From scratch to becoming one of the top 100 Oncology blogs in the world

After a hectic day of work in Bangalore, I was having a casual discussion with Dr. Sumer Sethi, who is one of the most influential doctors on the internet & a great motivator. During our discussion, he encouraged me to start writing a blog about my experiences as a Breast Surgeon. Breast Surgery was a relatively new branch at that time and Dr. Sethi was of the opinion that a blog would be a great medium to create awareness about Breast Cancer & my experiences as a Surgeon. That is when ‘Random Reflections of a Breast Surgeon‘ was born.

Initially, it was quite difficult for me to take out time to write blogs but gradually it became a habit and I started enjoying it. In due course of time, the blog became really popular among patients suffering from Breast diseases and medical students aspiring to become surgeons.

Every now and then, encouraging messages from patients, well-wishers and students have motivated me to keep on pushing the boundaries of my blog. The latest recognition by Feedspot of nominating my blog as one of the Top 100 Oncology Blogs in the World has just strengthened my resolve to continue spreading my experiences with the world.

In the last few months, I have started encouraging patients/ students/ doctors to share their experiences on my blog and if anyone is interested in highlighting their work, you can email it to me on rohankhandelwal@gmail.com. Also for patients, I have also launched by new website – http://www.breasthealth.in , which provides details about all Breast Diseases & their management.

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Thank you for following my reflections!!

Which one is my reflection??

Which one is my reflection??

In less than a month of starting this blog, more than 4000 visitors have visited the website and liked the posts and more than 50 people are following my blog.

Thank you very much for the support and encouragement and please keep enjoying my reflections!! 🙂

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When do I write my blog posts?

Different methods of time keeping at Warwick castle

Different methods of time keeping at Warwick castle

 

Somebody asked me the other day that when do I take out time from my busy schedule to write on the blog?

I replied back by quoting these words by Charles Buxton – “You will never find time for anything. If you want time you must make it.”.

Many people write their daily diaries just before going off to sleep. It is a matter of habit and they make sure that they take out time for it, even if they are very tired. Ideas for these blog posts keep on popping into my mind and whenever they do, I just make a note of them and then work on these ideas once I have finished the hospital work and my daily quota of reading textbooks and articles. I finalize the posts before going off to sleep and then publish them whenever I get time. This has become a daily habit since I have started this blog.

About the photo – This was clicked by me at Warwick Castle and it shows two methods of time keeping. The lower one is sun-dial and the upper one is a regular watch. The picture goes well with the theme of the post.

Battleground

No caption required ;-)

No caption required 😉

I found this sign hanging outside the Nurse’s station and started laughing 🙂 🙂 🙂 but then I thought that it wasn’t entirely wrong. Doctors and nurses do have to do very long duties and they surely do ROAST the body and mind occasionally.

I remember my days as a surgical trainee, when we used to have 30 – 32 hour duties (emergency duties as they were known as). These duties are comparable to 30 hours in a battle field – battling fatigue, hunger & thirst. The only difference being that we used to battle to save lives.

Even the preparation for the duties was similar to preparing for a battle. In addition to an extra-heavy breakfast, food and refreshments used to be stuffed into my bag before leaving home (due to the nature of the duties, I rarely used to get a chance to enjoy these delicacies and most of them were devoured by my other friends :(). After the morning rounds in the ward, we used to enter the real battleground – the Surgical Emergency. This place was always swarming with patients, their relatives, nurses and doctors 24 hours a day – there was never a dull moment in this place (and trust me this place does not remind you of Scrubs or Grey’s anatomy). The day used to start with briefing the interns and junior resident’s, who used to be our wingmen during the entire duty. Before the start of the duty, all of us used to fill our white coats with syringes, needles, blades, IV lines, books, etc etc (quite similar to a soldier preparing for battle) and this ritual was repeated multiple times during the day (like re-loading one’s gun during battle).

Once the patients used to enter the ward, we used to get very little time to rest. Just to give you an idea, during one duty we used to treat a minimum of 100 -150 patients and carry out atleast 20-30 minor procedures and 5-10 major procedures. Lunch and dinner used to be at odd hours (sometimes only one meal a day) and usually on the go. We used to drink more tea/ coffee than water to keep ourselves charged up (although the adrenaline rush of being in the emergency also used to play its part).

We usually use to finish our duties by 3-4 PM next day and used to be extremely exhausted.

These duties fared better than any sleep medicine, as we used to fall asleep within minutes of hitting the bed. Although these duties were very exciting and played their part in moulding us into surgeons, sometimes they literally ROASTED our minds and bodies!!