In Conversation With: A Pakistani Oncologist in the UAE
<p> has Members from all over the world who belong to all kinds of healthcare professions. We interviewed Member, Dr. Kaltar Das, MBBS, MCPS, FCPS, about his profession and field of specialization. Dr. Das currently works at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) as a Senior Specialist Oncologist. In this interview, he talks about working in the UAE, what drew him to a career in medicine and how an oncologist&#8217;s job is very rewarding.</p> <h2>Tell us a bit about yourself.&nbsp;</h2> <p>I am from Pakistan and I have been serving in a public sector hospital in Dubai for more than nine years. When I’m not working, I love to sing, take walks in the park and of course, go shopping. One fun fact about me is that I sometimes perform stand-up comedy!.</p> <h2>Can you tell us about your job as an Oncologist?</h2> <p>An oncologist&#8217;s job is very rewarding. I get great satisfaction from helping cancer patients who may be feeling low about their diagnosis.</p> <h2>What does a typical week of work as an Oncologist look like?</h2> <p>In the hospital, we have outpatient clinics. Aside from that, we assess patients in infusion centers during their chemotherapy treatment. Oncologists also manage patients’ admissions with cancer-related diseases and manage patients that arrive at the Emergency departments.</p> <p>Outside of our professional duties, oncologists can lead a very satisfying life. You can travel, have celebrations with family and friends and attend parties.</p> <h2>How did you get started in this career? Did you always have an interest in medicine and oncology?</h2> <p>I was interested in medicine from the beginning; I did a postgraduate fellowship in general medicine initially. During my training in medicine, I got attracted to oncology as I felt this is a demanding field and is lacking experts. That’s why I chose to do super-specialty training for my medical oncology fellowship.</p> <h2>What is the most rewarding element of your job?</h2> <p>I feel that an oncologist can be the brightest ray of medical hope for patients with advanced cancer.</p> <h2>What is it like to practice in the hospital/clinic where you work?</h2> <p>My hospital is one the busiest hospitals in the City of Dubai. We have a team of 8 oncologists in my department and it is amazing to be a part of the team.</p> <h2>What education or skills do you need to be an oncologist?</h2> <p>After graduating with a basic medical degree (MBBS), one generally needs to undergo four years of training in general medicine. After which, you need at least 3 more years of specialty training to become an oncologist.</p> <h2>What is the most challenging aspect of being an oncologist?</h2> <p>I feel that the most challenging part is treating advanced cancer cases where a patient has no further effective options of therapy left. It is very difficult to treat that, bearing in mind the mental condition of the patient as well as their family. This needs a lot of patience, energy and communication.</p> <h2>What do you enjoy most about life where you work?</h2> <p>The team in our hospital works and cares about employees&#8217; happiness.</p> <p>One thing I can not forget is the smile of patients when I tell them that your treatment is complete and you are cured —moments like that sparkle like a diamond in my memory.</p> <h2>Do you have any advice for someone considering a career in oncology?</h2> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img decoding="async" loading="lazy" width="1024" height="535" src="" alt="" class="wp-image-13397" srcset=" 1024w, 300w, 768w, 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></figure> <p>It is a very rewarding and specialized field. You can do a lot for patients that not every doctor can offer.</p> <h2>Where do you hope to be in the next 5 years?</h2> <p>Further progression in my career and like to be more involved in research work.</p> <h2>What do you wish the general public knew about cancer?</h2> <p><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Cancer</a> is not a contagious disease and it is not a death sentence. In today&#8217;s world, there are a lot of treatment options available for patients diagnosed with cancer.</p> <h2>What advancement in technology would you like to see in your lifetime?</h2> <p>A merger of artificial intelligence (AI) and genetic screening algorithms to predict future cancer risks for individuals.</p> <h2>Which of the cancer types are preventable and what would you recommend people avoid doing?</h2> <p>We can prevent multiple cancers by avoiding smoking.</p> <p>I would recommend people to ask their general physician about cancer screening programs for breast, colon, cervix, prostate and lung cancer. Those tests can detect its occurrence in the early and curable stages.</p> <h4>If you have not yet signed up to, sign up now! </h4> <div class="is-layout-flex wp-block-buttons"> <div class="wp-block-button"><a class="wp-block-button__link has-text-color has-background" href="" style="border-radius:50px;background-color:#00497a;color:#f5f5f5" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Sign up</a></div> </div>