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‘Being a doctor is the most satisfying job you can have’

Dr Manikya Arabolu, an Apeejay Noida alumnus shares her journey as a doctor



Dr Manikya Arabolu is an Apeejay Noida alumnus. She is a dentist by profession. She works for 3M India as a clinical specialist for South India. In an exclusive interview, she shares the inspiration behind choosing to be a doctor, her best memories of school years and her struggles during the pandemic. Edited Excerpts:

Please tell us about your current work profile?

I work as a clinical practitioner. I am a prosthodontist which means that I specialize in replacing missing teeth. I practice and I also work as a clinical specialist for 3M Oral Care in South India wherein I train doctors regarding the modern techniques of dentistry. I conduct workshops for dentists across South India.

Tell us about the inspiration behind choosing to be a doctor and a dentist?

Actually, this was what I wanted to do since I was a child. My aunt Dr Kamala Ghaey is a pediatrician. As a child, I was really impressed by her and I wanted to follow her footsteps. So that’s the inspiration behind becoming a doctor. I wanted to have my own clinical practice upon growing up.

When I was studying for my medical entrances (class 11-12), I was undergoing some dental treatment. It was then that I was very much fascinated by the role of a dentist. So that served as the inspiration behind choosing to be a dentist.

What are your best memories from Apeejay Noida?

Well, the fondest memories of my life come from Apeejay Noida. All the extempore training, extra-curricular competitions and activities, all that has shaped me into who I am today. I do a lot of public speaking nowadays and I would attribute that to what I did as a student at Apeejay Noida.

Apart from this, the fondest memories I have are of our annual days and the preparation for them. So many festivals and special occasions we used to celebrate in the school. There are many friends at school with whom I am still in touch. Several teachers as well to whom I still look up to. So, in a nutshell, everything about Apeejay is a good memory.

Doctors and medical staff have saved the world during the pandemic. As a doctor please tell us how can we protect ourselves from a potential third Covid-19 wave?

There are no two ways about it. One has to wear a mask. I was reading today the experience of someone who had contracted Covid-19 virus and recovered. The person’s entire family had caught the virus. It was a terrible situation. There was a very pertinent point that the person had made. He said that after he contracted the virus, all the people he came in contact with while he was not wearing a mask got infected. So, there is no compromise about wearing the mask. One can’t have the mask just on one’s chin, or only covering the mouth. The mask has to be of a good quality, covering both the mouth as well as the nose. It has to give a good seal. I personally use the N-95 mask for this purpose.

How has the pandemic affected you as a dentist?

Dental care in the pandemic was one of the most affected professions in the world. There are two things. The first is that the patient is worried to come down to the dentist fearing that there might be virus in the clinic. But the dentist is also worried, fearing that a patient could carry the virus. The dentist and the staff are the ones most exposed to an onslaught of saliva i.e. the place where the virus is present. In the first pandemic wave, most clinics were shut for 2-3 months. The businesses were hit very badly. In the second wave, dentists couldn’t close down the clinics due to the rents but the patient footfalls were very less. Many of my friends who are dentists contracted the virus. In some cases their parents also got infected from them. So definitely there was an impact on dental care all across the globe. Even today, patients aren’t confident to go to a dentist. They only go for emergency treatments. Income has been impacted in dentistry due to the pandemic.

What advice would you like to give to a medical student studying at Apeejay Noida?

I wish somebody had given this advice to me twenty years ago. The advice that I would give from my experience is that it is going to be tough. You will feel that all your peers are going ahead of you. A doctor starts very late in life. We are studying till almost the age of 27-28 i.e. up to specialization. Some people super-specialize and they go on to study up to their thirties. Life starts very late. Our peers are way ahead by that time. This can give rise to a lot of insecurity. Clearing the entrance is itself so tough. So this is going to be tough but once you are in it this is going to be the most satisfying job you are going to have. Financially it is rewarding. You get to heal people, treat people. The feeling at the end of the day is really very good. It’s much better than what you could get from any other profession. So I would say just hang in there, work hard. You will get your reward definitely for all the hard work.

A talented correspondent writing special articles, interviews and also doing video coverages. Alongside being a poet, short story writer and football player in the time he finds away from work. You can read Arijit's literary pieces and watch his performances easily on the internet. He can be reached at [email protected] and [email protected]

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