Medicine is the most rewarding and satisfying career Dr KK Aggarwal, Editor in Chief eMedinewS and IMA News in conversation with Prof Dr Kanan Yelikar, Prof & Head, Dept. of Obs/Gyn, Govt. Medical College & Hospital, Aurangabad. Dr Yelikar is Dean of Govt. Medical College- 2016. She has been elected as president of AMOGS – Association of Maharashtra Obstetrics and Gynaecological Societies 2016-1018. Earlier, Dr Yelikar has served as Vice President FOGSI (2007) and Chairperson Clinical Research Committee FOGSI (2004- 2008). Dr Kanan Yelikar has been honored with Dr BC Roy National Award for the year 2009 under the category of ‘Eminent Medical Teacher’. How does it feel being conferred one of the most prestigious awards in the medical field? It was a dream come true for me. I am very happy, overwhelmed, excited and at the same time very, very humbled to accept it. I thank the almighty for having considered me to be worthy of it. Tell us about your journey so far. I completed my MD in Obstetrics and Gynecology with a meritorious career, in the year 1983 from Govt. Medical College Nagpur, a reputed institute. Teaching was my passion and hence I joined as assistant professor in the Dept. of Obs/Gyn in Govt. Medical College, Aurangabad. Presently, I am Prof and Head of the Dept. of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Government Medical College and Hospital, Aurangabad, (MS) and have a teaching experience of more than 30 years. I have been selected as Dean of Govt. Medical College. I undertook special training in advanced Laparoscopic Surgery, Ultrasound, Infertility, High Risk Pregnancy, Colposcopy and Research Methodology. Maternal health is an area that is of special interest to me. I successfully established a state of the art delivery room and a High Dependency Unit (HDU), the first of its kind in the state of Maharashtra, for I received the Safe Motherhood Award on 11th July, 2014, World Population Day from the Govt. of Maharashtra. I have had the privilege of being conferred Life membership of more than 8 national professional organizations of repute and been elected as chairperson and member of different statutory bodies of the State Medical University, like Senate, Board of studies – undergraduate and postgraduate and faculty of medicine since 2002. I run several skill enhancement training programs in my institute - Basic Emergency Obstetric Care, Comprehensive Abortion Care and Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric care, which train Medical Officers and nurses, a joint project in collaboration with NRHM and FOGSI, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. I am also a Nodal officer for Maharashtra Breast Feeding Promotion Initiative (MBPI) since 1994 and in that capacity have conducted more than 50 workshops on Correct Breast Feeding Practices, which has helped thousands of newborns to survive. As chairperson of District MTP Committee and District PCPNDT committee, I have conducted counselling programs of doctors who had a borderline mind-set regarding sex determination. This has helped to curb down the child sex ratio of Aurangabad district over a period of 5 years. The Directorate of Medical Education and Research, Govt. of Maharashtra appointed me as the Member of Scientific Advisory Board of Medical Research Council of Maharashtra (MRCM). I have a huge list of Publications, both in national and international journals. I have delivered more than 300 Guest Lectures as National Faculty, 50 keynote addresses and five orations; also, I have been an invited national faculty for the First National Satellite FOGSI conference, the first of its kind, in 2004 and an Invited faculty at FIGO congress 2000 at Washington DC, USA. I have also successfully organized more than 50 workshops on different subjects and more than 30 post graduate CMEs at different medical colleges in the country. I received the President’s Rotating Trophy for Aurangabad Obstetrics and Gynecological Society for the year 1998. This award is given by FOGSI to the best obs/gyn society of the year. I was honored as the Best Woman Doctor on International Women’s Day by Giants Aurangabad, Best Baby Friendly Hospital award by Breast Feeding Promotion Network of India and Govt. of Maharashtra Safe Motherhood Award July 2014. What were the early challenges faced by you in your career? How did you manage to overcome them? The early challenges in my career were the non availability of advanced technology like USG and Laparoscopy in the govt. sector. To overcome this I personally paid the USG training fee at Wadia Maternity Hospital and underwent training during my vacation period in 1987. Similarly in 1994, I underwent advanced laparoscopy training during my summer vacation. Consequently, I could establish both USG and laparoscopy as early as 1987 and 1994, respectively, in my Dept. Thousands of poor patients benefited as a result. Similarly, thousands of medical students and hundreds of post graduate students are getting an opportunity to learn about these medical technical tools. Tell us about your family. How important has been the role of your family in your journey? My father Dr Wamanrao Korpe, pre-independence era medical practitioner and my mother Dr Kusumtai Korpe were keen to have five of their six children opt for medical career. My father was my role model. At the end of the day all human beings need a warm family. My husband Dr Avinash Yelikar, a consultant Plastic Surgeon, is a constant source of inspiration for me. My daughter, Dr Ashwini, who is now an IVF consultant and my son Dr Aditya who is pursuing superspeciality in urology, accepted my long absences from home whenever I was busy with my projects. The backup support to the home sweet home is my mother-in-law Smt Laxmibai Yelikar, who is equally active even today. What would be your message to the community? Indian medicine has been globally accepted. Believe that Indian doctors are the best and doctors always try to provide the best services to the best of their knowledge and ability. Some complications and morbidity and mortality are inherent with the disease itself. So doctors are not always to be blamed for mishaps which occur in hospitals. Given a chance, what changes would you like to bring about in health policies? Medical education system is changing at a fast pace and we need to keep up with the changing trends. The first thing I would like to do is sanction sabbaticals to medical teachers in the Govt. sector in order to enable them to train themselves in the latest technology, which will help them impart updated knowledge to the students. This will definitely help Indian medical colleges to produce world class doctors capable of competing globally. What advice would you give to youngsters? Believe in hard work and perseverance. The combination definitely fetches you success. Doctor is next to God. Teacher is next to the “Guru”. Combination of the two, doctor and teacher i.e. a medical- teacher is above all and hence all medical teachers should prove themselves. Indian medical science has a very bright future. Newer researches are going to help serve the human illnesses. Do understand medicine is a noble profession concerned with human services, though it is a lengthy career as compared to other careers, it is the most rewarding and satisfying career as I understand today. Jai Hind! Jai Medical Fraternity!!