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On Being a Doctor |

A Lesson in Poverty

Ananya Das, MD
[+] Article and Author Information

Requests for Single Reprints: Ananya Das, MD, P. Singhania Research Institute, A 30 Chittaranjan Park, New Delhi, Delhi, India 110019; e-mail, ananya_das@hotmail.com.


Ann Intern Med. 2002;137(6):544. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-137-6-200209170-00017
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Today I started working in the hospital located in the center of a bustling metropolis. As I walked toward the endoscopy suite, I could feel my confidence build. I had been well trained and I was ready. But after training in the United States for 7 years, the decision to come back to India was not an easy one. Most of my Indian friends who had gone to the States for advanced training had opted to stay. I had always wanted to return to India. Almost everyone advised me against leaving the States. Nor was it easy to convince my wife. But through my training I had honed my endoscopy skills to a fine degree and felt I could get access to the most difficult bile duct, could snare the most mischievous polyp, could be successful where many might have failed. And I had always felt that my country needed me. With my advanced training, I could return to help my people. I knew I would make a lot less money, but that had never been my priority. Being able to help my country was my primary goal. Getting a position in India to achieve that goal proved difficult. In the end my American connections helped with this as well.

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