Surg Cap Asif Ahmed, Founder PsyCare
I was selected in 1983 to the prestigious Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune through a competitive entrance exam which has the lowest acceptance rate. I was very fortunate to be trained at this institution which not only gave us education but also provided lessons of life, being an exclusively boarding institution. I am third of a first generation doctors.
In today’s episode we are joined by Dr. Asif Iqbal Ahmed. Mr. Ahmed is a Psychiatrist and the Founder of PsyCare a psych clinic. He has graduated from Armed Forces Medical College, one of the most prestigious colleges of India. Mr. Ahmed has also served as an officer of the Indian Navy. He prematurely retired from the Navy to set up his own psychiatric clinic. Mr. Ahmed beleives that the affinity and empathy he feels towards people and the potential of the field are what made him pick this profession. Mr. Garg and Mr. AED discussed in depth the importance of mental health. They also discussed the stigma around mental illness and the difficult people face in accepting mental problems as legitimate. Dr. Ahmed also threw light on the increasing progress of science in the study of the ‘brain’. He still believes there’s a lot to unravel. While discussing the Navy, Mr. Ahmed elucidated the stress faced by officers. Solitude, hostile environment, and being apart from family leads to lot of streets. He mentions the positive side of technology that keeps the officers closely connected to their families. Dr. Ahmed draws his inspiration from his patients and definitely his parents. He is an inspiration to many. He has helped people and given back to the society greatly.
I was selected in 1983 to the prestigious Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Pune through a competitive entrance exam which has the lowest acceptance rate. I was very fortunate to be trained at this institution which not only gave us education but also provided lessons of life, being an exclusively boarding institution. I am third of a first generation doctors. As I passed through my graduation training stages, I developed an interest in in mental health and psychological suffering, as early in my career I found myself a people’s person. Unfortunately, in those days our MBBS graduation curriculum did not expose us much to Psychiatry. However, out of my innate interest I attended extra clinics and I read basic text books on psychiatry which were not part of our curriculum. After passing MBBS, I served on board an Indian Naval ship for three years which was a compulsory requirement for getting into a post-graduation. During these three years we had to work and study for an entrance exam for selection. To get selected for post- graduation of your choice was a challenge. There being only one or two seats for MD psychiatry, I did not wish to lose the chance, worked hard and was ranked third amongst about 500 doctors appearing for the exam from the three services. My choice of Psychiatry was quite a surprise to many people at that time because it wasn’t a sought-after speciality and the toppers chose radiology, medicine et cetera. However, I was very clear on my choice and I am glad that my newly wedded wife, her family and my own family supported my decision when there was so much stigma about Psychiatry, people saying “you will also go mad like you mad patients.”
The rigourous training in MD psychiatry at AFMC proved my choice to be correct and I enjoyed my studies, if that is possible and passed out as a gold medallist in 1995. My work as a psychiatrist in the various hospitals of Army Air Force and Navy only strengthened my passion for the subject and the recovery of my patients was the biggest source of satisfaction and gratification.