Here’s part 2 of my Inspiring Stories from Inspiration Guest House segment!
One of the first thing you notice when you walk inside the Out Patient Block of Aravind Eye Hospital is how incredibly crowded it is. You might even ask yourself “Is this a hospital or a marketplace?” One of the puzzling questions one would ask of Aravind is how it can comfortably handle this high patient volume day in, day out. As I observed a lot more of the hospital, I slowly began to see the answers. One of the main reasons for Aravind’s success is the hard work and determination of its employees. Dr. V set the foundations for this hospital but the reason Aravind is successful is because everyone who works at Aravind seems to emulate Dr. V’s work ethic. The whole staff from the housekeeping sisters to the mid level ophthalmic personnel to the administrators are fully committed to Aravind’s mission. This aura of focus and determination is like a virus. It is infectious. You can see that everyone who hears and learns about Aravind is infected with this desire to do more and to serve more.
You can easily see this in the guest houses. Countless international doctors and trainees stay at Aravind for the wide range of courses that they offer. Aravind has courses for outreach coordinators, optometrists, resident doctors, and fellows. Most people stay for about three to four weeks at a time. Our 10-week stay feels like forever in comparison. This length of time does have it perks though. I have really enjoyed meeting the people staying at Aravind. It is really interesting to ask about what they are doing at Aravind. The dining hall at the guest house becomes a great place to share stories and backgrounds, voice opinions, and generate ideas. I came to Aravind wanting to know if medicine is really for me. Conversing with these doctors and learning about their career paths and their future goals has certainly given me a lot to think about regarding medicine as a career. It has been really fun hearing all their stories about their first surgeries, their clinics back in their home country, and their experiences in medical school.
But inevitably, our conversations always lead back to a shared amazement for Aravind’s mission. The most interesting topics we talk about, however, are their plans for the future and how they wish to implement what they learned at Aravind in their home countries. Dr. Henry for example wishes to implement an Aravind like system in a hospital in Cameroon. Dr. Godwin is also helping to create a hospital that reaches out to the poor in Nigeria. Ultimately, I want to go back to the Philippines and improve the health care back home. As such, I was able to gather a lot of insight from Dr. Henry and Dr. Godwin about their struggles and successes in reaching their goals. I hope that one day I too can create a meaningful change like Dr. Henry, Dr. Godwin, and Dr. V. I do recognize that the road ahead is still a long and testing one. So for now, I am thoroughly enjoying gathering as much inspiration as I can get from Inspiration (while also taking in the vibrant culture and experiencing the sights and sounds of India.)
Here are some pictures from our trips to Pondicherry and Bangalore over the last two weekends.