A Jack-of-all-trades! - Dr. Rohini Rau

This month Dr. Rohini Rau (youngest doctor at Kauvery), shares with us how Kauvery Hospital has helped her, to persue her talents and enable her to have a good work life balance. Read the interesting article below.

I was always called a Jack-of-all-trades. And it was always associated with being master of none!

My childhood was filled with different activities that I did for 1 hour every day after school. From the age of 5 until I was 15 years old. Mondays and Fridays were reserved for Bharatnatyam, Tuesdays and Thursdays for piano and then later violin was also added on for about 5 years, Wednesdays for BhairavMushti (Martial Arts), Tap dancing/ Jazz ballet, Saturdays for theatre, orchestra and choir, Sundays for Horse Riding and then at the age of 10 it was for Sailing.

My mother believed that it was important to learn Art, Music and Sport to help develop a well-rounded personality. To me, it seemed to be a way to find out what I enjoyed or what I was good at. I was told that I couldn’t just quit if I didn’t like it, I had to give it time to learn it properly. I guess that was the basis of developing qualities such as perseverance, discipline and hard work.

Medicine wasn’t my first choice. I loved science, but I always thought I would do bio informatics/ biomechanical engineering / Biotechnology. But when I found out all these subjects required a lot of mathematics, I quickly changed my mind.

In my 12th standard, I won India’s first Asian Gold Medal by a youth team, just 2 months before my board exams. That year sailing was included in the sports quota for medicine and I got one of 3 seats and ended up in Chengalpet Govt. Medical College in 2004. I had told my parents that I would only join if they would let me quit if I didn’t like the course. Luckily thanks to my wonderful professor Dr TL Anbumani who was my Anatomy Professor, I loved Anatomy and even managed a distinction in spite of taking part in 7 sailing championships during my first year of MBBS.

I had tried to get a transfer to the city so that I could train, but in vain. I then travelled by train every day to make sure I could get the required training for my sailing events.

I spent the next 10 years balancing medicine and a sailing career. I campaigned in the Laser Radial class (single hander women class) for the Olympic Games in 2008 and 2012. By this time I had participated in 8 World Championships, won 6 international medals and 32 National Medals including 8 Consecutive National titles in the Laser Radial. And became the only Indian woman sailor to beat the Army and Navy sailors in the laser radial Class at the Nationals.

In 2012, I took a break from sailing to complete my degree. I finished my MBBS and in 2015 I finished my internship and joined Kauvery Hospital as a Duty Medical Officer.

In 2009 I was offered a TED Fellowship and was invited to many conferences to share my journey balancing medicine and a sporting career. It was daunting to think of what my life would be after I stopped sailing, but to my luck there were many opportunities that unfolded. In 2012, I was invited to start the Chennai Chapter of the Global Shapers Community (an initiative of the World Economic Forum) - there were many projects that were developed here that won international grants.

It was very important for me to have a good work life balance, and Kauvery Hospital was able to give me just that. During my time here, I have learnt a lot from fellow doctors and staff nurses. I have had the opportunity to travel for conferences, speak and host events. I was appointed as a Health Researcher for the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project in Angola for 3 weeks. I became a certified Humanitarian Design thinking facilitator for many international projects in Ethiopia, Nepal, Kenya and India.

In 2016 I enrolled in the MSc Internal Medicine programme from University of Edinburgh with a scholarship. Under Dr R Balasubramaniyam as Supervisor I am currently doing my final year research thesis in Acute Kidney Injury at Kauvery Hospital, Chennai.

Just when I thought that I had given up sailing, something that I did for 15 years in my life, an opportunity presented itself to me. So, after 7 years this July I am making a comeback into competitive sailing with India’s first All Women’s J80 Team at the World Sailing Championship 2019 in Bilbao, Spain.

I am very thankful for all the support which has allowed me to grow with the Organisation and follow my dreams. I owe a lot to the entire Kauvery family for the encouragement and guidance through all of my endeavours.

I look forward to your best wishes as I take on this new challenge. I can now finally say that I am proud of being a Jack-of-all-trades to become a master of my life!

Article by Dr. Rohini Rau, SICU - In- Charge
Senior Resident Medical Officer, Kauvery Hospital

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