While speaking to My Medical Mantra about the honour of being selected for this award, Dr Avinash Supe, dean of KEM Hospital and director of major civic-run hospitals, said, “I completed my high school education from Parle Tilak Vidyalaya, maths was my favourite subject and I received awards from the school for excelling in it. I appeared for the IIT examinations and I ranked tenth in India. But the medical field always had a certain appeal and I was captivated by it and I decided to pursue a career in the medical profession. My father had opposed this idea, during that time we weren’t allowed to decide a career of our choice. But I was guided by people around me.”
Dr Supe further said, “My uncle was a doctor and I was inspired by him to become a doctor. That is why I did not take an admission in the IIT. With the guidance of my teachers, I was determined to become a surgeon.”
He recalls the days he spent time preparing for his Master of Surgery examinations, Dr Supe said, “My friend and I used to study from 6 am to 12 pm and then take a break for one hour. From 1pm to 12 am, we used to discuss about topics related to the exam, such as, how to solve a particular question in the paper, how to write the paper, how to examine X-rays, etc. We were sure that we would clear the exams with the amount of efforts we put in, and indeed we did pass with good marks.”
On being asked about what are the requirements for being a good surgeon, he answered, “There are two important things for being a good surgeon, a steady well-trained hand to operate upon patients and a good heart to take care of your patients. Overall, the most important thing is to be a good human being.”
Speaking about the reason why he chose to work in civic-run hospitals instead of private hospitals, he said, “The medical profession has turned into a market. The middle class and poor people suffer the most due to this. In order to help the needy, I decided to work in the hospital run by the BMC. I would have received a better pay in private hospitals, but I would have been deprived of the opportunity to teach young medical students. I feel immense happiness and pride, when I see them turn into capable doctors. It is essential for us to decide which career will bring us happiness.”
Dr Avinash Supe completed his graduation from KEM itself before going to the University of Illinois for a Master’s in Health Professional Education. He worked as the head of the surgical gastroenterology of KEM from 2003-13. He then worked as the Dean of Sion hospital and later of KEM. He has won 26 awards and has written 247 research papers, according to a statement issued on Tuesday, August 28 by the BMC.