At 4 pm, 14th August 2022, students of Kasturba Medical College, Manipal tuned in for an illuminating discussion on the vast multitude of career options that lie ahead for MBBS graduates. The event took place online with Lt.Gen. Dr. M D Venkatesh and Dr. Dhairya Shrivastava as guest speakers.
The event commenced with Student Council Vice President Mr. Utkarsh Agrawal addressing the enthusiastic listeners and thanking the guest speakers for their presence and introducing the Associate Dean of KMC Manipal, Dr. Anil Bhat, who referenced the popular Robert Frost poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’ while talking about all the unconventional career options that have now emerged for MBBS graduates. He mentioned the plethora of talks organized by the Career Counseling Cell of MAHE in the past regarding USMLE, PLAB, and the like, allowing the students to make career decisions with the awareness of all the possible paths that might be open for them.
He was followed by Mr. Utkarsh Agrawal who introduced the first guest speaker of the evening, Lt.Gen. Dr. M D Venkatesh, who is a celebrated ENT surgeon and excels in cochlear implantation and neurotology. He has had a significant impact in the field of medical education, having trained generations of medical professionals in Armed Forces Medical College, Pune and has held esteemed positions in the prestigious organization over the years. He talked about the bright future that service in the armed forces can offer undergraduates and the life of dignity, self-esteem and success that comes along with the service. He mentioned the wide range of unique experiences that service in the armed forces offers you to learn and grow as an individual and as a medical professional along with a tempting set of benefits that include good housing facilities, access to excellent education for ones’ children, good canteens, and entry into premium clubs offering a wide range of extracurricular activities. It also offers an impeccable work environment where, in addition to general medicine, post graduates are also trained in military medicine, expanding their horizons and offering a holistic approach to medical education.
The armed forces hospitals offer Healthcare services to the armed forces through a set of hospitals all over the country with state of the art facilities, and service entails being posted at one of these hospitals for 3-4 years. It also gives opportunities for being posted abroad and having the chance to practice medicine on a global, humanitarian level and interact with international medical personnel. The voluntary services offer 400 openings for applicants each year, who are selected on the basis of academic merit and a rigorous interview process. While mentioning the initial postings and how they typically take place in more difficult locations, Dr. Venkatesh recalled the early days of his own career when he was posted in Sikkim and later in Mizoram, noting that these days the conditions have improved exponentially and people now have easy access to facilities like electricity, water supply and internet access.
The armed forces medical services offer a large sum as salary along with several other benefits, with great scope for personal development and value for a sense of camaraderie and dignity. Dr. Venkatesh urged all the ambitious young doctors listening in to consider the armed forces as an option, inspiring them to choose a life that values hardwork, dedication and merit.
Following a heartfelt word of thanks by Dr. Anil Bhat, Mr. Utkarsh Agrawal called upon the next guest speaker, Dr. Dhairya Shrivastava, who did her MBBS from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal, graduating with a gold medal in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, after which she pursued her MBA in the esteemed IIM Ahemdabad. She currently works as a Junior Consultant in Bain and Company, India, primarily in the healthcare consulting vertical.
She started her talk with reminiscing about her own days in KMC Manipal and how the college had allowed her to attend many such insightful talks in her days as an MBBS student, and her delight at being able to guide the students from her own alma mater. She explained her thought process behind pursuing MBA after MBBS; how the combination of the two vastly different sets of knowledge enables one to streamline the system of medical administration in a more efficient way. She elaborated by saying that, for every medical professional, it’s imperative to understand the basics of the functioning of the organization they work for; how Interpersonal relationships, marketing and management works. This allows them to develop a true understanding of whether their hardwork is being adequately compensated or not.
She explained how understanding management not only allows medical professionals to earn more profit on an ethical basis, but also use the knowledge to enable us to provide healthcare services at a wider scale. She took the enthralled listeners through the journey from MBBS to MBA; starting with taking the CAT or GMAT exam, followed by an intense interview process in order to get into the institutions. After obtaining their MBA degrees, medical professionals have the option to work in many diverse domains like pharmaceuticals, health technology and medical devices and hospital administration. This opens up a plethora of opportunities to work in many organizations as a consultant and receive very competitive salary packages.
Ending her speech by circling back to the Robert Frost poem mentioned by Dr. Bhat at the start of the session, she urged the students to not be hesitant in taking the more unconventional paths in their lives.
The talk was concluded with a word of thanks by Mr. Utkarsh Agrawal.
Design by: Utkarsh Agrawal, Vice President & Shivani Yadav President , Student Council KMC Manipal
Write-up by: Tanvee Walia, The Editorial Board KMC Manipal
Images by: Shivani Yadav, President Student Council KMC Manipal
Uploaded by:: Utkarsh Agrawal, Vice President Student Council KMC Manipal