(Sumer Sethi, (Gold Medallist) holds MD degree in Radiodiagnosis from Delhi University, one of the premier universities in India. He received his MD in 2003. He has had an exceptional career for his age. He has published many papers in various national and international Journals and has presented a few papers and posters in various conferences. He has also written a handbook for undergraduate medical students "Review of Radiology" which is a favourite amongst students. He has received many awards in school and university level and has won many national and international radiology quizes. He has been an all India topper on numerous occasions including secondary and senior secondary school, premedical tests and various postgraduate entrance tests.
His latest book Review of Radiology (PeePee Publishers, 2005) won rave reviews in our journal. Naturally we couldn't contain our desire to know more about him. We at the "Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Book Reviews" approached him for an online interview and he graciously agreed. The interview was conducted for well over a month by the Editor-in-Chief Dr. Anil Aggrawal. Some excerpts....)
Qu.1. How old are you? Is this (Review of Radiology) your first book? Which books have you written before? On which subjects?
Ans.I am 27 years old, and yes this book "Review of Radiology" is my first book. As you can see it has not been long since I finished my graduation and post graduation, and I always felt that there was a need for a small handbook in radiology, which gives the required information for undergraduate medical students and could also act as a help book for post graduates in other disciplines like general medicine, surgery etc where they are expected to know some basics of this branch. So I tried my level best to give the most required information for the students in the briefest possible manner yet not missing out the important points. Most important thing about the book is that it gives a lot of information in a very few pages which helps students to score good in their exams.
Being the all India topper for all India postgraduate entrance test, I am particularly interested in writing books for helping students preparing for PG entrance. So another book that I have written is short book, which gives an idea to the student about AIIMS pre-post graduation examination. It solves and analyzes the latest AIIMS pre-pg exam (May 2004)
Students have appreciated both these books and this gives me immense satisfaction and encouragement to write more books.
Qu.2. What is your next book about? Does it have anything to do with radiology?
Ans.Firstly as you can see I have just finished with my second edition of the book "review of radiology". This edition I have made some additions like I have added a radiological quiz at the end, which stimulates and teases the reader to spot the diagnosis. In addition to that although basic concept and frame work of the book remains the same it has been upgraded and some recent concepts have been added. A few more questions have been added to the multiple choice question section just to give the student an idea about the current trend in radiology questions. Overall, this second-edition will give a very complete picture to the student about what any doctor is supposed to know about radiology from an exam point of view.
Yes the next project that I have on my mind is again something to do with radiology although I have not finalized the whole idea it is going to be another basics book about Ultrasound for the beginners.
Qu.3. Can you tell us about your career? Your educational background?
Ans. I am a young and upcoming radiologist. I did my MBBS from Maulana Azad Medical College one of the premier institutes in the country and then I did my MD (Radiodiagnosis) from Lady Hardinge Medical college (Delhi) in 2003. currently I am doing my senior residency in Lady Hardinge Medical college. In my short career as radiologist here I have been active in a lot of academic work. I have contributed many papers in national and international journals and have authored two books one you already know and another, which helps students to prepare for AIIMS Pre postgraduation test, a premier institute in the country. I have just received best senior resident in radiology award (ML Garg memorial medal) in my college (Lady Hardinge Medical College). I have won many national and international medical quizzes including Indian Academy of Pediatrics National Quiz and Schering international Online radiology quiz etc. I am also on the book review panel for radiology books for online book review journal. I have been one of the top most medical students and I have been national topper in premedical and pre-postgraduation entrance examination. I was the all India topper for mathematics in my secondary and senior secondary school examination and scored 100% marks in both the exams.
Besides academic work I have active in various other fields like I have won many essay writing and debates at zonal and state level. I am actively involved in sports with badminton and volleyball being my favourites. I am also actively involved in organizing various events in the college; currently I am the vice-president of the resident doctors association of lady Hardinge medical college. This association basically deals with the problems of the resident doctors of our college and actively works for their betterment.
Qu. 4. When were you born? How were you attracted to radiology?
Ans. I was born on November 11, 1976. As a kid I was always attracted towards medicine as a profession and being one of the better students at school helped me to fulfill this dream of joining one of the premier medical schools of the country. Radiology is one branch that as an under graduate you don't get much exposure to as compared to other branches such as medicine, surgery etc. so I was attracted to radiology more during my final professionals where I gradually discovered the increasingly important role radiology plays in current day evidence based medical practice. I was always fascinated by the concept of looking into the pathology by looking at an image be it X-ray. CT or MRI, it felt like being Sherlock Holmes to me!!! Gradually I realized that radiology is currently the top most field into which majority of the toppers want to specialize into and it offers a very challenging and satisfying professional life so by the time I was through with my internship I knew I wanted to specialize in Radiology.
Qu. 5. Any fascinating experiences while writing this book, or while researching for this book?
Ans. Lots of fascinating experiences are associated with writing this book, as this was my first book I was always preoccupied with the book and its contents and whatever new thing I noticed only thing that came to my mind was how to incorporate this also.. it was very bugging to my colleagues and they said all you have on your mind is the book alone!!!
Qu. 6. Could you tell us about your family? Did you inherit the love of radiology /writing from your parents? Would you be happy if your children took up radiology as a profession?
