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‘My Biology teacher at Apeejay Kharghar is the reason I became a doctor’

Apeejay Kharghar alumnus Dr Aditya V Reddy emphasises that hard work is the real key to success

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Dr Aditya V Reddy was only in the seventh standard at Apeejay Kharghar when an experience in one of the classes made him realise how much he wanted to be a doctor. The alumnus is now a Junior Medical Officer at NMMC Raj Mata Jijau Hospital, Airoli, Navi Mumbai and will be beginning his residency soon. In an interview, Dr Reddy talks about his time at his alma mater, his experience on the first day of work at a Covid ward, and more. Edited excerpts:

What memories do you have of Apeejay Kharghar?

I joined Apeejay Kharghar in 2006 in class 4. I was there till class 12. It was the happiest period of my life. I had a great time at school. There was an entrance test for admission in Apeejay Kharghar where a select few were finally enrolled. So, the school had already set the bar high. This eventually contributed to having a competitive yet comfortable environment in school. The school gave us an overall exposure, from academics to sports and performing arts, and more.

Did you always wish to become a doctor?

I had the idea, but the actual interest developed when I was in class 7. I remember our Biology teacher Sunita Mohan Ma’am had taught us the chapter on the human digestive system. She explained the chapter in great detail, and it was that one class that stirred my interest. I knew I wanted to become a doctor. 

Tell us about your journey till now.

I completed four-and-a-half years of MBBS followed by one year of internship. Then I worked at Urban Primary Health Centre, Kukshet, Nerul, for six months. Later, I joined NMMC Hospital as an Emergency Medicine Doctor. I will start my residency in July.

Are you thinking of any specialisation?

Either Orthopaedics or Medicine.

Tell us about the one thing you learned during your journey till now.

What I have realised the most is that being a genius is one thing, but hard work is the actual key to success, no matter which profession you are in.

For those who aspire to be doctors, can you share some tips to crack NEET?

I would like to emphasise that the aspirants should focus on the key concepts because that is what is going to set you apart in a time of severe competition. All your concepts should be very clear. Coming to how you should approach the exam paper, I would say complete the Biology section first, which would not take much time, followed by Chemistry and then Physics.  

Were you in Covid duty?

I started my job at the peak of the second wave of the pandemic. I worked at the Covid OPD at Urban Primary Health Centre, Kukshet, Nerul. I remember I had to attend to almost 100 patients on my first day between 9 am-1 pm. At least 25 of them tested positive. It was a challenging experience but luckily, I also got to see a dip in the cases later. That was a positive and inspiring feeling.

The crisis impacted the mental health of doctors equally. How did you manage to cope with stress?

Knowing how important our role as doctors was in this fight against the virus, I was more determined than stressed. We knew we had to do our job and fulfill our responsibilities as healthcare professionals. NMMC took great care of the doctors and made sure we never felt overworked.

However, knowing that your family could contract Covid from you was a scary feeling, something that was always there at the back of my mind. But being a doctor, I utilised my knowledge to protect myself completely. I became even more careful about my family and my health and safety. Thankfully, I have not tested positive even for once till now.

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Senior Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.

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