked and didn’t understand WHY!   
For how long can we healthcare workers survive, going in every day, taking care of incredibly sick patients, worrying about running out of resources— and feeling isolated from everyone and unappreciated? Mentally it’s draining and very difficult to overcome. It is just anybody’s guess how long this will go on for. It feels horrible right now, and it’s going to get worse. 
 
What gets me through the day are the texts, phone calls and meals sent by my friends and family, constantly reminding me that they’re rooting for me and love me. I’m grateful to work with a highly efficient and caring team that will continue to show up every day to give patients the best care possible. 
 
I would like to say to the general public that there is no point in lighting lamps, clapping and showing fake gratitude towards us if we’re not respected as human beings, let alone as medical professionals.”

London, United Kingdom
“It’s not possible to study medicine and have a baby! Or is it? I'm Ellie and I did exactly that! I am currently in my fourth year of medical school in London and happen to have planned to have my first baby whilst training to be a doctor. My daughter is now just over a year old and I can honestly say being both a medical student and a mum has been amazing!  
 
Many people feel it is simply not possible to start a family during a medical degree, and this extends on through to specialty training, with women finding it increasingly difficult to find the ‘right’ time to have a baby. After speaking to many women in medicine, ranging from medical students to consultants, they often are really encouraged by my story. It made me want to share it with others and I have since created @medicmumma in hope to reassure others that it is possible to balance starting a family and training to be a doctor!”

Humans of Medicine

“It’s not possible to study medicine and have a baby! Or is it? I'm Ellie and I did exactly that! I am currently in my fourth year of medical school in London and happen to have planned to have my first baby whilst training to be a doctor. My daughter is now just over a year old and I can honestly say being both a medical student and a mum has been amazing!     Many people feel it is simply not possible to start a family during a medical degree, and this extends on through to specialty training, with women finding it increasingly difficult to find the ‘right’ time to have a baby. After speaking to many women in medicine, ranging from medical students to consultants, they often are really encouraged by my story. It made me want to share it with others and I have since created @medicmumma in hope to reassure others that it is possible to balance starting a family and training to be a doctor!”

New York, New York

Humans of Medicine

“I’m an Internal Medicine Hospitalist and a Palliative Care doctor. As a locum hospitalist doctor, I travel to areas all over the country where there is a shortage of doctors.    Throughout the pandemic, I have worked in field hospitals with COVID patients. The need is now so high in so many states, it’s heartbreaking to see cases increase and patients suffer. The fact that pop-up facilities and doctors are needed means that we’re not headed in a good direction. Seeing so many patients die has been the toughest part.    It’s been a tough ride, but I am so amazed at how the medical community has really banded together during the pandemic.    We urge everyone to understand the severity of what is happening and take proper precautions to help stop the spread.    Stay safe and wear a mask😷...”

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Humans of Medicine

“In May 2020, the pandemic was rampaging across the globe, and we were in one of the worst hit cities, Mumbai. I was a pediatric haemato-oncology fellow, with just a few months left; and my husband, Dr. Raviraj, was working in an emergency medicine department of a private hospital. We, like many of our colleagues, were deployed to the frontline.    Amidst all the chaos, we received a pleasant surprise: I had become pregnant. Ravi quit his job and joined the government hospital in which I worked, to help me with my duties and to make sure I'd be comfortable along the way. He helped me with my hospital duties, domestic chores, my doctors’ appointments and medications. With my exams around the corner, he even helped me study.    Sadly, life had other plans... after 11 weeks of pregnancy, I suffered a miscarriage. Ravi was on call at that time; he requested his colleagues to cover for him and rushed home, only to find me weeping uncontrollably, surrounded by a pile of baby clothes. He was devastated, but he maintained his calm and spent hours trying to console me. I underwent D&C the following day, and Ravi couldn’t keep his resolve any longer and he started to cry. As I woke up from the anesthesia, it was to see his face all red and swollen from crying, and it broke my heart.     After a few days, I wanted to visit my mum in Gujarat, but couldn’t do so because of the travel restrictions. Ravi tried to pull some strings for permission. We were granted permits to leave Maharashtra, but not to enter Gujarat. That upset me further. Ravi couldn’t bear to see me so down in the dumps. He promised me that he’d somehow try and take me to my mum. He drove me to the Maharashtra-Gujarat state border, but I didn’t want to enter Gujarat without permission. Ravi left no stone unturned in trying to cheer me up. The pain didn’t go away completely, but the healing began... and it was all thanks to him!     We’ve been married for 3 years now, the journey wasn’t smooth, but he makes everything worthwhile! He’s my best friend; we make a great team both on and off the field! I’m grateful to have him in my life!”

