Doctor’s Day 2022: 5 Doctors On Taking Care Of Themselves

Are you eager to find out what doctors themselves do to stay healthy? Here’s a sneak peek into the wellness routines of five doctors.

By D Tejaswi
01 Jul 2022

Imagine this: A gynecologist’s beeper goes off—it’s a call for emergency surgery to treat ectopic pregnancy, a procedure that usually involves laparotomy (a surgical incision into abdominal cavity). The doctor will either have to save the fallopian tube or typically remove the ruptured tube or find an alternative solution. Making decisions like these that can have lifelong consequences for the patient is an everyday task for most doctors. The pressure to make the right choice every single time is always present.


On a typical day doctors undergo several challenges, dealing with all types of patients, some critically ill, add to that the anxiety of so many unknowns. Do they find the time to care for their own health and that of their family? What do they do to stay mentally and physically well so that they can perform their duties well? Especially in the COVID-19 crisis, many doctors, nurses, technologists, cleaning staff, and others on the front lines of healthcare work well beyond their time on the job. This manifests in real ways, including fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and decreased energy. The risk of burnout is real.


Related Story: How to Identify, And Deal With, Signs of Burnout

On this Doctor’s day, we spoke to 5 doctors to understand what they do to remain healthy themselves. Is it a 5-minute afternoon nap, or a nutritious dish or a combination of workouts? Find out what works for each of these doctors at Apollo Hospitals.


“I switch my workout routines to avoid monotony,” says Dr Abhijit Kulkarni, Cardiologist, Apollo Hospitals, Bengaluru.

Dr Kulkarni says that following the same exercise regimen every day results in excessive discomfort in certain muscles and can also sap one's enthusiasm to work out. To allow each muscle group a chance to recover, he alternates between different forms of exercise. Research as well shows that a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance workout helps raise HDL (good) cholesterol and lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. “I walk or run or play a sport or do yoga twice or thrice a week. Doing a variety of workouts helps me achieve balance and avoid monotony,” says Dr Kulkarni.


“I eat a high-fibre diet,” says Dr Subhash Wangnoo, Endocrinologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi.

The former endocrinologist to the president of India, Dr Wangnoo eats a high fibre diet to help maintain bowel health, lower cholesterol levels and maintain a healthy weight. He includes whole grains such as barley, oat, buckwheat, and nuts such as almonds and groundnuts in his daily diet. Dr Wangnoo also listens to light instrumental music at bedtime to sleep well. Research published in PLOS One says that instrumental music that is string-instrument based, with little or no horns and drums, lowers anxiety and brings on drowsiness. Dr Wangnoo starts his day with morning yoga which helps him start his day with clear intention.


“I bake, grill or steam my food to reduce oil consumption,” says Dr Anuradha Panda, Gynecologist and Obstetrician, Laparoscopic Robotic Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.

Awarded as an inspiring gyneacologist of south India by ET Times, 2019, Dr Anuradha ensures that her food is cooked with oil that is used in moderation l. Excess oil raises unhealthy LDL cholesterol, increases the risk of high blood pressure . “I focus on having a healthy diet combined with 20 minutes of daily exercise to stay mentally and physically fit,” says Dr Panda.


“I focus on getting 7 hours of sleep everyday,” says Dr Sandeep Vohra, Psychiatrist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, New Delhi.

With over 20 years of experience, Dr Vohra stresses on the importance of good sleep to help the body and brain function properly. Sleep helps repair the muscle tissues between workouts and also provides energy to do the exercises with focus and attention. “A good night’s sleep improves my attention, mood and health,” adds the doctor.


“I do Vipassana meditation to manage my stress levels. It helps me stay calm for the entire day,” says Dr Suneetha Narareddy, Infectious Diseases Specialist, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad.

“I practice Vipassana, which means to see things as they really are,” says Dr Narareddy. Vipassana is an ancient technique to improve concentration and self-awareness through meditation, notes Journal of Scientific Research–Medical Sciences. The method seeks self transformation through self observation, where the meditator pays disciplined attention to the physical sensations that continuously interact with and condition the mind, notes the journal.


Related Story: How Vipassana Changed My Life: In Conversation With Shonali Sabherwal



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