Dr Smita Chavhan the Additional Dean of SevenHills, a dedicated Covid hospital. She stood as one of the strongest supporters during the Pandemic and has helped many families 24/7 for the last one year. One of the most respected doctors. Her contribution towards the dedicated Covid hospital is worth applauding. Dr Smita in conversation with Dr Swapna Patker.
How do you define yourself?
Technically, I am an MBBS, MD in Community Medicine, DNB, DPh, FAIMER fellow, MUHS PhD enrolled. Presently I am a Dean (Addl.), at SevenHills Dedicated Covid Hospital, Marol, Andheri, Mumbai. But my real aim is to make a difference to the people around me and be an example to my little children.
What was your first reaction to the pandemic when it began last year?
For the first time, someone has asked me this question and I am happy about it. I received a call from the Director of MCGM Medical College to start Airport screening for international passengers in different teams of MCGM. Covid Pandemic Journey started naively, and soon we had to arrange a screening and quarantine facility at SevenHills from 14 March 2020 till date. There was no time to react or plan anything, I had to make all spontaneous decisions. We started working as per the MCGM authority’s orders and even today are happy to serve people.
Share your experiences working at seven hills and managing thousands of patients
It’s absolute satisfaction when I look back at those 15 months of the Pandemic time, wherein we have treated approximately 34,000 patients and more than 87.5% were discharged and now have undertaken vaccination campaigns where we have completed 1.72 lacs beneficiaries. Pandemic work is different from our routine medical practices. I have learned many technical and administrative skills. We all have learnt many new things since 2020, I’m humbled.
As a female doctor what were the challenges in working full time in the pandemic and missing out on family and children?
My strong family support made it easy for me, I am thankful to all those who gave me strength in such a crucial time. My husband Dr Santosh Chavhan a paediatrician runs his own hospital. He understood the professional demands and deliberation as a doctor, he let me flow with the time and services that were rendered. He had supported me a lot in taking care of our kids Parth (11 yrs) and Purva (5 yrs) with my sister-in-law and other family members. My kids became very supportive and my daughter feels proud of me, that makes me a proud doctor and proud mother too.
What were the difficulties and challenges in this journey?
Life is not easy. While I was saving many, I lost my father-in-law to Covid on 25 February at SevenHills DCH. It was disheartening. But we finally have to accept the facts of life. This incident was the hardest of all for me.
What kept you going untiringly?
It’s said उम्मीद पे दुनिया क़ायम है। Just the thought that this pandemic will surely vanish one day, kept me moving. I am hopeful and I will pass this hope to thousands of people in the coming time.
What have you learned from this Pandemic time?
I have learned enormous things but most importantly “Steadiness and assurances would never go waste”. I got an opportunity to work in this pandemic and got awarded as a Dean (Addl.) at such a big Institute. I am grateful to my team for being in sync all the time.
Your advice to upcoming doctors?
Dear young fraternity, as Doctors we should never let down our weapons in any given situation. Covid Pandemic is just one of many we can witness. Hundreds of doctors have given their lives. We have to value that and keep working. And also remember that Upgradation of knowledge and skills are a must to tackle the given situation
One message to our readers
Hold on, good times are here to arrive and we are diligently working towards those times. Support everyone by following Covid protocols strictly.