Maharashtra

Humans of Medicine

“I was born in Kon village, Bhiwandi, Maharashtra to working parents who served people with humanity. Growing up, I was inspired by the humanity and humility one could show towards others and how that impacted the world we live in. Hence, I chose to do medicine.    I got into Al-Ameen Medical College in Bijapur, for MBBS, in 2009. Medicine was not easy or glamorous as it is shown to be. It involves pure hard-work, sheer dedication, lots of sleepless nights and mental trauma watching over your losing patients. It is said that the patient dies once but the doctor dies a hundred times more!     All this was catching up on me soon until I had my pediatric rotations. This wasn’t the same as the other wards I was posted in. True there were diseases, pain and suffering in common, but there also was something more; something which was so pure and beautiful was in abundance, and caught my eye instantly- those little smiles on the faces of my tiny patients in the ward. They just chose to smile every day, no matter what. Every day was a new day to them, like the past had no significance. It did not bother them how short their lives were or what they were going through. All they had was this contagious smile that could put me in awe instantly. In their midst, all my worries would just disappear. I wanted to be there all day and every day. Soon, it caught up to me, and pediatrics became the specialty I wanted to pursue! I did my paediatric residency in SMBT Medical College, Nashik. I strive to do my best, all the while beaming at their radiant smiles; above all, to rid their diseases for good because a smile on their face matters to me... I'm Dr. Pooja Sutar, and I'm a pediatrician!”

Wimbeldon

Humans of Medicine

“I’m a GP Registrar but the way to get there was a long one.    I’m one of these annoying people who seemed to like every job (after a little adaptation period). So, for the past 8 years, I’ve been coming home, saying: ‘I want to be an acute medical doctor!’ ‘I want to be an obstetrician!’ ‘I want to be a paediatrician!’... Until someone turned around to me and said, ‘Why don’t you become a General Practitioner? Then you can be everything in one!’ And these were true words. So, I collected all my experience from 8 years of hospital medicine and went for GP.    I thrived through ST1 and ST2 and then I got stuck. Stuck in my A&E rotation for 8 months instead of 4. Was that bad luck? No, I think this was the best thing that could have happened to me. I found myself on the front line when Covid-19 emerged; I cared for Covid-19 patients and their families; I shared their anxiety (not gonna lie); I exchanged experience with health care professionals from other specialties; but most of, I was part of an incredible family: NHS. Team work, a shoulder to lean on and pride where the three things I will remember from that time.    All of this was needed to give me strength for any new shift. I remember one patient in particular. He was a black cab driver in London and he was my first Covid-19 patient. We shared how much we loved London and he told me how many international people he got to know through his job. In Resus, I saw him require more and more oxygen. Until he got intubated. Until he died.    And then you see social media posts going viral about remedies to cure coronavirus, about hospitals only claiming to be full and busy and about the virus being an invention of Bill Gates. You scroll through your news feed, see friends and family posting this. All while you take a break from yet another heart breaking and exhausting shift.    During these festive days, I would like to urge everyone to take the time to think of everyone who works so hard to keep you healthy and happy: the nurses, the receptionists, the physios, the doctors, the paramedics, the post men and women, the waste collectors and ... the cab drivers...”

Detroit, Michigan

Humans of Medicine

“I’m passionate about affecting change in the world, and for the longest time did not know how to accomplish this. I felt rather lost because I wanted to impact people’s lives in a profound way, but lacked the knowledge and expertise.🌎   Nursing school is teaching me the tools and knowledge to create powerful change in the world; I am inspired and empowered to help my patients, fellow nursing students and the community. I have experienced incredible personal growth throughout my nursing education and volunteer experiences, which have increased my confidence and passion for advocacy.     In my spare time, I LOVE lifting weights and discussing philosophical and social issues. I truly believe that we must be the change we wish to see in this world. We ARE the masters of our own story. No one can control your perception, drive, passion, tenacity, bravery, work ethic and perseverance. A sense of humor and high-quality friends help along the journey.💜 People need people...”

