Tuesday Talks #3 with Dr Rajesh Nathani

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Dr. Rajesh Nathani is a pediatric surgeon in Mumbai. He is in private practice since July, 1989. Apart from this, he is a member of various national associations of pediatric surgeons and pediatricians. He attends conferences, CMEs at all levels regularly both as speaker, faculty and as a delegate.


We all want to be successful. But what is success? In today’s Tuesday Talks, Dr Rajesh Nathani, an experienced surgeon, takes us through his views on success in the medical profession.

What is the criteria of success in the medical profession?

The criteria of success are different for everyone. It also keeps evolving at every stage of one’s professional career. When we start, earning a good income and settling down in life may be considered a success. With more experience, our priorities also change. Then, we start measuring success by the quality of practice, published works and peer recognition. Finally, in the later stages of our life, obtaining a work-life balance is becomes our priority. So, along with working, we focus on spending time at home that was not possible when we were younger.

How to choose between selfless service and one’s financial goals?

It’s a million-dollar question. For most people, priorities keep changing throughout the career. When you are just starting your practice and are relatively unknown, you tend to visit charitable places and treat patients for free or lesser amounts. After gaining some experience, most people cut down on the quantity of work and start focusing on the quality of work. So, it is a natural cycle that results in a win-win situation for both society and medical professionals. If you enjoy social service more than anything else, you continue with that. Hence, all decisions depend on one’s personal goals and happiness.

Who is considered more successful – an MBBS who treats around 50 patients a day or a specialist who treats maybe 4-5 patients in a day but earns much more than an MBBS?

We cannot measure success with the amount of money one earns every month. I would say a person who performs the best during the given constraints is successful. I may earn in lakhs every month but if I am not providing quality service to my patients and they are not happy, that money does not hold any importance. So, the motto is to be a karma yogi and be true to yourself and your work. Financial success has nothing to do with it.

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