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‘If you want something you need to have a drive for it and belief in yourself’

Apeejay Saket alumnus Dr Nishant Toteja underlines the importance of self-study in medicine



Nishant Toteja is a post-intern student at RD Gardi Medical College in Ujjain. He is an alumnus of Apeejay Saket, from the batch of 2014. In an interview, the would-be neurosurgeon highlights how as a child with Asthma, he was inspired to see doctors save patients from fatal diseases. Edited excerpts:

What was the inspiration behind choosing medicine?

I was frequently ill during my childhood.  I suffered from Asthma and I would have to go to hospitals regularly till the age of ten. Over the years, I noticed how doctors work and save people. Later after getting exposure to Biology at school, I started liking medicine and gradually things worked out as I found that medicine is the path for me.

Please tell us about the journey to become a doctor?

I shut off myself from the world. I prefer self-study though I also took some coaching. But I realised that self-study is the way for me. So, I quit social media. I also stopped talking to many people. I feel it is important that you hang out with people who want to be successful and don’t have average dreams. It is very important. I used to study for about 6-8 hours. This was my routine during the MBBS days.

Please tell us about your best memories from school life?

I think a proud moment would be when I got my first medal. I had won a silver medal in a Tabla competition in class 3. I was good at instrumental music. My mother always wanted me to win a medal. She was even there to watch it in the school. I still remember, she was very proud of me when I showed the medal to her.

I am afraid I don’t have any mischievous memories. I had a very boring school life. I was a very simple student. I did not have much exposure to the outside world.

What life lessons would you give to a student of Science and medicine?

Studies and syllabus are fine but what actually matters is if you believe in yourself or not. People will be there to say you can’t do it. But if you want it, you need to believe in yourself and have the drive for it.

What is the best thing about being a doctor?

Every day is a new day. You get to see a new case every day. Whatever you read in theory, the reality is very opposite. The excitement comes in cases which are different or in emergency cases. When you save patients from emergencies they think are fatal, the smile you get is the most fulfilling thing.

What are your future targets in the world of medicine?

I am preparing for my post-graduation and am hoping that I will crack the AIIMS entrance. I am aspiring to become a neurosurgeon. Let’s see how it goes!

How did Apeejay Schol, Saket help you in pursuing your dreams?

I was lucky enough to have good teachers at Apeejay School, Saket. All the teachers who taught me over the years were very good. I was someone who was not very confident about his abilities but there were teachers who saw that zeal in me and gave me a chance to explore myself. These are the good things I received from Apeejay School, Saket. 

Arijit Roy is a young correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. He has done his masters in English literature from Delhi University and has a book of poems published by Writers Workshop India. He can be reached at [email protected].