Navi Mumbai

Humans of Medicine

“After I finished MBBS, I couldn’t decide on a postgraduation branch to pursue for the longest time. I always found myself to be happiest when I was surrounded by kids; I love spending time with kids, so much that I took up a branch which made that a possibility!    I'm currently a paediatric resident; the one thing that keeps me going is the energy that emanates from kids- it is so pure and so full of life that, even on the dreariest or the most grueling duty days, I’m not worn out...     Just a smile from a child is all it takes for me to forget all the stress. And at the end of the day, it is that smile I'm working for!”    - Dr. Aastha

Thane

Humans of Medicine

“Close your eyes for 5 seconds and imagine being like that for the rest of your life! Terrible, isn’t it? Unfortunately, it is like that for many people. I wanted to treat eye diseases to the best of my ability. That was what drove me to become an eye surgeon...    Coming from a family of ophthalmologists (my dad and my 2 siblings), I always knew I wanted to be one too; we also have our chain of eye hospitals in Mumbai. But helping people with eye disorders was the actual factor for me choosing ophthalmology.    I’m currently doing my ophthalmology residency in Mumbai and intend to do my super-speciality too. I aspire to reach out to and help the poor and downtrodden needy patients with vision-threatening conditions. I hope I can contribute at least a little to the society by helping them gain sight, as much as possible.    There is no better way to thank God for your sight than by lending a helping hand to someone grappling in the dark.”    - Dr. SHAHEEN VIRANI

Austin, Texas

Humans of Medicine

“I’m an ER doctor and a Global Health specialist in Austin, TX. I moved from NYC to Austin just before COVID hit, and seeing it ravage through my former hospital was devastating.     But it didn’t take long before it came to Texas and surged through our city months later. It’s been quite the roller coaster.     I am also a medical journalist and have been covering the pandemic on news networks since March. The fight has been hard...    On one hand I’m fighting for my patients to keep them alive in the hospitals, and on the other hand I am fighting an endless battle of misinformation to help our country follow public health guidance so we can get across the finish line. Which fight is harder? I really can’t tell anymore...” -Dr. Natasha Kathuria, MD (@natashakathuriamd)

Boca Raton, Florida
“Growing up, I always looked up to my father, who is a physician. He went to medical school in the Philippines and moved to New York with my mother before I was born, to provide a better life for his family.  
 
I witnessed him go through his residency in New York; and, although I hardly spent time with him when I was younger, due to his hectic schedule; I was able to see firsthand the dedication and passion it took to be in medicine. He set a prime example for me that, with hard work, passion, and dedication, your dreams are attainable.  
 
I was taught to be humble and personable with your patients and to care for your patients with the same level of respect you’d want for your family member to be treated.”

Humans of Medicine

“Growing up, I always looked up to my father, who is a physician. He went to medical school in the Philippines and moved to New York with my mother before I was born, to provide a better life for his family.     I witnessed him go through his residency in New York; and, although I hardly spent time with him when I was younger, due to his hectic schedule; I was able to see firsthand the dedication and passion it took to be in medicine. He set a prime example for me that, with hard work, passion, and dedication, your dreams are attainable.     I was taught to be humble and personable with your patients and to care for your patients with the same level of respect you’d want for your family member to be treated.”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Humans of Medicine

“Why did I choose paediatric dentistry? Because there is nothing more rewarding than having an impact on a child's life.     I practiced as a general dentist in offices which saw a lot of children. For me, the best part of my work day was when I was working with kids. My husband will vouch for this; that's all I would talk about when I started thinking about applying to residency!    I'm a massive dork, and I love having conversations with kids because kids have no filter. I also took up Improv classes at the @secondcitychitc and realised kids were the best improvisers.     Having said that, there were a lot of cases I had to refer to the paediatric dentist because they were beyond my scope. The child's well-being of course is my number one priority. I found myself being a ‘middle man’ more often than I liked. That's when I knew, I needed to go back to school and get the skillset to treat the more complex cases or those with severe anxiety.    I applied 2 cycles in a row to get to my dream school and I have no regrets other than taking this photo without a jacket🥶!”

