Interning at ColumbiaAsia, India hospital

Medicine is a career I am interested in, and would love the opportunity to explore the career further, therefore, to receive this opportunity has provided an abundance of information, and valuable experience  which has aided me in developing a further passion and determination for this profession.

Columbia Asia is a multinational, private hospital which contains numerous specialities, operates surgeries, provides consultations etc. I was shadowing Dr.Amita Shah, a gynacologist and an obstetrician who is also specialised in lapriscopic surgery (a minimally evasive surgery in which the surgeon creates a couple of incisions around the required area of surgery and attatches a camera to a screen which is then used to operate with) , and I received first-hand experience of the difficult, exhausting life of a surgeon.

I encountered several cases, each with varying issues and challenges. For example, one of the first cases was of a 37 year old pregnant woman with hypothyroidism, so I learnt about how to treat such a patient, and generally about the disorder. Dr.Shah explained that the thyroid is a gland in the throat which secretes hormones T3 and T4. Therefore, since this patient is HYPOthyratic, low levels of T3 and T4 are secreted which may mean the baby may be mentally retarded as these hormones control neurological function.

Another interesting case I encountered was regarding a woman who refused to take her medication for unknown reasons. Personally, I was surprised by this case as I belong to a developed, advanced background where I know the benefits of medicine and take them willingly. I noticed how Dr.Shah attempted to discover the reason behind this woman’s reluctance to ingest her medicine, however, since doctors can’t force a patient to reveal their reasoning, it was difficult. However, Dr.Shah informed me that in a conservative country like India, these issues are very common for reasons such as limited information regarding importance of medicine, social and cultural misconceptions, etc.

Whilst all the cases were intriguing and each had unique situations, the most interesting and startling case I saw was about a 36 year old woman who requested an abortion after the pregnancy test returned positive that morning itself. She had come in with her husband and 2-year-old son, and was adamant to receive an abortion. It was evident that the husband wanted to keep the child, but the woman was firm with her decision. When Dr.Shah attempted to discover the reason behind her decision, the woman provided incomplete, short answers. The reason I was intrigued by this case was because medicine is not only a theory based career, but it tests your morals and it is crucial to have ethics in medicine, and this is something I struggled to understand as I wasn’t sure how to provide your opinion onto a patient without coming across as forceful. How can we decide what’s right for someone? So, this case provided me insight regarding how to handle a situation where the doctor may have a difference of opinion to the patient. Dr.Shah was compelled to oblige to the patient’s request, however, she ensured to explain the cons of the situation to her, and the possible opportunity she could be losing. It was a tactical yet understanding way to give her opinion to the patient.

However, the highlight of my experience would definitely be observing a Dilation and Curretage (D&C) surgery as it was incredibly interesting and personally, the best way of communicating the exhilirating life of a doctor. In this surgery, the cervix is dilated and the uterus lining is scraped to remove any unwanted contents of the uterus. In this particular case, the 27 year old women had ingested abortion pills, and the remains needed to be removed from her uterus as it was causing some problems. Dr Shah allowed me to watch the surgery from a close distance and she showed me the cervix as well as the ingested abortion pills to allow an enhanced experience.

In conclusion, this experience served as a confirmation that this is a career I would love to pursue and I can’t thank Dr.Amita enough for providing me with this memorable experience.

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