Tuesday Talks #1 with Dr Santosh Karmarkar


Dr Santosh Karmarkar graduated from G S Medical College and was a resident doctor at the KEM Hospital. With more than 28 years of experience, currently, he is a pediatric surgeon at Lilavati Hospital.

How did you cope up with your studies as a medical student?

I spent 12 long years on one campus for my MBBS, MS and my term as a resident doctor. I wonder, did I have to cope up? I don’t think so! I feel those were the best 12 years of my life.

Once you get into a medical college, you have entered a long pipeline. You will cross it and come out from the other end as a doctor. Becoming a good doctor is more than just securing high marks. Rather than worrying about studies, you must enjoy your journey and expand your horizons.

Which subject or topic did you struggle with as a medical student?

For me, subjects such as anatomy that required memorising were tedious. However, good teachers and discussions made it fun. I was drawn towards surgical topics more than non-surgical ones.

As a doctor, can you recall any incident wherein you had to struggle while treating a patient?

There are several such instances that I can recall. Something off the top of my head is a patient with a pancreatic abscess. He required almost 100 blood transfusions. Many patients have suffered severe complications and required prolonged treatments as a result.

Medicine is not a mathematical science; it is quite the opposite. When you expect things to go smoothly, you have to struggle. And sometimes, when you expect complications, the patient recovers quickly without any of that.

How do you cope up with such challenging times?

I have three tips for this.

  • Never lose hope.
  • Never stop trying because even the most complicated cases may turn round.
  • Never hesitate to get inputs from your team. Struggling alone may not work, so rather struggle as a team.
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