“The journeys of Kalpana Chawla and Kiran Majumdar, in my early childhood, helped me develop an interest in science. I was an average student by convention, but keener to learn practical things. Biotechnology interested me, because of Kiran, but I was convinced early in life that I did not want to work on the core subject, but probably venture more into the applied sciences, in biotechnology firms.

But when I got exposed to the computational training, around this same time, it piqued my interest. I loved how logical and reproducible it was. In order to learn more about it, I…


“When the pandemic hit last year, my exams for diploma in paediatrics were postponed and I joined Reliance hospital, Navi Mumbai as an RMO. It was a scary beginning, the deaths due to Covid had just started increasing exponentially. Initially, we did not know what category of patients were to be considered as severe or mild, so all patients who tested positive were admitted and there was a lot of stigma about the disease around as well.

As soon as the first wave dampened, the second wave hit India vigorously within a few months. The outburst that occurred in the…


“We were posted for Covid duties even before we got our degrees under emergency grounds. The day we officially received our degrees, my best friend’s mother died under my watch. We tried everything in our arsenal to save her but I could see life ebbing out of her. It was one of the darkest days of my life as a doctor and as a friend.

Despite our best efforts, we have been losing patients, not because we are not competent but because there is nothing we can medically do to save them. The situation is analogous to a mall being…


“During the first wave, I had to attend to a 13-year old kid from Rajasthan who had respiratory problems. After consulting my Head and given his alarmingly high respiratory rate, I decided to intubate him, a normal procedure for patients with severe respiratory distress. He died in 10 minutes! I couldn’t comprehend what went wrong.

In the earlier days of the pandemic, the dead were instructed to be cremated nearby to curb the spread of infection. His father came to me requesting if he could use my phone to show the child to his wife, who was in Rajasthan and…


“I completed my MD two years ago and have been waiting for my convocation ever since. We get a date every year for it but owing to the pandemic, it keeps getting cancelled. I am a dermatologist by profession and have been practicing privately since my MD. And although I am not directly associated with Covid duties at present, I wouldn’t mind going to the hospital if need be, to help the patients.

Having been born and brought up in a family of doctors and being married to a doctor as well, I understand how our mindset works: we are…


“As a medical professional who had just received his MBBS and started internship, the pandemic came as a very unprecedented situation. Since then it has been a continuous fourteen months of Covid duty for me until recently when I have taken a short break, only to resume my duties in a few days time.

During the first wave there were no known treatment protocols available and it took time for us to understand the nature of the disease. I still remember a tragic incident while assisting a senior doctor, when I came across a patient who himself recovered but lost…


“Nobody expected Covid-19 to become a pandemic initially. When the lockdown was suddenly announced in 2020, the lack of preparedness affected all of us and as the situation became more serious, our duties also extended. Though the quality of doctors in the country is impeccable and they have given their best during these grim times, we are still short in number and the politics behind healthcare has been a pertinent issue. We are answerable to the patients and their families when the promises made by the government regarding our healthcare do not reach the ground level.

In addition, there is…


“I got pregnant right around the time when the pandemic hit last year. I had to take extra precautions of wearing double masks and a face shield in order to avoid any form of infection, not just for myself but for my baby as well.

A couple of weeks ago, I reported back for duties. Wearing a PPE for the first time was extremely uncomfortable; you can’t eat, drink or go to the washroom for hours at stretch. The other day, while seeing patients, I found this 34-year old on ventilator support, his condition was quite unstable and I fear…


“I remember this mother who was shouting, “please get up and say ‘Maa’ once” to the dead body of her 35 years old son and simultaneously requesting us to let her go and touch him for one last time. We couldn’t allow her because of the fear of infection. That memory is etched in my mind. What could be more horrible than that!

Initially, during the first wave, people were skeptical of getting the tests done because they were scared of being outcast by society. We, as doctors, were also looked down upon as if we were doing a crime…


It will take this generation more than a lifetime to fill the void created due to this pandemic. We all have lost so many of our loved ones or know someone close who has. This year has been even more devastating than the last one.

Amidst this chaos, the only sliver of hope we have is because of our frontline workers. Their selfless service during these testing times has shown us a flickering light in this darkness.

We are so elated and humbled at the same time to bring in a very special series in the month of June in…

PhDs of India

Inspired from HONY and HOB; bringing you stories of unsung heroes of our society: PhD students. For sharing yours, email us at: phdsofindia@gmail.com!

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