Bangalore, India
“2020 put a lot into perspective... mental and physical health would be right up there on that list. 
 
Helping patients with COVID-19 and its sequelae was extremely fulfilling. 
 
Testing positive for COVID-19 was a humbling experience, and probably the best thing that happened to me last year. 
 
It provided some additional insight about being on the other side of the fence when it comes to health. 
 
No matter how dark it might appear, darkness and light shall co-exist.”

Humans of Medicine

“2020 put a lot into perspective... mental and physical health would be right up there on that list.    Helping patients with COVID-19 and its sequelae was extremely fulfilling.    Testing positive for COVID-19 was a humbling experience, and probably the best thing that happened to me last year.    It provided some additional insight about being on the other side of the fence when it comes to health.    No matter how dark it might appear, darkness and light shall co-exist.”

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Humans of Medicine

“I was born to a Maharashtrian family and raised by my grandparents. My parents and grandparents are my support system. My little brother is my pillar of strength and I love him to bits!   My childhood dream was to become an astrophysicist, but unfortunately, I couldn’t pursue it. My plan B was to become a doctor and here I am! However, that was no walk in the park; it involved a lot of grit and hard work and I succeeded. I had to deal with a lot of negativity around me; but being ambitious and determined, I didn’t stop persevering and I proved the haters wrong!   Medical school gave me a chance to grow as a person; I now have a very different approach towards life. I’m a different person now than when I started out. I believe in the power of healing, the concept of love, peace, and most importantly, in myself…   Everybody has to deal with demons, but with an adequate support system, it is easier. My friends, Dr. Vinita Furtado and Dr. Arpita Roy helped me deal with a lot of situations, they’ve always been strong for me; and have been like my source of strength.   We’ve also been working incessantly in a COVID centre since the pandemic started; we’ve been away from our families… the situation has been stressful, but we’ve been ploughing on. Life as a doctor is never easy; there’s difficulty at every step… only a fellow medical professional would understand what we go through…   To my fellow healthcare professionals, I’d like to say that we’re all in this together; stay strong because there’s always sunrise even after a long, dark night.”

Mumbai, Maharashtra

Humans of Medicine

“As a little kid, I was always awestruck by the wonder of childbirth and the idea of a baby popping out of a woman from just nowhere! As I grew older, I came to learn that even though I understood the process, it continued to be a miracle. Even though I come from a family with no medical background, I've always dreamed of being a doctor since the age of 10. As I grew older, the beauty and nobility of the profession only kept getting clearer until I decided to take it up! While there were times, I changed my mind about my specialty, I kept going back to the desire to be able to bring babies to the world and provide women the best healthcare I can. Today, by the grace of God and tremendous family support, here I am, Dr. Divya Pherwani, as an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist!”

Italy

Humans of Medicine

“Greetings from Italy guys, and Merry Christmas!🎄   ‘Why did you choose medicine?’
This is a question that I’ve asked myself numerous times, and I think it is difficult to find a single answer.    However, the smile that patients give after having treated their disease is probably the greatest reward I can get, and the real reason that has pushed me all these years. I still remember the first time I prescribed lenses to an hypermetropic child, and the smile he gave me as he started to ‘see’ the world outside…
 In less than 12 months, I will finish my residency in ophthalmology; and after having travelled all over the world to improve my training, I will dedicate myself to patient care and give my best effort to improve their vision.

And a question to you, why did you choose medicine?!”

