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Harshna Aseri

MBBS student

Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College

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Don’t quit on your dreams.

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WHAT DO YOU DO?

I am a second year medical student at a government medical college in Mumbai. I aspire one day to become a good clinician and help those in need. With the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, our priority towards healthcare has increased and I hope to contribute and do my part in providing holistic healthcare. Currently I try my best to be involved in organisations that help spread awareness about basic health care to the general population.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?

My maternal grandfather is a renowned pediatrician and growing up I had the opportunity to witness his creative approach towards diagnosing and treating his patients - that was my biggest inspiration. As a kid I was always extremely interested in science and wanted to be a researcher, I was even awarded the KVPY (Kishore Vaigyanik Prohotsahan Yojana) research fellowship when I was 17. However things changed when I was in 10th grade - one of my aunts was diagnosed with breast cancer and I saw her struggle immensely and all I could think of is what I can do to prevent this and help her from this misery. I knew then that I wanted to devote my life to saving lives.

HOW DO/DID YOU TACKLE OBSTACLES?

One of my biggest hurdles was my lack of mentorship anxiety. Even though my grandfather was a doctor, he was not well versed with the entire process of getting into a medical college. I was always a top student in my class with straight A-s however when I started preparing for getting admission (which is extremely tough) I struggled with anxiety and lack of mentorship that would have possibly made the process more streamlined. I tackled it by setting goals for myself and working super hard.

WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"

I wish the younger me would believe in myself and knew that what seems out of reach is indeed possible you just have to overcome challenges. I never thought I would actually get admission in such a great institute and now I can only work harder to achieve what I want in the future.

WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?

STEM and medicine is what drives me, even though it gets very challenging to study for hours at a stretch and there are breakdowns. The love of medicine and curing diseases helps me power through. The blessings and the satisfaction that come after helping a patient is unmatchable.

BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?

Don’t quit on your dreams, even when something seems far and out of reach, do your part everyday and one day you’ll be closer to you destination. And above everything, be curious and ask questions.

INSPIRATION

This is one of the most famous shlokas from Bhagavad Gita and what I was taught from childhood by my grandpa: “Kam Karo, Fal Ki Chinta Mat Karo”. It simply means that focus on your actions and not on the results - if you have worked hard, things will fall into place.