Contributing Writer — Surabhi Sanghi
Name – Alok Bajpai
Profession – Psychiatrist
Age – 52
Gender – Male
City – Kanpur
Industry – Healthcare
- This is a field where you get to meet and interact with new people every day and that makes my work very interesting.
- You have to go through intensive training to become a clinical psychiatrist.
- Education in psychology opens a lot of options for you and most of them are very rewarding.
- You have to love people and have excellent communication and empathy skills in order to interact with so many people on a daily basis.
Where have you been born and raised?
I was born and raised in the city of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh.
What is your family background? Who all had the most influence on you and how?
I come from a middle-class family. My mother was a housewife while my father worked. I think my father has had the most influence on me throughout my life. He was a man with progressive ideas in times when even thinking of becoming a psychologist was a stigma in our society.
Please give us a summary of your career, chronologically, including organisation names and your role/designation.
After completing my class 12th, I did my MBBS from GSVM medical college, Kanpur. I did my DPM and MD in Psychiatry from NIMHANS bangalore. After being in training for 7 years, I have completed 21 years in the field of Psychiatry. I have worked in Regency Hospital in Kanpur and have also been associated with IIT Kanpur as a consulting Psychiatrist simultaneously.
Which institutes are best for the education/training of this profession?
According to me NIMHANS is probably the best institute in the country if you want to further make a career in Psychiatry.
What are the costs associated with the education/training of this profession?
Studying in government colleges has almost negligible fees in today’s standards. But many good private colleges have come up, so the fee structure may vary and may end up being in few lacs per year.
What are the typical entry level jobs in this profession?
To become a clinical psychiatrist, one needs to go through intensive training for many years. If one would want to be a normal counselor, then training is not that intensive. One can take up counseling in schools and other organizations or can associate with hospitals.
What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in your line of career & industry?
Describe your work? What do you typically do on a normal work day?
I really love what I do. I get to meet new people and learn so much about society every day. I look at patients with mental illnesses like depression, PTSD etc. but I also meet people who come to with me stress and anxiety related issues.
What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider this career/job?
It gives an opportunity to know people. You are able to help a person who needs and seeks help and that provides a lot of satisfaction. I would say it is a job that may be stressful but gives you a lot of satisfaction.
What are some of the challenges that you would want someone to be aware of when considering this career/job?
It is very stressful and requires intensive training. Without training one cannot enter the field. This requires a lot of patience and it often gets frustrating. It is stressful because you absorb the problems of people around you. This sometimes makes it emotionally overwhelming.
What are the relevant trends/skills/technologies that are currently commanding premium in your job profile?
I think some of the relevant skills would be the ability to communicate. It is very important to be able to communicate exactly what you want to say to the patient or what that person is saying to you. One should be empathetic. One should know how exactly the other person is feeling by empathizing but not sympathizing with that person.
What kind of person would be happy in your career?
A person who loves to interact with fellow human beings and who is curious about what really goes on in the minds of people. A person who is warm and is very positive and not critical about what people do.
Given another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned? Would you pursue another profession or a passion perhaps?
I think if I were not in this field, I would have taken up film making as a profession.
What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?
It is very important to keep your passion for this profession alive because there would be times you would just want to give up. Know the world around you and don’t be oblivious to the surroundings. After all you are going to work with human beings and it is important to know the sociological context they come from.