Children grow up wanting to be everything from a police officer to a pilot to an astronaut. For as long as I can remember, I always only wanted to be a Gynaecologist, mind you, not a doctor but a Gynaecologist.
During my growing years, part of my home would be converted to a clinic during the 2nd half of the day where my father, himself a Gynaecologist would see the majority of his patients. This gave me an opportunity to be around and interact with a lot of his patients. I think it was the immense respect, love, and adulation he commanded that made me feel so strongly for this profession.
I completed my MBBS from Calcutta National Medical College and even managed to get 3 awards for Anatomy in the process. My father wanted me to learn the basics well before going ahead with specialization and thus I worked in various capacities, honing my skills.
I wanted to go to UK for further studies but I think it was a stroke of luck that Manipal happened and I landed up under the guidance of Dr. Pratap Kumar, the then Head of Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. Those 3 years, I believe changed my life both academically as well as personally. I met some wonderful human beings but most importantly I unlearnt whatever I had learned wrong and then again learned my basics from my teachers at Manipal. The knowledge and the devotion to the profession of teaching which I saw with them left little doubt in my mind why it’s said teachers are next to God. Those 3 years were also the toughest years of my life, considering the fact that I worked under some of the toughest taskmasters but honestly today when I look back, it’s that very training that has made me who I am today.
I wanted to be a simple Gynaecologist but it was Dr. Pratap Kumar who lit the fire of Fertility management in me and thankfully I never looked back. I completed my MD, stood 2nd in college, came back, and joined my father only to go back again to Manipal to learn more about Fertility management.
My IVF knowledge was gained under Dr. Sadhana Desai, a lady with amazing stamina and knowledge to match. She would patiently answer even my silly questions and would take time to explain every query of mine. She taught me the need for quality control and honesty (I firmly believe she is one of the few die-hard honest people in this field). Almost 4 years under her watchful eye and guidance and I was ready to take on the world.
I finally did manage to visit the UK for my training, though as an Observer at the Cardiff Assisted Reproduction Centre in Wales. I also had the opportunity of observing the work of many IVF centers in that region.