I have wanted to be a doctor since the age of 5 and specifically a Cardiothoracic Surgeon
At the tender age of 5, while most other children his age were grappling with the alphabet, Abhishek Swarup had already decided to become a Doctor – that too a Cardiothoracic Surgeon. Abhishek joined Pathways World School, Gurgaon in 2003 in its opening year and graduated in 2008. He went straight to medical school in India and studied at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. After becoming a Doctor in 2013, he has been interning at Sir Gangaram Hospital. He has also been able to go to America and work at institutions such as Brown University, Johns Hopkins Medical School and Harvard Medical School. Thought he spent only a month at each, he believes he gained some amazing US Clinical experience through this process. After the completion of his internship, he will subsequently apply to the United States as he aims to pursue a residency there in General Surgery and do his specialisation thereafter.
We congratulate Abhishek on his journey so far and wish him the very best for his future goals and endeavours.
Abhishek Swarup Interviewed by Pathways
Q1. Could you please talk us through your childhood briefly.
My childhood was like any normal childhood is expected to be. I have always lived in Delhi and my family made it a point that from the beginning, studies and co – curricular activities inside and outside of school were of extreme importance. One thing I have always valued is the independence and the freedom that my parents allowed from the start which I think is pivotal in today's world as it broadens your horizons and opens up your thinking. Hesitant at first, the change from a CBSE curriculum to the IB program definitely did me wonders as it teaches you to be global citizens and not limit your thinking in any aspect.
Q2. At what point did you decide to become a medical professional? Please describe your journey from a young school boy to becoming a 'Doctor'?
Funnily enough, I have wanted to be a doctor since the age of 5 and that too specifically a Cardiothoracic Surgeon. As long as I can remember, I don't think I ever changed my mind. I didn't follow the usual norm of going abroad to study and decided to opt for Medicine in India itself. The only glitch was making Indian Universities understand the IB program as 6 years ago it was relatively still new. I was lucky to have gotten admission at Kasturba Medical College, Manipal based on my IB scores. The 4.5 years spent there just flew by as the curriculum is extremely rigorous but brilliantly set. I faced challenges in the beginning as coming from an IB background, there were pros and cons to have gone to an Indian Medical Institution as the way of teaching differs and thoughts on how to go about things and work through things is also quite different. However, I never felt that I was at a loss as the IB program had definitely taught me to adapt in any given circumstance and be able to come out shining. Today 5.5 years later, I'm glad to say that I am a Doctor. You have chosen a very interesting field and have excelled in it at a very young age. Your thoughts on this accomplishment.
I was the only one from my entire batch in school who opted to do Medicine. It is an extremely daunting and stressful career but which field isn't in today's world! There were times where I would question myself if I really wanted to do this purely because of the stress levels and the competition I saw around me but I just decided to not let anything deter me and excel while enjoying what I am doing. That is my approach to Medicine. It is an extremely competitive field as one needs to think first of becoming a Doctor, then doing a Post Graduation and then a Super Specialization. It's a rat race for most but if you decide to enjoy the journey and love what you do – nothing is impossible.
Q3. Where do you see yourself 5 years from today?
The goal is to become a certified Surgeon from America in the next 5 years and be able to help medically on a global level. Fingers crossed.
Q4. Please share your experience of your time spent at Pathways? Your most special memory at the school?
It was and will always be the best days of my life! I joined Pathways in 2003, the opening year of the school. Even though it had its teething problems initially – it didn't deter the school from giving us world class education and broadening our horizons. Being part of the IB curriculum for 5 years really did good to me as an individual as it made me grow overall. It did wonders to my personality and I give 100% credit to Pathways for making me who I am today – an individual hoping to serve mankind through my practice of Medicine.
Q5. What message would you want to give to all our students and children in general?
Be yourself always. Stay true to yourself and do not let anything deter you from whatever you may want to do in life. Enjoy every moment and embrace every new day with a smile on your face!