In Conversation With: An Indian Ophthalmologist in the UK
<p>We spoke to Indian Ophthalmologist, Dr. Ayushna Ganguly, about why she <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">moved her career to the UK</a>, the need for more women in STEM, and how the unwavering support of her family enabled her to complete her subspeciality Retinal Fellowship in Manchester. </p> <h2>Hi Ayushna. Thanks for speaking with us. Please introduce yourself. </h2> <p>I am originally from India and have lived in Kuala Lumpur for the past 2 decades. Recently, I&nbsp; moved to the UK to do my subspeciality training in Retina. I am an Ophthalmologist and currently work as a Senior Retinal Fellow at the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">Manchester Royal Eye Hospital</a>.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Why did you decide to leave Kuala Lumpur and move to the UK for work?&nbsp;</h2> <p>I think working abroad is an invaluable cultural experience. It is so exciting to see how healthcare is practiced differently in different parts of the world. You are exposed to a new spectrum of clinical pathology and innovative diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. Being in Manchester, which is so diverse and inclusive, I get to work in a team with people from all over the world, which is fantastic.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Why did you choose a career in ophthalmology?</h2> <p>I’m a people person, an out-and-out extrovert. I always knew I wanted to do something where I interact with people daily. The fact that you can, in some way, alleviate their suffering is a big bonus. Also, I always found the human body really fascinating and complex. Medicine was a natural choice.&nbsp;</p> <h2>What do you love most about being an Ophthalmologist?</h2> <p>It is definitely getting to chat with patients from different backgrounds. I love the human interaction part of my job. Being an ophthalmologist, restoring some amount of vision to our patients is also incredibly gratifying.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="820" height="312" src="" alt="Ophthalmologist Dr. Ayushna Ganguly" class="wp-image-13817" srcset=" 820w, 300w, 768w" sizes="(max-width: 820px) 100vw, 820px" /></figure> <h2>Why is it important that more women take up careers in healthcare?</h2> <p>Women are naturally more compassionate and empathetic, which is imperative and essential to being a healthcare worker. We also need more women in STEM to show future generations that they can be whatever they want to be. Gender should not be a factor.&nbsp;</p> <h2>What is the best piece of advice you were given to succeed in your career?</h2> <p>When I first started as a young intern and often worked 48-hour shifts, my father said, “Eat when you can, sleep when you can !” Very handy tip indeed!&nbsp;</p> <h2>What is your biggest achievement?</h2> <p>I would like to mention something non-medical here. I love the performing arts and last year, I auditioned and performed in 2 theatre productions. That made me proud as it was something new and outside my comfort zone. Even coming to the UK, leaving my family and young children in Malaysia was not an easy decision to make &#8211; but here I am!&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="820" height="312" src="" alt="Ophthalmologist Dr. Ayushna Ganguly with friends" class="wp-image-13815" srcset=" 820w, 300w, 768w" sizes="(max-width: 820px) 100vw, 820px" /></figure> <h2>What did you dream of doing when you were a child?</h2> <p>I went to a Catholic school where all my teachers were nuns. So my childhood ambition was to become a nun! But then realized I would never be accepted at a nunnery anyways.&nbsp;</p> <h2>How can we encourage more women to pursue their dreams?</h2> <p>By education and empowerment. And not holding them back. I am where I am today because of the unconditional love and unwavering support of my family. My husband is looking after my young children back home to enable me to complete my Subspeciality Retinal Fellowship.&nbsp;</p> <h2>What is the most important message you want to send out to future generations of women?</h2> <p>Always keep your head, heels, and standards high.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Who inspires you the most and why?</h2> <p>My mother. She is one of the strongest women I know. She’s assertive, confident, and most importantly- totally comfortable in her own skin. She makes absolutely no apologies for who she is. I remember during the Gulf war, she worked as a physician in Kuwait. I learned from her that you can be a successful healthcare professional and build a loving home. She was a feminist even before the term was coined. She always taught me to stand up for myself and the importance of being assertive without being aggressive or submissive.&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="820" height="312" src="" alt="Ophthalmologist Dr. Ayushna Ganguly with family" class="wp-image-13814" srcset=" 820w, 300w, 768w" sizes="(max-width: 820px) 100vw, 820px" /></figure> <h2>How important is it for women to lift each other up?</h2> <p>Extremely important! Ladies &#8211; support your sisters. Everyone has a different life scenario and faces a unique situation or set of challenges. Don’t judge. What works for you might not work for every other woman. Respect their choices and celebrate your differences. Be like a bra to other women &#8211; uplifting and close to your heart!&nbsp;</p> <h2>Why do you think International Women’s Day is important?</h2> <p>Despite it being 2022, a sad reality for women in many parts of the world is that they are still grappling with inequality &#8211; in terms of access to education, healthcare or even the gender pay gap. Women are expected to do it all &#8211; perform brilliantly at work, climb the corporate ladder, be a doting mother and loving partner. It is not easy juggling these multiple roles. We often take the women in our lives for granted. <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">International Women&#8217;s Day</a> is a good reminder to show appreciation to the women who persist in achieving their dreams despite all odds. I’m of the opinion that women should be celebrated and appreciated every single day of the year, not just on International Women&#8217;s Day. But it’s a start.</p> <h2>What does the International Women’s Day slogan, #BreakTheBias mean for you in your work life?</h2> <p>Basically, stop the stereotyping. Stop propagating preconceived prejudices against someone based on their gender. If I had a penny for every time I heard, “ Oh, that’s not a good specialty for a woman,” &#8211; I would be rich! Provide equal opportunities &#8211; don’t discriminate. We can have 3 kids and be a top-class surgeon &#8211; just give us the chance to do it!&nbsp;</p> <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img loading="lazy" width="820" height="312" src="" alt="Ophthalmologist Dr. Ayushna Ganguly with her children" class="wp-image-13816" srcset=" 820w, 300w, 768w" sizes="(max-width: 820px) 100vw, 820px" /></figure> <h2>What are your hopes for the future?</h2> <p>That toxic masculinity, workplace bias, patriarchal norms, and misogyny will be wiped out once and for all.</p> <h2>How has helped you with your career as an ophthalmologist?</h2> <p>It helped me verify my education certificates, which landed me my current job, so yes &#8211; <strong>I would recommend it 100%</strong>!&nbsp;</p> <h4>If you&#8217;d like to pursue a career overseas, apply for the latest international opportunities on our Jobs page now:</h4> <div class="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">Apply for a job overseas now</a></div> </div> <p></p>