Be Prepared for Hard Work, Tremendous Sacrifices & Follow Ethics Dr KK Aggarwal, Editor in Chief eMedinewS and IMA News in conversation with Dr Renu Saxena, Prof and Head, Dept. of Hematology, AIIMS, New Delhi Dr Renu Saxena has been honored with Dr BC Roy National Award for the year 2009 under the category of Eminent Medical Teacher. Dr KK: How does it feel being conferred with one of the most prestigious awards in the medical field? I feel very honored and humbled. Having spent 36 years in the field of hematology and enjoying every minute of the same, the award comes as recognition of our work. Needless to say, this gives me tremendous encouragement to continue working with the same zeal and enthusiasm. Dr KK: Tell us about your journey so far. I have been a medical graduate, postgraduate and faculty at AIIMS, New Delhi. I feel that training from AIIMS and the work atmosphere here in AIIMS have helped me inculcate academic, ethics and research values, in addition to patient care. My seniors and teachers at AIIMS have been my role models and have mentored me regarding approach to academics and ideal patient care. I have strived to work with sustained dedication, hard work and sincerity towards my profession. In addition, I have always enjoyed teaching and grooming budding doctors and mentoring them in building their careers. Dr KK: What were the early challenges faced by you in your career? How did you manage to overcome them? Some early challenges included balancing of family life with profession and the struggle to do quality work. These were overcome by my constant strive for trying to do justice in whatever work I was involved in and my husband’s support, whether it was home or profession. I thoroughly enjoyed both my roles as a hematologist and a homemaker. Dr KK: Tell us about your family. How important has been the role of your family in your journey? My parents have always been extremely supporting of my profession. My husband, also in the medical profession, was a constant source of support and encouragement in maintenance and progression of my profession. My children have always been big support to my achievements. My mother-in-law was a big support to me, especially in handling my family when I was travelling for profession. She also was extremely proud of my achievements, as also my husband. In fact I feel I was able to do justice to my profession largely because of my family support. Dr KK: What would be your message to the community? I feel, dedicated work, coupled with honesty and diligence, goes a long way in achieving goals in whichever field you are committed to. One should be a hard working person with clear and specific goals and try to remain focused in achieving his or her dreams. Dr KK: Given a chance, what changes would you like to bring about in health policies? I feel we should develop good health insurance systems or mechanisms by which everyone should have access to basic medical and emergency medical care at affordable price, which I believe the government is actively trying to do. At the same time, promoting quality and innovative research in medical institutes will go a long way in advancing healthcare in our country and giving our medical institutes the international recognition they deserve. Dr KK: What advice would you give to youngsters? Youngsters are the pillars of tomorrow. In today’s world I feel instead of trying to take shortcuts to reach the top, one should be prepared for hard work and tremendous sacrifices to acquire knowledge and experience. They should strive to grasp the in-depth knowledge of their profession, be prepared to put in hard work, follow ethics and be honest to themselves and the profession.