Pune, Maharashtra

Humans of Medicine

“My medical journey started in 2009. I belong to a family with no medical career background whatsoever. I was always passionate about medicine. Despite the lack of guidance, I was undeterred and chose to pursue it.   I got into medicine at Navale Hospital, Pune. During MBBS, the subject Obstetrics and Gynaecology piqued my interest. What I liked most about it was that I considered it to be a ‘happy outcome’ speciality. OBGYN involves a lot of happy moments: the 1st cry of a baby, declaring pregnancy to a couple etc…   So, with great enthusiasm, I got into OBG post graduation at Bharati Vidyapeeth College, Pune.   Soon I realised that this field didn’t just involve ‘happy news’. There was also a flip side to it.   Moments like, declaring death of a young mother to her relatives, trying to treat a case of long-standing infertility, performing hysterectomies- are terrible moments that I hadn’t foreseen.   Despite the many advances in medicine, there are times when the situation can’t be salvaged and moments when it takes a toll on us mentally.

However, the show must go on and we can’t let ourselves be bogged down by tough situations.   Currently, I’m working as a OBGYN specialist, having re-joined work after a long maternity break of 8 months. It feels great to be back; I’m happy to serve!”

Orlando, Florida
“I’m an internal medicine physician from Orlando, Florida currently working in a COVID-19 ICU.
 
As a physician, I work a lot of holidays and COVID-19 doesn’t take a break on Christmas.
 
It is often stressful, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love what I do.
 
Sending some positive vibes this Christmas: Santa Paws has come to town!”

Humans of Medicine

“I’m an internal medicine physician from Orlando, Florida currently working in a COVID-19 ICU.   As a physician, I work a lot of holidays and COVID-19 doesn’t take a break on Christmas.   It is often stressful, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love what I do.   Sending some positive vibes this Christmas: Santa Paws has come to town!”

United Kingdom
“Today is my 7th day working in a row.
I’m exhausted and there have been tears, but under this mask, I’m still smiling.
 
I’m smiling because there is so much to be grateful for.
 
I’m smiling because one of my patients said they’d never forget me.
 
I’m smiling because a ward manager asked if they could have me back.
 
I’m smiling because I managed to have the time to sit with a patient who was lonely.
 
I’m smiling because my consultant left chocolates and wine for me after a gruelling couple of weeks.
 
I’m smiling because I’m wearing an awful vegan festive jumper that reminds me of my sister and made many people laugh today.
 
I’m smiling because I’m so proud to be working for the NHS.
 
I’m smiling because I’m so honoured to be in this profession and to work alongside some incredible people.
 
I’m smiling because despite the hardships, everyone is rallying to get us through this dark time.
 
I’m smiling because it costs nothing.   
   
This year has been hell; but if there’s one thing it’s taught me - there are so many reasons to be grateful, so many reasons to smile. Kindness costs nothing and it’s so important to look out for one and other.   
   
Stay strong, be safe, be kind and Merry Christmas!”

Humans of Medicine

“Today is my 7th day working in a row. I’m exhausted and there have been tears, but under this mask, I’m still smiling.   I’m smiling because there is so much to be grateful for.   I’m smiling because one of my patients said they’d never forget me.   I’m smiling because a ward manager asked if they could have me back.   I’m smiling because I managed to have the time to sit with a patient who was lonely.   I’m smiling because my consultant left chocolates and wine for me after a gruelling couple of weeks.   I’m smiling because I’m wearing an awful vegan festive jumper that reminds me of my sister and made many people laugh today.   I’m smiling because I’m so proud to be working for the NHS.   I’m smiling because I’m so honoured to be in this profession and to work alongside some incredible people.   I’m smiling because despite the hardships, everyone is rallying to get us through this dark time.   I’m smiling because it costs nothing.        This year has been hell; but if there’s one thing it’s taught me - there are so many reasons to be grateful, so many reasons to smile. Kindness costs nothing and it’s so important to look out for one and other.        Stay strong, be safe, be kind and Merry Christmas!”

