I was born to a land owner business family but not even for a second did I have any thoughts of being any one else other than a doctor.

 There are are many reasons for this thought.

In my younger days I was attracted to medicine because almost all my older relatives ; uncles ,aunts ,cousins and of course all my older brothers were in the medical profession .In fact my aunt was one of the first few lady doctors from Karnataka,  to have passed out, from one of the medical colleges in Madras in the early sixties. Also those days the professional oppurtunities were very limited  ; If you were the brightest you got into medicine or engineering and if you did not do well in the exams, the other limited  choices were arts and commerce. In my younger days, I was also significantly influenced by our family doctor Dr Shetty  in Udupi where I grew up. He was the most respected citizen of the locality and was literally considered to be God and be it any issue, whether it was health issues,family issues ,social issues or matrimonial issues, no decision was taken without his advice .This gave me the first feeling of the nobility and the respect for the profession .

As I was growing up, my elder brothers much older to me got into medicine and that was again a very positive influence on me and also I got to meet and interact with some of the most brilliant, humane and passionate doctors who also were brilliant academicians in Kasturba Med College in Manipal and Mangalore. The adulation ,respect and nobility attached to them was again a huge influence in attracting me to medicine

Fortunately I did well in my PUC exams and was able to get a merit seat for MBBS and subsequently did my MD medicine from KMC Manipal  and got trained in the fields of medicine nephrology and critical care in the USA .All through my training in KMC Manipal and the USA,  my faith and belief that this was the most noble ,compassionate  and satisfying profession grew as I got to give comfort, succour and relief  to a large number of very sick patients and their families and the gratitude in their eyes reinforced my belief that I had chosen the right profession

My advice to all youngsters is that Medicine is the most noble and compassionate  profession even today, if you practice it with empathy,compassion ethically  keeping the patients interest in your mind at all times.

Dr. H Sudarshan Ballal, MD, FRCP (London)

Chairman – Manipal Hospitals

Manipal Hospitals, 98, HAL Airport Road, Bangalore-560017

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are of the writer and not of the hospital.

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