1. What speciality, grade and what hospital do you work at?
I work as a Consultant Medical Oncology at Bahrain Specialist Hospital in Manama, Bahrain.
2. What country will you be relocating from?
India, my native country.
3. Would you share with us your personal mission as a doctor?
I want to be a good person, someone whom both the patients and my colleagues can trust. Apart from that I do want to teach young minds and also want to do some research.
4. At what point in your career did you decide you wanted to relocate to the UK? What were your motivations for wanting to do so?
I felt during my last days of residency in Medical Oncology that its better if I can relocate to UK primarily for 2 reasons – availability of a solid, structured teaching program and ample scope to do some basic science research. UK attracts the brightest minds of the world, and hence provides a good scope for academic intelligentsia.
5. For you, what are the key benefits of living in the UK?
The key benefits of living in the UK are – NHS, better quality of life, global recognition, and presence of world class medical schools.
6. Why did you choose to specialise in Medical Oncology? What is your experience within the specialty?
I chose Medical Oncology as it the cornerstone of any successful oncology practice today, the rate at which the field is advancing is unparalleled, and unlike any other streams. It is a strenuous discipline though, expect hectic clinics and frequent night calls. However, through this rigorous curriculum one can find immense satisfaction.
7. Why did you choose to subspecialise in Breast Cancer?
I am mostly interested in breast and gastrointestinal malignancies. Breast cancer is very enigmatic, it is a complex interplay of hormonal manipulation and targeted therapy. Pleasure to treat. Ask any Medical Oncologist!!
8. Do you have any advice for junior doctors who want to specialise in Medical Oncology?
My advice for juniors – please join this stream with an open mind, sometimes it may get frustrating, it’s too morbid at times, your lives will be tough, but there is growth – professional and intellectual. What I learnt in my first year was not what I wrote for my final exam 3 yrs. later – things are changing so fast – and for the better.
9. Do you have any advice on preventing breast cancer?
Preventing breast cancer hinges on 3 main things – lifestyle modification (exercise, obesity prevention, cutting down alcohol), consistent awareness and self-breast examination and at least annually meeting the doctor for checkup.
9. What are the most common signs to look for if you think you may have Breast Cancer?
The most common signs are breast lump, nipple discharge, lump in the underarms, nipple eversion, change in shape, size and symmetry of breast.
10. If someone has been diagnosed, what is the prognosis?
The prognosis is very good, almost ranging from 80-100 % in early stages, 60% in locally advanced stages and almost 20-30% in metastatic (stage 4) disease. With the advent of new drugs, the prognosis in advanced stages have greatly improved, patients who had a life span of under a year before are now living for 2-3 years. I have many such patients. Not only they are alive, but are up and about.
11. What are the available treatments for Breast Cancer?
There are 4 types of treatment –
Surgery is the cornerstone in early stages
Chemotherapy (and targeted therapy) – given before or after surgery as the need arises.
12. Do you think that one day, there will be a cure for Breast Cancer?
The day is not far – there will be a cure.
13. What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
When I retire – I would like to look at my life and feel I have helped people to fight a very deadly disease, and that I have a spent a hard part of their life with them.
If you are an international Oncologist, who wants to relocate to the UK and join the NHS, email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post.