Neurosurgery – Serving humanity with precision

Dr. H.S. Bhatoe, an accomplished neurosurgeon, takes us on his remarkable journey of choosing a medical career in the Armed Forces and specializing in neurosurgery. He reflects on the challenges, myths, and the ever-evolving field of neurosurgery while sharing the profound satisfaction he finds in healing and giving patients a second chance at life.

What made you opt for a medical career in the Armed Forces?

It is said – being a doctor is not a job but a calling. The thought of being a doctor in military uniform mutated my mindset, converting me into a driven person when I was in grade seven. A visit to a Military Hospital and seeing a doctor in uniform (a Major) may have been a trigger. This kid could never take his eyes off her. I saw a two-paragraph article on Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC), Poona, which immediately caught my attention, and became a part of my thought process permanently. As my curiosity grew, my focus on being a doctor donning the uniform became more and more sharp, and I set my sights on AFMC entry.

And, what made you select Neurosurgery as your specialty?

The answer is never straightforward. The selection is weighed down by several factors, the principal of these being the personality of your mentor combined with an element of fanatical commitment if you want to be in neurosurgery. Neurosurgery is a calling, and not a conventional specialty to enter. If you just want to put your toes in water, then it’s not for you. There is an aura of exclusivity that places the profession on a pedestal. Every aspect of neurosurgery is a challenge, beginning diagnosis, clinical evaluation which is the final tipping point for decision making or neuroimaging studies that are giving new insights into the functional aspects, enabling the patient and the neurosurgeon to make an informed choice and final decision. Nevertheless, the safety margin remains restricted, making the neurosurgeon adopt a sober attitude combined with confidence to tackle the problem.

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