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adesh saxena

Consultant ENT Surgeon, Indian Medical Association

TEDCRED 30+

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What advice you will give to a youngster if he or she seeks your advice regarding choosing a career? Follow heart or brain? Money or fame?

My daughter is in dilemma ,she is not able to decide whether she wants to become an ENT surgeon or a Paediatrician.
She has to attend counselling soon, to choose one.
Any advice ?
I am an ENT Surgeon.

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    May 30 2013: To elaborate on Fritzie's question about job shadowing... One thing that really helped me make a career decision was to talk to as many people as possible who were in the careers I was considering. I made a list of interview questions to try to uncover all of the good and bad things about the different careers. I found this to be very helpful in my decision.
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      May 31 2013: Thanks Lori
      Excellent advice.
      Some time it may confuse you but i believe its an excellent way to move forward.
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    May 28 2013: Is your daughter in medical school? Has she done any sort of rotations or shadowing of doctors in these areas? If not, is this an option for her?

    What appeals to her specifically about each potential choice and what makes her hesitate? What makes you love your work? What have been some of the issues you would change?

    Does one of these fit better with other things she may want in her life?
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      May 29 2013: She may go to all the depts as an observer to look for herself first hand.

      In ENT she is getting a Top ranked college ,not so in paediatrics which she likes more than ENT.

      Any advice?
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        May 29 2013: Adesh, I believe that as you work in this field and have been to medical school yourself, you have greater insight into the implications of the different choices than most of us here.

        For example, in India,and given how you would expect her to do in her medical program, would she have problem making a career in pediatrics if she were to go to a lower ranked school? If she will have no problem finding employment as a pediatrician on the basis of her studies at the lower ranked school, I think her preference for pediatrics is strong reason to head in that direction.

        To me these specialties seem very different. Pediatrics would be much more about developing relationships, advising families both preventatively and about care after the fact, and the most human side of medicine. Surgery might be less satisfying for someone drawn to medicine by the desire for having a relationship over time with families at a critical time of life for a person's future health.

        The pediatricians I have met have very different personalities than the ENT doctors. For example, someone who is not a "people person" would make a poor pediatrician and someone with poor manual dexterity or a tendency to great anxiety under pressure is best not to choose surgery.
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      May 29 2013: A surgeon and a physician do have different approach to life and problems, I agree with you.
      To begin with as a youngster you are not sure about yourself.
      Fritzie,Have you faced such a dilemma and what did you do?
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        May 29 2013: My strongest interests always lay in understanding, applying, and conveying critical thinking and in teaching and learning. I prepared myself for potential careers that would tap into both. I spent about six years of my career not teaching, but always came back to it, as I have found that I am not happy without it in my life.

        My eldest daughter aimed from a very young age to study archaeology. When she achieved her masters, she faced a critical decision as to whether to proceed to the doctorate and, if not, which direction to take. Her personal goals and her strengths suggested a change in direction for the application of her talents. I think she has made an excellent choice.

        My second daughter was deciding between physical and chemical biology on the one hand and physics and math on the other. Hers was a classic case of being so enthralled by her subject once she had been exposed seriously to both areas that the choice was clear. She is absolutely captivated by her work in particle physics.
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    Jun 5 2013: Counselling has started, still cofused.
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    Jun 2 2013: Planning does not always help .
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    Jun 1 2013: Thank you all

    I will list some valuable advices given by you here, pl feel free to add to the list.

    Follow heart

    Money and fame will follow

    Job following

    Discuss with as many as people related to the field as possible

    Priortise things

    See your advantages as well as disadvantage.[

    Choice may change over period of time
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    May 31 2013: Thanks Heather
    I want her to become ENT Surgeon but will never ever put any kind of pressure on her, so that she can choose freely.
    She knows the advantage of dad being in the same field.
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    May 31 2013: Good Advice , nicely told, Thanks Allan
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    May 30 2013: Follow the heart, and the brain will follow - seldom the other way.
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    May 30 2013: Oh dear, careers advice! I'm not going to sit on the fence with this one - I'd say she'd be better off becoming an ENT surgeon.
    1) Dad can give her advice and help + contacts
    2) Not as emotionally 'heavy' as being a paediatrician - children die - even in the west
    3) ENT surgery can help many people - of all ages - transform their lives in a positive way
    4) She can get her fulfilment from having her own children - when she's ready
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      May 31 2013: Thanks Heather
      I want her to become ENT Surgeon but will never ever put any kind of pressure on her, so that she can choose freely.
      She knows the advantage of dad being in the same field.
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      Jun 1 2013: Thank you all

      I will list some valuable advices given by you here, pl feel free to add to the list.

      Follow heart

      Money and fame will follow

      Job following

      Discuss with as many as people related to the field as possible

      Priortise things

      See your advantages as well as disadvantage.[

      Choice may change over period of time
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    May 29 2013: Follow your heart. You can not be happy or complete with something you do not love. However, I believe we should have experiences or careers in everything! Why choose just one? I'm currently studying at university, and I've decided to do one degree now, and move on to primary education in the future. My choices are nothing like an ENT surgeon or Paediatrician, but don't feel restricted to picking just one career path.
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      May 30 2013: I liked when you say, why choose one?

      But don't you think it is easier said than done?
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        May 30 2013: Good point Adesh.

        It may be easier said than done. I think that depends on the extent of knowledge and experience a person dedicates to their careers chosen. I think that it's helpful to know a bit of everything. Keep the mind open.
  • May 29 2013: Follow heart to do a job you like,and keep perseverance asset in the job.
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      May 29 2013: I agree she should like what she will do. She likes both, Paeds little more than ENT.
      How to proceed now?
      • May 30 2013: Lol,Dear adesh saxena,if she can set her determination to choose anyone of them to focus on in her whole life all are great.:)
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    May 29 2013: Heart to be followed.
    Neither money nor fame should be target, just need to be done what one loves to do....later both money & fame will follow her/him .........
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      May 29 2013: Thanks , I agree with you. But what to do when heart swings from one side to the other?
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        May 29 2013: You are welcome....
        Well yes that's the challenge HEART originated decision may face at times..I mean a situation of either or....In such situation what usually do is try to calm down in see whether swinging HEART settles down or not at any of the end.....
        Even if that doesn't work, try to use HEAD , I mean Logic, Reasoning etc
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    May 29 2013: why not both? i know it's less realistic than simply following what everyone else is doing, but there are people who can follow both their heart and their brain. you can find a reasonable company where you don't have to work more than 8 hours per day, which leaves you time for your hobbies and passions.

    again, it's not easy, but it's possible.
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      May 29 2013: Thanks , I agree take the middle path, apply both
  • May 29 2013: My advice would be: sort your priories and choose based on that.
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      May 29 2013: Thanks George , She is trying to do that, still not easy for her