Meet Dr. Roshni Cheema, Anesthesiology Resident

"My diagnosis made me unproductive. It took a while before I began healing myself. I now started valuing my inner peace above all and caring for my mental and physical well-being. I started harboring good habits and nurturing only genuine friendships."

SEPTEMBER 2021 : Mumbai, Maharashtra  

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“I believe I’m more than just a ‘doctor’. My lab-coat is merely a part of my identity, not my entire being.

My first realization came when I was diagnosed with clinical depression two years ago. I wasn’t just a doctor now, but a patient too. Only a few know that depression is a persistent feeling of sadness caused by the brains’ chemistry.

When you’re stressed, the hippocampus, of the brain releases cortisol. An overflow of cortisol slows down neuron development, causing memory problems, sleep disturbances, a change in activity levels and in ones’ emotional balance.

My diagnosis made me unproductive. It took a while before I began healing myself. I now started valuing my inner peace above all and caring for my mental and physical well-being. I started harboring good habits and nurturing only genuine friendships.

During this significantly tough time in my life, writing was my coping mechanism. These grim pieces of work turned into songs and melodies. Today, I’m not just a doctor but also a songwriter for my own band - @bombaybootpolish

My dad is a doctor, the first in his family – the reason I chose my profession. I simply knew no other career could satisfy me. I am worried —because I can see my parents' age, and I know that they won’t be with me forever. Yes, I am a doctor and I will do everything for them medically, but I am also a daughter who loves them and cares for them and the thought of losing them is scary.

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During the hard times of COVID-19 I was working in the ICU. Staff shortage led me to be given the responsibility of 33 critical patients. In that room, I wasn’t just a doctor. I’d become whoever my patient and their families needed me to be — a daughter, a son, a caretaker, a cheerleader and in some sad times, I was also helping perform last rites.

I’ve learnt through the roles I performed that life is too short to have regrets. It’s never too late to start something new, because life always turns around for the good. When you’re not just a doctor, but have so many shoes to fill, sometimes, you run ahead and let the world catch up with you!”

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