Published on: July 28, 2020

Dr Saima Furqan writes:

When I completed my medical degree, I found myself unsure of what to do next. Some advised me to set up a private clinic, some encouraged me to continue with a hospital job, while others suggested I pursue an MD.

Well, as confused as I was, they all seemed like good suggestions, so I worked at a charitable clinic, took up a job in a hospital and also began preparing for an MD, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something was missing. But no matter how much I tried, I couldn’t quite figure out what that “something” was. As I was going through this turmoil, I wondered why I was waiting for someone to get sick to come over to me? Why couldn’t I go to them instead and do something about improving their wellbeing? This made me realize that  I was really a public health enthusiast, and went after a Masters Degree in Public Health.

This however, did not put an end to the confusion and sense of restlessness, which continued unabated even after securing the MPH qualification. I knew I wanted to do something for the community but considering the public health structure of India and what needed to be done I wasn’t sure what exactly I should opt for.

People say you plan and God plans, but God’s plan is always the best for you and that things happen according to what He plans. I guess I was chosen by God for a particular purpose and that is why He brought Pallium India into my life. When I applied for the job at Pallium India, I had very little knowledge about Palliative Care, and that was thanks to my colleague Dr. Vijesh (who convinced me to learn about Palliative Care as well as the work that Pallium India does ). I decided to follow his advice and read more about this interesting field of medical care. The more I delved into available information, the deeper my love for the organization grew.

It’s not often that you see a group of people working endlessly just to reduce human suffering. Up until then, I hadn’t really thought about the types of suffering people experience when they or their loved one face a serious health related issue. This made me curious, and keen to work with Pallium India. Fortunately, I was given the opportunity to work as a Regional Program Officer for North India. I still feel like it was just yesterday that I joined Pallium India as a baby in Palliative care with only passion in my heart to learn and work with Dr. Rajagopal, who was the biggest motivating factor for me to opt for Pallium India. 

We all grow up working hard, trying to achieve success but only a few lucky ones have the opportunity to enjoy the work they do. Pallium India not only gave me an opportunity to enjoy my work but also made me realize the purpose of my life. I finally found what I always wanted to do. Yes, Palliative Care is my new found love which gives me satisfaction and peace. As the pandemic began affecting us all badly with little to no access to Palliative Care, I chose to follow the footsteps of my mentor Dr. Rajagopal. Therefore, now it is time to move on to my own path, in the direction to fulfill my passion. With the hope to carry forward the legacy of Pallium India, I decided to help in providing direct palliative care services to the people in need. Palliative Care is my calling, and with the intention to replicate to a large extent the model of Pallium India, I aspire to work with dedication and determination to set up a Palliative Care Center in New Delhi. Pallium India has helped me become a better human being, and has inculcated in me the drive to care beyond cure, for which I will always be grateful to the team and my colleagues.

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