A Career in Health Management: Serving Your Way to Open Doors Part I

Every choice you make in life has a consequence. This is the adage that Dr. Ramon Varghese, Chief Medical Officer at Qualitas, a private health management company lives by. Therefore, its crucial to know yourself and what drives the choices you make in life.

Dr. Ramon urges doctors to give their very best wherever they may be, serving with all their hearts even if it means taking the road less travelled. This is because a person’s choices and work attitudes invariably determine that person’s future.

Speaking from his experience, opting to serve in a district hospital in Sabah instead of choosing to stay in the Klang Valley opened the door for Dr. Ramon in the area of hospital administration. Within three years, he became the Deputy Director of the Tambunan District Hospital. Due to the lack of medical doctors in the area, he mastered many medical procedures which enriched his experience.

He chose to serve at a war zone in Lahad Datu to provide medical services to a community whose access to medical care had been cut off due to Ops Daulat, an operation to fight off the incursion of pirates . This led to a chance meeting with the then Deputy Director General of Health, Datuk Seri Dr. Jeyaindran Sinnadurai and a door opened for him for the position of  Deputy Director of CKAPS (Cawangan Kawalan Amalan Perubatan Swasta).

At CKAPS, he decided to visit Qualitas to resolve a problem that could not be resolved through letter writing. Visiting private medical entities to solve a problem was something unheard of at CKAPS but Dr. Ramon went the extra mile and that meeting ended with him receiving a job offer. The position that was offered to him has led to his current role as Chief Medical Officer at Qualitas.

He had neither anticipated nor planned that these doors would open for him as all he wanted to do was to give his best as a doctor. That desire was what guided his choices. So, the choices you make in life and your attitude when making these choices have the power to direct your success or the lack thereof.

In conversation with Disruptive Doctors (DD), Dr. Ramon urges doctors to take to heart the following to see good results in their lives:

Choose to give your best wherever you are placed and don’t take the easy way out. Your choices and your attitude will determine the outcomes for your life. Being at CKAPS was not easy for Dr. Ramon as he missed seeing his patients. But he made up his mind to master the laws and regulations governing private health care and to serve the clients who comprised mostly of private hospitals and clinics in an attitude of helpfulness.

Choose to respond rather than react when going through difficulties. A doctor must be able to differentiate between the issue that is the source of the problem and the person that is behaving badly towards you. Instead of reacting, the best way forward is to step back, assess the situation and respond positively while continuing to focus on the needs of your patients.

Often times, it is the issue not a person that is the cause of problems in healthcare facilities. It is crucial to acknowledge that the colleague or superior at odds with us is probably under much stress as is often the case in a troubled system.

While it is human nature to blame a person for our troubles, Dr. Ramon exhorts doctors to take the higher road. “If your conscience is clear, and you are sincere, honest and mindful of what you’re doing, then you have nothing to worry about” he adds. Therefore, when faced with negative situations, it is best not to react but to respond. When a person reacts, they often place themselves in jeopardy.

Chase excellence not success. If you chase excellence which is giving your best despite the circumstances, then success is sure to follow. Success is not limited to monetary gain. It could also refer to a strong and stable family life. While in Sabah, Dr. Ramon would examine his patients at the waiting room because they were too frail to walk into his office. Many of them were elderly and had travelled from afar by bus and boat to see the doctor. His little unplanned gestures won the admiration and gratitude of the community and he had favor in their eyes.

Part II follows in the coming days. If this article spoke to you in some way do let us know!

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