Valencia Spain

Humans of Medicine

“I’m Florian and I’m a German dental student at CEU Universidad Cardenal Herrerara in Valencia, Spain. I just finished my 9th semester here (I’ve got one more to go).   I grew up around dentistry because my dad is a dentist. My interest in it grew as I grew older and I decided to get into dental school! I really like the working hours, the people interaction and the precision hand-work it involves. I really like the detail the procedures involve.   I’ve always loved flying… I actually tried to become a commercial pilot at first; but it’s a hard path (these days more so owing to the pandemic). So, I got a Student Pilot / Ultralight License made in 2014 and learnt to fly. Flying is my favourite hobby! I fly a Tecnam P92 (a high-winged, light aircraft). Many people think the plane is just like a ‘glider’, but I have a motor in it; and in the worst case scenario, the whole plane has a parachute.   There’s something really exhilarating about being up there… you feel this kind of freedom that knows no bounds! Flying this plane is so much fun; I can do whatever I want with it; if I want to go left, I go left; if I want to go down and spin it like a rollercoaster, I do that… it’s a thrill like no other.   I also went to music school. I love playing the piano.     I also worked for the ambulance service for 2 years. I still drive that beast sometimes!   Well, that’s that folks! Have a nice and safe Christmas, y’all!”

Bangalore, India
(2/2)
“Being a student made things worse, because of the belief our society holds about vulnerability and depression; it is seen as a sign of weakness or attention seeking. Even in a medical college, teachers and students don't accept and support mental health.
 
I found it so hard to interact with others and attend regular lectures due to my inexplicable feelings of emptiness and worthlessness. This in turn affected my performance at college, and each day was a battle that I fought in order to just survive.
 
And to add to my misery, a year ago, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, which made things even more difficult.

However, as my path towards recovery continues, I've slowly started to accept myself and my mental health. Each day is a battle; but I take little baby steps towards self-care and self-love.
 
To everyone who is reading this, I just want to say that your silent battle with mental health is valid. You are not alone in your battle and it's time to make mental health a priority. Being people from the medical community, it's very important for us to normalize dealing with mental health in order to help the community at large.”

Humans of Medicine

(2/2) “Being a student made things worse, because of the belief our society holds about vulnerability and depression; it is seen as a sign of weakness or attention seeking. Even in a medical college, teachers and students don't accept and support mental health.   I found it so hard to interact with others and attend regular lectures due to my inexplicable feelings of emptiness and worthlessness. This in turn affected my performance at college, and each day was a battle that I fought in order to just survive.   And to add to my misery, a year ago, I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, which made things even more difficult.

However, as my path towards recovery continues, I've slowly started to accept myself and my mental health. Each day is a battle; but I take little baby steps towards self-care and self-love.   To everyone who is reading this, I just want to say that your silent battle with mental health is valid. You are not alone in your battle and it's time to make mental health a priority. Being people from the medical community, it's very important for us to normalize dealing with mental health in order to help the community at large.”

Bangalore, India
(1/2)
“I was 19 when I understood that depression was the dark phase I was battling since the past few years of my life. I didn't know what this constant feeling of sadness was, or the reason I isolated myself from the world and my loved ones. I didn't know what I was going through because no one around me spoke about something like this ever.
 
Being a medical student, it was so hard for me to open up to someone. We learn about the human body, but never do those books tell us how to deal with our own minds and the demons within.

Few stressful life events triggered my depression, after which I gathered the courage to seek help. It was a really long struggle to make up my mind to talk about my difficulties. I finally asked my mom for help; and after consulting a professional, I understood what I was going through.
 
I was diagnosed with recurrent depressive disorder at the age of 19.

My battle with mental illness didn't stop there. I fought with my self-harming thoughts and relapses of depression.”

Humans of Medicine

(1/2) “I was 19 when I understood that depression was the dark phase I was battling since the past few years of my life. I didn't know what this constant feeling of sadness was, or the reason I isolated myself from the world and my loved ones. I didn't know what I was going through because no one around me spoke about something like this ever.   Being a medical student, it was so hard for me to open up to someone. We learn about the human body, but never do those books tell us how to deal with our own minds and the demons within. Few stressful life events triggered my depression, after which I gathered the courage to seek help. It was a really long struggle to make up my mind to talk about my difficulties. I finally asked my mom for help; and after consulting a professional, I understood what I was going through.   I was diagnosed with recurrent depressive disorder at the age of 19.
 My battle with mental illness didn't stop there. I fought with my self-harming thoughts and relapses of depression.”

Birmingham, United Kingdom
“’I want to help people…’ 
This was one of the cheesy lines I blurted out during my medical school interviews. So clichéd, but I meant it.
 
