Interview with Dr.Surendra Nayak, IDF

Q8india.com, The well-known news portal in Kuwait recently had the pleasure of having a chat with Dr. Surendra Nayak, well known face in medical fraternity among Indian diaspora in Kuwait and President of Indian Doctor Forum, Kuwait.

Q. Tell us something about yourself and your family.

A. I am Dr. Surendra Nayak, current President of IDF. I have completed my M.D. Pathology in Kasturba Medical college, Mangalore and M.B.B.S at Karnataka Medical College in Hubli. I am basically from Mangalore, Karnataka, India. I spent my childhood at Harikandige, a small village in Udupi district where I did my primary education. I completed my higher education at Mahatma Gandhi Memorial College, Udupi.

I joined KMC Mangalore in 1991, where I served as a lecturer for 13 years during which I was promoted to the post of Associate Professor. Later in 2002, I moved to Kuwait for a prospective career. Here I’ve been serving in the Ministry of Health from the past 17 years. I am a specialist in Histopathology, in the department of laboratory medicine, Al Sabah maternity hospital.

My wife is a B.Com Graduate who worked as a clerk in Bank of Baroda India. She left the job in 2002 after working for 13 years when we moved to Kuwait.

We are blessed with two children, a son and a daughter. My son has completed his M.S. and DNB in Orthopaedics. Currently he is doing a Fellowship programme in Hip and Knee replacement surgery in Wrightington Hospital, Manchester. My daughter has finished her Bachelors in Engineering at St. Joseph Engineering College, Mangalore. Soon she will be joining Infosys.

Q. Tell us about your journey to Kuwait

A. After serving in KMC, Mangalore for 13 years I decided to move to Kuwait in 2002 for better working prospects.

Q. Why did you choose this profession?

A. Since childhood I had a desire to become a doctor and serve humanity. And, since there was no doctor in my family, my parents and relatives motivated me to join the medical field.

Q. Tell us your background as a doctor, education and your professional experience. What are your specialities and your expertise?

A. I have completed my M.B.B.S. and M.D in Pathology. Pathology deals with study of tissues, blood and cells. The sub-specialities of Pathology are Cytology (fluids), Histopathology (tissues) and Haematology (blood). I specialize in Histopathology that is diagnosis of changes in the tissues during illness. We differentiate between the benign and malignant tumours i.e. cancerous and non-cancerous tumours. Depending on our diagnosis, the patient is treated.

Q. What unique skills do you possess?

A. I work at a speciality centre, where I deal with Gynaecological Histopathology. I have expertise in Gynaecological Pathology, especially in cervical, endometrial and ovarian cancers.

Q. Describe your day to day activities, priorities and tasks.

A. I reach the hospital everyday at 7am. During the initial working hours I deal with surgical pathology wherein we cut the diseased tissues and tumors. Representative sampling is done for histopathological examination. The technical staff processes the tissues, and submit them for microscopic examination. After the slides are prepared, we examine them under the microscope and give the diagnosis. And if needed, special studies like immune histochemistry and molecular biology are done and the final diagnosis is given. Then the reports are issued with the LIS system according to the international standard. I return from the lab at 3pm and rest for a while. In the evening I visit the gym for a quick work out to keep myself healthy and fit after which I indulge in some community activities related to IDF and other associations. I also try to make some time everyday for my hobbies like singing, playing instruments and drama. I like to keep myself occupied all the time and make everyday as productive as possible.

Q. What are your plans for the future?

A. I plan to work in the Kuwait till my retirement after which I plan to move back to India where I want to serve the community.

Q. What suggestions would you like to give us as a doctor?

A. Health is wealth. So it is crucial to maintain a good, healthy and stress free lifestyle. One must always maintain their body weight, blood pressure and blood sugar with the help of a proper diet and physical exercise. One must also maintain their mental health for a life free from illness. It is also very important for one to keep away from alcohol and smoking which are injurious to health.

Q. Tell us something about IDF and its activities.

A. IDF is a socio-cultural organisation in Kuwait founded in 2003. Currently more than 500 doctors of Indian origin, working in private and in ministry hospitals are members of this organization.

We have around 14 office bearers who work towards organizing the various events such as community health screening camps, cancer screening and awareness talks, health awareness talks in schools, radio health awareness talks and other recreational and cultural activities for the IDF members. Our main community activity is organizing health camps. We have a network of associations who request us to conduct these camps. Around 35-40 doctors from various specialities volunteer in these camps that are usually held on weekends. During these camps screening tests are performed such as blood sugar, cholesterol, blood pressure, body weight, etc. We also perform special tests like ultrasounds, ECG’s, eye and dental examinations. Around 15000 patients are benefited by these camps.

We conduct an annual inter school health quiz for all Indian schools. We also conduct Orations where specialist doctors from various fields or research-oriented academicians from India are invited to present the talks. We hold several recreational and cultural events for the members of IDF like indoor/outdoor picnics, DocFest, etc. An annual health guide is written by the doctors of the organization with basic health information written in simple language for the general public. Every year a different topic is chosen to bring awareness about the various health issues. Around 2500 copies are printed and distributed among the community in schools, camps, etc.

Q. We are keen to know your thoughts on social services and the role the IDF plays in the local fraternity.

A. Social service can be done on individual basis, or through the associations. IDF is an organization that was mainly created to provide community service. Through this platform I am able to help serve the community. Aside from the medical field we also reach out to the community through charity and provide financial aids during national calamities.

Q. How can other organisations collaborate with IDF to bring benefits to the Indian diaspora?

A. Other organizations can provide logistic assistance in organizing health camps, seminars and other activities. They can invite our members from different specialities to provide talks or seminars to help spread health awareness.

Q. Tell us what your experience about Kuwait, what do you like most about Kuwait?

A. Kuwait is a wonderful country. It has been an amazing experience living here for the past 17 years. I have been able to witness and learn about the diverse cultures from various communities by blending and interacting with different nationalities. Kuwait has given me a lot of new and exciting opportunities that helped me shape my life.

Q. What message do you have for students wanting to join the medical field?

A. I believe that medicine is a very honourable profession. It provides one the opportunity to serve their community. The Health sector is given great importance everywhere around the world. The government is providing a lot of health benefits with the help of Insurance schemes that is encouraging the public to use good health facilities. Hence there is a need of a large number of doctors. I highly encourage students to join the medical field. It is a promising field in the upcoming decade.

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