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International Women’s Day: How Women in Health Are Transforming the Face of Healthcare

New Delhi (India), March 7: As we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, we bring forward strong opinions about women showing great courage by making their mark in the health industry. These influential women have an unshakeable desire to push their boundaries and create an impact. Below are the opinions of female doctors and coaches from different domains who are guiding people on the path to a healthy lifestyle. As they say, building a healthy lifestyle should be a continuous process, not a one-time event.

Dr. Rachana Gaddipati, ENT Surgeon, MS (ENT), MBBS, MS, Co-Founder – V Kare ENT Centre, Gurgaon

Healthcare is not an industry, and the sanctity of healthcare is no more in the era of privatization. Wanting to serve from a young age and choosing not to have children has allowed me to treat every patient who comes into my OPD as my child. That choice I was able to make owing to the strength of all the positive male influences in my life—my father, my husband, and my brother—and the credit is duly given to their respective wives and mothers who not only educated their daughters but also sensitized their sons on how to treat women. Today, my husband and I work together equally and run our centre, where our collective belief is that “healthcare has to be equal and affordable to all”!

Dr. Nandita Palshetkar, MD, FCPS, FICOG, FRCOG, Associated Lilavati Hospital, Bandra

Palshetkar Patil Nursing home, Mumbai

The success of every woman should be an inspiration to others. We’re the strongest when we cheer each other on. Dr. Nandita Palshetkar is one of the pioneers of IVF treatment in India, specializing in Assistive Reproductive Technologies, and has been helping over 1000 aspiring couples have a baby of

their own. She is credited with an average IVF success rate of 45%–50%.

Women’s empowerment is intended to promote women’s sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their choices, and their right to influence social change for themselves and others. There is always a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation. I am blessed to be a part of this creation in the

lives of so many couples—Dr Nandita.

Dr. Mithila Desai, MA, PhD, Clinical Psychologist and Therapist, Mumbai

Are you your true self? As women, we are taught from childhood the importance of making others happy, and in the pursuit of accomplishing that, we often lose our true selves in the desire to fit in, be pleasing, and constantly fear disappointing others. What lies beneath this desire is the feeling of low self-worth—the feeling we have to prove our worth and be agreeable to people in our professional and private relationships. We do everything to the utmost. We pour all of ourselves into our surroundings, people, and work.

Realization Comes at a Cost! These feelings become our identity and fuel anxiety, stress, fear of rejection, and failure. Accept, embrace, and put the focus on yourself instead. Rediscover your true self, move closer to your life, and practice self-love and compassion; that’s the gift of self-acceptance.

Let the healing begin!

Ms. Avantii Deshpaande, MSC – Food Science & Nutrition, Clinical and Sports Nutritionist, Pune

We celebrate International Women’s day on the 8th of March, or can I say that we cherish womanhood the entire month! I would like to dedicate a message to all women! You are strong and beautiful at the same time, and you have the power to positively change the people around you and the entire world. Remember to love yourself more each day- never expect anyone else to do that for you, and learn to be gentle and not too harsh on yourself. Realize the importance of “Me time” and the right to sound nutrition and exercise because you are the pillar that holds the family together.

Dr. Karishma Kirti, MBBS, MS, FEBS, Mumbai

A small step towards general awareness of breast cancer—its risk factors and signs, self-breast examinations, and screening—can go a long way in detecting the disease early. Breast cancer is on the rise around the world, especially as we change our lifestyles in a rapidly developing India. Early detection translates to better outcomes and essentially saves a life.

To all the young women, do a self-breast examination every month. Meet a breast specialist annually to have a checkup. Breast cancer can have more than a 95% curative success rate if caught early. Through these two simple steps, you can ensure good breast health and avoid the distress that comes with a late-stage diagnosis. Take your health into your own hands and get checked now!

Dr. Shakuntala Ghosh, MBBS, MS (ENT), Senior Consultant ENT, Director Sri Rama ENT Care Centre, Hyderabad

Being a Senior ENT & Head Neck Surgeon with an enriching and varied experience of 22 years after post-graduation and the founder-director of Sri Rama ENT Care Center, I wish all the women leaders a very Happy Women’s Day.

I firmly believe that the innate qualities of women—extreme patience, tenacity, multi-tasking ability, and the capacity to cope with the unexpected—can be brought to the table as part of a workforce or team. Other attributes like maintaining a meticulous balance sheet of income and expenditure come conveniently and subconsciously to the girl who has seen her mother, grandmother, or aunt doing the same. So let’s put our hands together to give more power to women in all walks of life—may our sisterhood prosper!

Dr. Rachita Mehlawat, BDS, MDS- Paedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Pursuing PhD, Pediatric Dentist, Delhi

I am a pediatric dentist working in Dwarka, specializing in nitrous oxide sedation, general anaesthesia, and full mouth rehabilitation of children. I have worked very hard to become a doctor, day and night. I love children, so I enjoy my work treating them, making them free of pain, and making their smiles white.

I work for special children as well as all age groups of children and adolescents, using behaviour management techniques and the latest advanced technologies. I work in a team on Saturdays and Sundays, too, so that working parents and school-going children are helped by me as much as possible.

Dr. Sailee Joshi, MDS (Periodontics), Periodontist, Founder – Dr. Sailee’s Dental Clinic, Nagpur

It’s been 16 years in the dental profession; I am passionate and proud of what we do. I love that we get to make people smile! This year, my practice will complete nine years, and I am proud of the brand I created.

I was greatly influenced by a quote by Zoya Akhtar: When asked about the inequality of pay in the industry, she said, “I always got what I asked for; it’s not like I asked for more, but they refused.”

My advice to younger females is the same: You decide your own value, and never underestimate yourself. You are always part of a team, be it professionally or personally. Be grateful for and gracious with the support you get. It goes a long way!

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