Untouchable Connection

I migrated from India to pursue research and a clinical career in the UK, and I completed a part-time PhD over a period of 6 years. The initial stages were stressful as I pursued research alongside a full-time clinical job, and I had to fund my own degree doing extra locum clinical night shift work from time to time. 

Balancing my research, clinical job, and family life during this time took a lot out of me. Keeping an eye on the end goal and trying to stay positive obviously helped, but what really helped me overcome this period was the support from my colleagues and my family. 

I would say that it was the conversations on a daily or frequent basis that I had with my family and colleagues (after work or on weekends) that were key to remaining positive and focused. All my family were abroad, so I spoke to them on skype and it was these conversations that kept me going when times were difficult. Exchanging emails, texts and talking with friends about life in the UK and in India and what was happening in both countries and our individual lives was therapeutic at times. I attended social events organised by my hospital colleagues and Professors every now and then and that made me feel at home despite being new to the country. I love tennis and I found a local tennis club with help of my friends which was fantastic!

Ten years later, I’ve made it through and have now become a menopause and fertility specialist. I love working in a supportive environment in my clinical field of interest. Being able to support or guide women or couples who are looking for medical help and offering them interventions that can improve their quality of life is the best part of my job and I can’t imagine any other career. 

It does still get tough from time to time but relying on supportive networks like my family, friends and colleagues still helps me get through the toughest aspects of my job and I embrace this support for my physical and mental wellbeing. 

Looking back at that time 10 years ago, there are two things I would like to share with everyone:

First, when you decide to pursue something positive despite limited resources and support, you might find yourself alone at times, but you must stay focused on your goal. If you are passionate and work hard to reach your goal – you will get there. Don’t get distracted.

Secondly, be aware of your limitations. This means that, with whatever resources you have in your hand, give it your best shot. Don’t get swayed into doing multiple things or try to do more than what is important to reach the goal because someone else tells you that something is better than what you’re doing. Trust what you are doing if the goal is positive for you and others.

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