For South Asian Heritage Month, this This Doctor Can blog post focuses on the life and career of Dr Umesh Dashora.
Like most of us in medicine, my journey started with a competitive entrance exam, only mine took place in the capital city of Jaipur in the historic state of Rajasthan in India. Following a national science talent search examination in the country, I had already been offered a post in a prestigious institute of technology as I had secured 34th position in the country. However, my family wanted me to do medicine as we all thought it would help the family and humankind more. I was therefore in two minds whether to go into engineering or medicine.
My family and I decided that if I secured a place in the first 10 positions in the competitive exam for medicine, then I will choose medicine. I got ninth position and so my destiny was sealed.
"I packed my bags, left my family in Jaipur and went for further training in diabetes and endocrinology in Mumbai."
Graduating in medicine with a close gang of five other men and three women (one of whom ended up as my wife later on) was immense fun for 5 years. I won many prizes in swimming and debating at the national level and secured the ‘best-boy’ medal for the outgoing batch as well. Post-graduation in India was rather intense, but with the support of family and friends I finally passed in my first attempt after 3 years of long hard slog. My wife and I opened a small 12-bed hospital and started a private practice in my hometown. It was very enjoyable in the beginning, with money and recognition from everybody around us, but soon the novelty wore off.
Like most doctors, I was looking for the next challenge where I could do something more useful and establish my identity as a physician, rather than turn into a businessman. I hated taking money from people to help them get well from illness. There was only one thing to do.
I packed my bags, left my family in Jaipur and went for further training in diabetes and endocrinology in Mumbai. After 6 months of training, I secured a coveted post in another city in India called Bangalore. But the restlessness to do more and do better took me to Oman (this time with my family) as a regional diabetologist for 8 years. It was the best place to bring up children, live on campus with other colleagues and their families, and complete my dream of achieving the MRCP. Now, it was time to move to the UK.
I was lucky to get a clinical attachment in Newcastle upon Tyne at the age of 42 through the help of some of the most wonderful people I have ever met. Professor Philip Home and Professor Roy Taylor guided me and mentored me to complete my initial senior house officer, research and registrar jobs, which helped me get a training number in Southampton where I completed my training in endocrinology.
"as a regional adviser, I get to meet some of the most wonderful and clever people in the profession"
Once again, I was very lucky to get a job as a consultant within 6 years of coming to the UK in the historic town of the 1066 county-Hastings. While working in Hastings I have always tried to contribute more and more to whatever opportunity came along in educational roles, one of which was the fulfilling role of a regional adviser for the Royal College of Physicians. As a regional adviser, I get to meet some of the most wonderful and clever people in the profession, help grade colleagues for fellowship, approve job plans for new consultant job advertisements, sit on appointments advisory committees for consultants, contribute to the discussions in the regional advisers meetings, contribute to the policy drafting on various issues and organise regional update meetings among various other hugely soul-satisfying activities.
I would highly recommend putting your name forward for the post of regional adviser if the opportunity comes your way. I am thoroughly enjoying it. I am sure you will enjoy it too.
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