Ans. I come from a simple and educated family, my dad Dr S.C.Sethi is a doctor, and he is a chest specialist (has worked in India and abroad), my mom Mrs. Karuna Sethi has done her masters in history and is MA, Bed. My elder sister Ms Sumati Sethi has done her Masters in pharmacy (pharmacognosy) and my younger brother Dr Sidharth Sethi is doing his post graduation in pediatrics from Delhi University. As for as interest in medicine as profession is concerned me and my brother might have inherited from my father but the love for radiology has been after I joined MBBS in Maulana Azad medical college Delhi.
Qu. 7. What do you love most (besides your professional work and writing of course)?
Ans.Besides my professional work and writing, I love to pursue my hobbies like playing Badminton, and table tennis etc. I love watching movies, going out with my friends in short I love living my life to the fullest possible.
Qu. 8. Your favorite dish, book, movie, star, person?
Ans. My favourite dish is whatever my mom cooks, book I like is Arms and men Bernard Shaw, my favourite movie-like a lots cant decide, my favourite star-Antonio Banderas, my favourite persons-my family.
Qu. 9. What do you dislike most?
Ans. I dislike hypocrisy most. I hate people who say something and do something else.
Qu. 10. What do you consider as your biggest achievement in life?
Ans. Having been able to follow a profession after my heart.
Qu. 11. If God asked you choose your profession again, what would it be and why?
Ans. Not sure if I would want to change it now, and probably would have loved to do almost anything else, I believe if you are good you would excel in any profession and every work is a challenge in itself.
Qu. 12. Have you ever traveled abroad? Where would you like to go first, if such an opportunity arose and why?
Ans. As a child yes I have traveled abroad when my father was working in Middle East as a specialist. If given the opportunity I would love to travel to almost any and every part of the world. I love meeting new people, making more friends so no particular place anywhere and everywhere is interesting enough for me.
Qu. 13. What has been your biggest failure/disappointment?
Ans. Yet to come because I don't get very disappointed at failure..You win some and loose some always..
Qu. 14. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be, and why?
Ans. I would love to be able wake up early in the morning; I always have to rush to work in morning
Qu. 15. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be, and why?
Ans. Nothing, I love them the way they are, I have a very loving and caring family.
Qu. 16. What is your life's mantra?
Ans. Enjoy your own life without comparing it with that of another.
Qu. 17. In one line, how would you best describe yourself?
Ans. A straightforward, caring and a down to earth person!
Qu. 18. Are you interested in Science Fiction? Do you think SF is a good means to teach science to children? Do you think it can be used successfully in your profession?
Ans. Yes if you are to be interested in science you should be interested in science fiction, it has been proved historically that what is science fiction for today becomes a reality in times to come!!! Imagine telling emperor Akbar about telephone!! It is a perfect and very imaginative way to teach students science this would make the subject very interesting and help the child develop a creative side, which is a first step towards inventions. my work that is radiology is a science fiction in itself it's a young and very upcoming field we see a lots of unimaginable developments almost every week. To create science fiction we need imagination and that is the seed for research later on in any field including radiology.
Qu. 19. Any awards (The question of first award is asked as a box item)?
Ans. I have just received best senior resident in radiology award (ML Garg memorial medal) in my college (Lady Hardinge Medical College). I have won many national and international medical quizzes including Indian Academy of Pediatrics National Quiz and Schering international Online radiology quiz etc. I have been one of the top most medical students and I have been national topper in premedical and pre-postgraduation entrance examination. I was the all India topper for mathematics in my secondary and senior secondary school examination and scored 100% marks in both the exams. Apart from these I have won many prizes in school and zonal level in essay writing etc.
Qu. 20. If you were marooned on a desert island, who/what would you like to be marooned with and why?
Ans. My computer and Internet.
Qu. 21. What do you do first thing in the morning?
Ans. Shut off the alarm and go back to sleep!! Hate getting up early in the morning.
Qu. 22. And the last thing at night?
Ans. Check my email!!
Qu. 23. Who/what would you like to be born as in your next birth?
Ans. I leave this decision to God; don't want to interfere up there
Qu. 24. If you were allowed a choice to live in one era of time (past, present or future), which one will you chose and why?
Ans. If given a choice to live in one era of time probably having seen the present and having read bout the past I would love to live in future, it would be exciting to know if all our so called science fictions have been converted into reality or not!!
Qu. 25. If a youngster of about 12-13 years wanted to take up radiology as a career, how should he proceed? How should a medical student, in his early years proceed if he wanted to take up radiology as a profession?
Ans. Well for a youngster the first step is become a general physician and then he can specialize into radiology, for which in India he has to face some pretty tough entrance tests. Once he is into medical school it is hard work currently radiology is topmost choice for specializing in after MBBS as it offers an exciting and a rewarding career, so anybody wanting to do radiology should make sure that he/she has a very good command over all his medical school subjects so that he can get amongst the top few in pre-postgraduate entrance test. So put it in a nutshell is develop an aptitude for the subject and then work hard to get in to the subject of your choice.
Qu. 26. Any message for our readers?
Ans. Always remember this---"The only place where success comes before work is in a dictionary." So work hard and be focused you ll get all the success in life.
Dr. Sumer K. Sethi can be approached via E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interviews - Collective Index (Appearing in Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Book Reviews)
Interviews - Collective Index (Appearing in Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology)
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