My mum often tells the story about when we were on a plane once and someone called out for a doctor; they went and tended to the person, and I was so enamoured, I told her that’s what I was going to be…

‘Find a job that you love and you never have to work a day in your life’- the next cheesy line I said. It was a quote plastered on the hallway in school that has never left me. I can still see it. But guess what? I am doing a job I love as a GP, educator and forever student.
 
The hard days come, the heartbreaks and upsets, the uncertainty and devastation; but equally, the miraculous successes, the gratitude and reward of knowing you’ve potentially saved someone’s life keeps the love going strong… I’m still enamoured.”

- Dr. Aziza Sesay, NHS GP.

Humans of Medicine

“’I want to help people…’ This was one of the cheesy lines I blurted out during my medical school interviews. So clichéd, but I meant it.   My mum often tells the story about when we were on a plane once and someone called out for a doctor; they went and tended to the person, and I was so enamoured, I told her that’s what I was going to be…

‘Find a job that you love and you never have to work a day in your life’- the next cheesy line I said. It was a quote plastered on the hallway in school that has never left me. I can still see it. But guess what? I am doing a job I love as a GP, educator and forever student.   The hard days come, the heartbreaks and upsets, the uncertainty and devastation; but equally, the miraculous successes, the gratitude and reward of knowing you’ve potentially saved someone’s life keeps the love going strong… I’m still enamoured.” - Dr. Aziza Sesay, NHS GP.

Kolkata, India
“The journey from turning positive to negative was not easy.
 
My respect for you increased when, amidst the pandemic and the lockdown, you never shut the doors for your beloved patients.
 
Not a single day passed, that you did not attend the hospital or your clinic.
 
While many doctors preferred to keep their private clinics closed, you were always there for the needy.
 
Be it any time of the day or night, we’ve seen you answering phone calls of patients and helping them during their hour of need.
 
The day you turned positive for COVID, your first reaction was, ‘Shona, what will happen to my patients? I have to recover quickly.’
 
You went through a lot… The weakness, the breathlessness, the loss of taste, loss of appetite, the cough and the inability to talk; notwithstanding, you still managed to take your patients’ calls and advised them in the best possible way.
 
Every now and then, I called you asking, ‘Ma, what’s your oxygen saturation?’; until the day you recovered and turned negative.
 
You’re the humblest person I’ve ever seen.
I’m lucky that god gifted me a mother like you!
 
I salute you, Maa… I love you!”

Humans of Medicine

“The journey from turning positive to negative was not easy.   My respect for you increased when, amidst the pandemic and the lockdown, you never shut the doors for your beloved patients.   Not a single day passed, that you did not attend the hospital or your clinic.   While many doctors preferred to keep their private clinics closed, you were always there for the needy.   Be it any time of the day or night, we’ve seen you answering phone calls of patients and helping them during their hour of need.   The day you turned positive for COVID, your first reaction was, ‘Shona, what will happen to my patients? I have to recover quickly.’   You went through a lot… The weakness, the breathlessness, the loss of taste, loss of appetite, the cough and the inability to talk; notwithstanding, you still managed to take your patients’ calls and advised them in the best possible way.   Every now and then, I called you asking, ‘Ma, what’s your oxygen saturation?’; until the day you recovered and turned negative.   You’re the humblest person I’ve ever seen. I’m lucky that god gifted me a mother like you!   I salute you, Maa… I love you!”

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Humans of Medicine

“The reason I got into medicine was because of both my grandfathers who supported my dreams from the beginning. One of my grandpas was diagnosed with emphysema when I was 3 years old; so I spent 2 years in the hospital with him. That was when I discovered my passion for medicine.   The hustle of the doctors and their teams, and the compassion they had for all their patients, while also being so knowledgeable in what they do inspired me to do my best and pursue my dream.   My other grandfather always had me check his blood sugar levels and blood pressure as I got older. He called me ‘Dr. Shree’ and pushed me to do my best.   Without these two compassionate and hard working men in my life, I may never have pursued my dreams. So, a big thank you to them! 🤍   I’m Shree and I’m currently a second year medical student.”