Online interview of Dr. Mehul Dave, M.D. Pathologist in Ahmedabad

Dr. Mehul Dave, M.D. Pathology is owner of a private Pathology Laboratory 'Symbion VIP Diagnostics' in Ahmedabad. He is working in the field of Pathology since 2000 and is at present managing a group of 6 labs in various locations in Ahmedabad with all the centers functioning 24 x 365 days. Symbion VIP Diagnostics performs all types of routiine and specialized Pathology reports under various departments including Clinical Biochemistry, Clinical Pathology, Hematology, Immunology, Microbiology, Histopathology and Cytopathology and Tumor marker study. 

Here is a very insighful Online Interview with Dr. Mehul Dave.

1) What are the skills you think are required to become a better health care provider ?  Your answer can help other fellow professionals and medical students to become 'Better Health-Care Providers' and to improve the health-care system in future.  

A 'GOOD' health care provider, understands the needs of the patients and more importantly understands his own self. First requirement according to me is that we should know what we don't know. Awareness of our own limitations, and more importantly how to tackle our ignorance is an essential skill of a good health care provider.

Second important skill to become a good doctor is to know that our prime duty is to treat the patient and not the disease. Frequently health providers focus entirely on the disease and forget that they are dealing with a live person. When we start treating the patient as a whole we achieve the goal of whole-some health.

2) Looking at the increasing physical and mental stress health-care professionals face every day, what is your advice for Doctors and other healthcare providers to stay healthy ? : Increasingly health care professionals are seen neglecting their own health and suffering from physical and psychological burn out, as health care professionals our first duty is to keep ourselves fit, what do you say ? 

As 'health care professionals' our first duty is to keep our own self healthy and fit, because we represent our profession. Our advice to the patients become effective only when we follow our own advice.

My advice to doctors are 1) Spare some time daily for your own self and for your family. You earn to live and to have a good time, you don't live to earn good. 2) Avoid habits and addictions which you know are unhealthy. 3) Try to have a regular life style as far as possible, eat on time, sleep on time and take proper sleep.

3) What are the problems you / other health care providers are facing in your specialty or in medical profession as general and what do you suggest as solution.  : You may be facing problems related to your specialty or related to the medical field in general, to some government policies or to local environment in your institute or hospital you work in. Unless you give out your voice, there is not going to be any solution to it. 

If I talk of my own specialty, Pathology, the main problem we face today in Gujarat and in India as general is competition with Technician Run Laboratories. Pathology is the foremost field where doctors have to compete so stiffly with non-medicos. Whether they are technicians running labs or multi national companies running chains of Path Labs.

Second problem we Pathologists face is that even educated people are not aware that a Pathology Lab can be run legally by a qualified M.D. Pathologist. Still we have to inform our patients that we too are doctors.

Third problem is the universal mentality of people of India, 'discounts'. Almost every patient we work with expects that a lab should provide them some discount. I don't think the same patients demand any discounts from the consultants. When they can spend thousands of rupees on luxury such as food, restaurants, hotels, films, where they don't get any discounts, why from pathology labs, on who's reports their entire treatment depends.

Finally, I think it is an experience of all Pathologist that patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes are frequently not properly educated by consultants about how to interpret their pathology reports. Consultants should educated such patients, who require regular lab tests, about how much variations they should expect between their two reports, what results are alarming and when should they contact their physicians immediately.

4) How can the relationship between the health-care providers and users be improved ?  : For last few months, the hot topic of discussion has been the increasing conflicts between the two sides and the physical and mental abuse 'health care professionals' are facing. Your insights can be valuable to alleviate this issue.  

In my view, the main reasons for the conflicts between health care providers and the healthcare users, is the lack of effective communication, education and awareness level of patients and certain wrong practices by some of the health care professionals.

Proper communication with the patients and their relatives can prevent most of the conflicts. When the outcome is not something patient or their relatives expected, the chances of conflict increases.

Same goes with the education level or awareness of the patients, when patients are not educated or are not sufficiently aware of what to expect from doctors and how much is in their hands, their unrealistic expectations can be prevented. Also in my experience, it is easier to communicate with educated patients.

Finally, we can not deny about some of the wrong practices by a few health care professionals. It is because of these few people that the image of the entire profession is getting spoiled. Result is that people start viewing with suspicion every action of a doctor and when the trust factor is missing, chances of conflicts increase.

