Author – Kashmala Khan Interviewers – Dr. Bilal Zafar, Dr. Inês Serra and Dr. Maria Rosa Andrade Ferreira
Dr. Azhar Farooqi belongs to the generation of Pakistan where a family’s ambition for their child, who does well at school, is to become a doctor. To illustrate, it is a Pakistani, and even an Asian, trend to see their child grow into a doctor regardless of their interest, passion, personality and skills. Hence, he became part of same ideology.
Medicine is a vast canvas. The options are endless. The path and destiny depend upon the medical students. Every student aims differently, therefore, attains a different perspective of struggle, growth and success.
General Practitioners as Vaccination Influencers
Dr. Farooqi is a devoted general practitioner who believes in the power of the doctor-patient relationship. The significance of this relationship is evident when patients reach him out to obtain his opinion about vaccinations. Be it COVID-19 or any other vaccine, populations around the world are concerned and worried about the efficacy and side effects. Pandemic has been an endless trauma for everyone one way or the other. Pandemic combined with the doubts and myths about vaccines created an undefined state of panic and terror. Dr. Farooqi finds it his responsibility to guide the patients for their health and well-being.
Colleagues’ Buzz: Partners at Work
After decades of working as a general practitioner, Dr. Farooqi is still passionate about his work. His job is his responsibility but he tends to enjoy his work time with colleagues. The environment of healthcare centres is stressful. In such circumstances, colleagues turn out as partners in times of grief and glee.
Compartmentalise Stress and Crises
Stress and crises are constants in a doctor’s life. They stay with them. The only trick is to manage. Whether you are a medical student or a specialist and researcher with years of experience, you are under stress for patient management, upcoming surgery, events at home or simply exhausted. Dr. Azhar Farooqi views the management of stress from a different perspective.
Patient Care & Research Neglecting Ethnicities
Medical practice witnesses discrimination among ethnicities and minorities. From exclusive patient care to research, ethnicities come across ignorance. This is a bitter reality that patients experience especially in developed countries. Despite extensive awareness campaigns on a global level, we see improvement at an unsatisfactory pace.
Research-oriented Statistics & Population
He explains the impact of neglecting ethnicities in research and patient care by providing an example of diabetes. As a fact, we know diabetes is quite common. However, we don’t know the statistics on populations. This is how Dr. Azhar Farooqi breaks down the mathematics for us.
Equation of Personal & Professional Life
Dr. Azhar Farooqi puts personal and professional life in the same equation. He believes the family’s time is as important as giving time to a career. Like many doctors, Dr. Azhar Farooqi also encourages a healthy balance between work and home. A doctor derives a sense of accomplishment from both. Neglecting one and expecting the other to fulfil you is not possible. You may win at one but you will lose the other.
Dr. Azhar Farooqi stresses finding a passion. He urges young medical students to find a field that intrigues them. It may be clinical specialisation, research, and academics. Most importantly, he convinces medical students who regret choosing medicine to switch as soon as they realise the field is not for them. You become your career and it stays for the rest of your life. If medicine does not seem right for you, change your career.
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