Story of a Young Boy

Dr Nijhawan narrated his journey spanning over three decades starting from his time as a young high school boy in search of a career to becoming an expert in the fi eld of gastroenterology today.

As a young boy, he aspired to join the Air Force but he was rejected for the National Defence Academy (NDA). But in 1977, he was able to secure admission to a medical college. This proved to be a signifi cant turning point in his life.

He completed his MD with the primary intention to study and the secondary intention of becoming a physician.

Dr Nijhawan considered the 3 years of DM as the best years of his life, which refi ned him and he left college with a mind full of knowledge, a bag full of memories, life-long friends and 15 publications to his credit. He returned to his native place and joined SMS Medical College, where he has remained ever since.

His message to the audience was to fi nd enjoyment in work. He believes that doctors never really retire; they work life-long. Although the workload may increase with age due to increasing responsibilities, fi nding joy in one’s work can reduce tiredness and improve quality of work and of life. It is important to fi nd a proper work-life balance.

We need someone to inspire us to do better, he stated. Having many mentors means more opportunities to learn and grow. He had the privilege of learning the nuances of gastroenterology from the stalwarts in the fi eld, whose guidance played a pivotal role in developing his skills as a gastroenterologist. His message was “Learn and take help, but never be dependent on people”.

He placed a strong emphasis on research and encouraged all to invest their time and energy into research. It is never too late to publish, he said, and cited his own example in support. He had no publication during his MD, but he published 15 papers during his DM and over 150 after completing his DM.

“Life isn’t about money. It’s about moments”. He advised doctors to identify their interests outside of professional responsibilities, which could be sports, music, travel, photography, reading, etc. Having interests beyond academics can be rejuvenating; it increases social interaction, boosts self-confi dence and ultimately improves quality of life.


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