5) How would the digital media such as \"Health-care mobile apps\" and \"Virtual or telemedicine\" affect medical profession and the life of health care providers? : Digital Social-Media, mobile health applications, newer digital devices assisting in health care and the Virtual Clinical Practice such as Online Appointments, Online Medical Opinion or second opinion, online consultation or telemedicine practices are rapidly gaining acceptance. What is your take on this development? 

Similar to the effect in other fields, mobile revolution and the revolution in the field of information and communication is going to have positive and negative effects on the Medical Science and Health Care Profession.

The digital revolution, is going to increase the speed with which effective care can be provided, it is going to increase the reach of expert health care even to the farthest of places and can significantly improve the standard of health care.

At the same time, health care professionals will be multi-tasking and will have difficult time focusing their attention on important matters. There is a danger of identity theft, doctors will have to be careful before submitting their credentials online. Physicians will have to learn the tactics of digital media and will have to become internet and mobile savvy, which will increase their already over burdened study schedule.

So it is going to be useful, but we have to be careful.

6) In the present time, what is your advice for people to stay healthy ? : With the rapidly changing lifestyle, mobile and social media overuse, changing environment and the development of health care facilities, several newer health issues are surfacing. What do you think people should do to keep them self healthy and fit in present conditions ? 

Life is becoming faster day by day, people are exposed by information overload. My advice for people is to strictly limit their use of digital media, avoid getting addicted to mobile and social media, carefully make their choices from the available information.

Second important advice for people is to set aside some time for themselves and their family and to remember that they are earning to live and to have fun and not living to earn

7) How would the digital media such as \"Health-care mobile apps\" and \"Virtual or telemedicine\" affect patients and Health-Care users ? : The debate is very live, it would make it easy for people to utilize the health care support, while making it difficult for them to filter out genuine, effective options and save themselves from \"information avalanche\". What is your opinion ?  Are you for it or against it ? Why ? and How to effectively implement this inevitable Virtual Health Care Practice ? 

Digital revolution will certainly make it easy for people to reach out to skilled health care providers and would give a lot of power in their hands to express their opinion and reviews about the doctors and other health care entities.

But at the same time, people will have to careful before selecting the most genuine and effective options available to them from the information overload they will face.

It's a balancing act where you have to weight and make your choices.

8) What do you think are the health issues of highest priority related to your specialty and what are the solutions  ? : As an expert of your field, no one knows better about the Health Issues that would be the biggest challenges in coming days, give us your views on how can we prevent them or at least tackle them better. 

The health issues that would be of highest priority according to me will be those related to poor life style and psychological diseases related to mobile and social media addiction, along with the diseases related to malnutrition caused by poverty as well as unsafe foods.

Solutions to these are not straight forward, a multi-task approach involving educating people, counseling them for giving them awareness about the side effects of technology, life style and food habits and some strict government action to improve the standard of food is required.

9) What should we do to create a better future of Health Care ? : As a tribe of people working for treating people and caring for the ill, we are constantly working for improving the Health Care and have a better future. Let us hear your opinion about how can we the MedicalTribe together create a Better Future of Health Care. 

Education, awareness and attitude; and the three frontiers we will need to work together to create a better future of Health Care. Most of the diseases we face today and the main reason why we are not able to get favorable outcome for treatment are related to one of these three factors.

1) Educate the people about what is wholesome health.

2) Create an awareness about healthy lifestyle and food habits.

3) And to change their attitude which will lead them to a effective, healthy lifestyle is necessary to create a genuinely healthy future.

10) Tell us something about yourself or anything that you would like people to know.  : Whether it is your unseen side, your para-medical passion, your alternative - life pursuits, your advice to people or any positive thoughts you would like to share with our readers. 

Beside my field, i.e. Pathology, I am very much interested in educating people for positive thinking and the Art of Healthy Living.

I am also interested in the digital media usage in the field of Medical Science and Health Care.

I believe that "Attitudes rule Life"  So create a Healthy Attitude and Live a Healthy Life.


Dr. Mehul Dave, M.D. Pathology

Symbion VIP Diagnostics, 

1 / Springfield, Judges Bunglow Road, Near Akash Tower, 

Bodakdev, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad - 380054

Gujarat.  079-26856785, 26856784.