How medical students can utilise this lock-down period efficiently

I was in my 2nd year of post-graduation during the 2009 swine flu pandemic. 4-5 days after an emergency 24 hour duty, I developed symptoms of flu along with high fever. As per the guidelines issued, I got my test done and was detected with swine flu. Fortunately, I just had mild infection but i was forced to undergo a 12 day quarantine.

Being a second year surgery PG, when the surgical opportunities in the emergency duties are plenty, I was initially a bit frustrated but within a day or two, I decided to utilize that time wisely. I set aside 3 tasks for myself during that period and made sure that I finished them before going back to the hospital.

1) I planned to revise bailey and maheshwari for my upcoming MRCS exam

2) Submit two scientific papers in pubmed indexed journals

3) Segregate my wildlife pictures into various folders for handy use

I realized that doing just one thing the entire day wouldn’t be possible, so I allocated 4-5 hours to studies and 1 hour each to the other two tasks. This left me with enough time to exercise, watch TV for 1-2 hours a day.

At the end of the 12 days, I had accomplished all the three tasks and felt extremely happy while returning to work.

A lot of undergraduate students are going through the same phase during this lock-down and I would highly recommend that you follow these simple steps to make the most of this period

1) Make a realistic study plan for yourself : Don’t be over ambitious, otherwise you will feel disappointed at the end of 21 days. At the same time, don’t set yourself a very simple goal because that would lead to you wasting a lot of time on social media or watching netflix

2) Use this free time to work on your hobby : You might not get such a period for a long time after this. Don’t forget to read that book which has been lying on your shelf since a long time or pick up the canvas and re-juvinate your passion for drawing. These hobbies would be your stress-busters for the rest of your life and they will also allow you to break the monotony during this lock-down period

3) Each day spend quality time with your family members: Watch a movie together or play some board/ card game. You will treasure these memories life long.

4) Exercise/ meditate for at least one hour daily: I’m sure your mother’s would be pampering you with delicacies but you don’t want to end up gaining 2-3 kg’s during this period. Also, this would help you in staying sane during this phase when all you are hearing is gloomy/ depressing news regarding COIVD19

5) Try to learn some new skill – there are a lot of free courses on internet. You can probably learn a new language or hone your photography skills by doing these courses.

I have also set a few goals for myself during this period and I would like to share them with you. Will update you at the end of this period regarding the progress which I have made regarding these.

• Apply for Fellow of American College of Surgeons (FACS)

• Publish two articles regarding my breast cancer patients

• Me and Dr. Ila have sighted and clicked more than 120 Indian birds over the last 10 years. I want to print a book with all these images for our reference

• Do a online course to improve my photography skills

I hope this posts helps the undergraduate students plan these days better. Do reach out to me if you are able to make a list for yourself and keep sharing your progress with me. It will motivate me to achieve my targets as well.

covid19todolist #RohanKhandelwal

PS – attaching a pic of me and Dr. Ila Jain Khandelwal which we clicked during our swine flu quarantine period.

Lifestyle changes to manage cyclical breast pain (Mastalgia)

Breast pain is a common symptom with which patients come to the Breast Clinic. Although there are various causes of breast pain, the most common is fibrocystic diseases or fibroadenosis.

Fibroadenosis or fibrocystic disease leads to cyclical breast pain, which means that pain is maximum before the menstrual periods but reduces when the periods start. The intensity of pain can vary from patient to patient. In some patients the pain is so severe, that they need to take pain killers.

There are certain lifestyle changes and natural therapies which ladies can use to reduce their cyclical breast pain but they should only be tried once the doctor has confirmed the diagnosis and ruled out more serious conditions like inflammation and breast cancer. One should also maintain a pain diary to evaluate if the pain is reducing or increasing with time.

1. Weight reduction – this is specially useful for patients who have a high body mass index (BMI). A reduction or even 2-3 kg’s can lead to a dramatic improvement in breast pain

2. Cutting down on tea/ coffee – There is anecdotal evidence that reduction in caffeine intake, specially before the periods helps in the management of cyclical Mastalgia

3. Adequate breast support – wearing a well supported sports bra helps in reducing the pain, specially during walking/ running/ exercising. Underwired bra’s can sometimes aggravate the pain

4. Turmeric/ curcumin – many of my patients have benefitted with curcumin/ haldi/ turmeric for a period for 30-40 days. Patients have reported a 30-35% reduction in pain.

If your breast pain doesn’t settle down with these methods, please consult your doctor for further evaluation and treatment.

For further advise, please contact

Dr. Rohan Khandelwal

Breast Surgeon (Benign and Cancerous Breast Conditions)

Gurgaon

+91 79-88252759

Scalp cooling device to reduce hair loss during chemotherapy

Hair loss during chemotherapy can be a huge psychological and physical blow to a lady. Today, we tried the Paxman scalp cooling device on two of our chemotherapy patients. This device leads to vasoconstriction of the scalp vessels and reduces hair loss during chemo.

Studies done using the device report a 70% reduction in hair loss with Paclitaxel based chemotherapy ( used for breast cancer, ovarian cancer) and a 30% reduction in hair loss with adriamycin (used for breast cancer) based chemotherapy.

 

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The magic of a healthy doctor-patient relationship

The relationship between doctors and their patients has received philosophical and spiritual attention since the time of Hippocrates and still remains a keystone of care. But, unfortunately over the years, this special relationship has undergone a drastic transition. The onus for this actually lies on both the parties. On one hand, increasing number of litigations and the irrational use of social media has made the doctor fraternity more cautious while on the other, many patients claim that doctors treat them as consumers and the healing touch and warmth has gone.

Bobby Fischer once said “Nothing is so healing as the human touch”. As a doctor, it’s very important to counsel & interact with patients, so that their fears regarding the disease can be alleviated.

As a cancer surgeon, I feel that a healing touch is as important as a good surgical hand. Every doctor should make a sincere effort to strike a healthy relationship with their patients.

May the force be with you!!

 

 

 

(This was a card I recently received from one of may patient’s, whom I had treated for cancer)

Is it sexual harassment? 

Just got a very interesting message from a patient of mine:
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Should I call it sexual harassment ? Whenever I tell people I have breast cancer👙 they look at my breasts and keep guessing which one 🤔
While I do not bother to look at others kidney, prostate or rectum.

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These warriors are already battling this dreaded illness and they need our full support but the society just makes them more conscious of their disease.
Would love to know your views regarding this.

International Women’s Day 2017

Women are truly the real architects of society – I am fortunate to know so many courageous women, who continue to fulfil their personal & professional responsibilities despite battling breast cancer. Hats off to their fighting spirit!! Wishing all these beautiful women a very happy International Women’s Day

 

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