I joined Vidya Niketan School in 2009 to pursue a secondary education in science through the ISC program. As a 15-year-old, it amazed me how intricately human beings were constructed. A well-oiled machine, running smoothly from head to toe. I chose biology as my elective and went on to receive proficiency awards in physics, chemistry, biology and environmental education at VNS. It was my dream to help people and becoming a doctor was my way of achieving it.
I went on to medical school and after 5 and a half grueling years filled with textbooks and practicals on the strangest of body parts, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in medicine and surgery (MBBS). I had the letters DR printed to the front of my name for eternity. Although I had achieved my dream of becoming a doctor, I found that I wasn’t able to make the impact I had hoped to make. During my practice as a doctor, I discovered loopholes in the socio-political and administrative atmosphere which hindered healthcare from being delivered in the best possible way. I found that without a solid healthcare framework, implementation of strategic policies, and administrative innovation and support – delivering healthcare which was safe, affordable, accessible and effective would always remain a challenge.
Therefore, I decided to pursue a Dual Master’s Degree in International Public Health and Health Management at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia to be able to make a larger, more widespread impact on healthcare in India. I was awarded the ‘Future of Change’ scholarship from UNSW in 2018 which offered me a total tuition fee waiver and have begun my journey into healthcare governance, strategy, policy and change.
It is my hope, that through this master’s degree I will be able to return to India with a fresh perspective on ways to help our society and country grow in the field of healthcare. I hope to make contributions to healthcare by working with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare towards universal, equitable and high-quality care.
To students, young and old, I would say that you can stop studying, but you can never cease to learn. Dreams can turn into reality with perseverance and time – but to nurture and develop your dream, and continually strive towards it is rewarding beyond measure.
Dr. Nikita Bathla