The ProspectiveDoctor Podcast

Things They Didn’t Teach in Med School

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen talks to Dr. Amita Kumar, a primary care physician, Internal Medicine Board-Certified. Her clinical practice focuses on preventive medicine with a special interest in postmenopausal symptom treatments, diabetes, hypertension, and eczema. Dr. Kumar talks about her journey to medicine and the things that should be taught in medical school.

  • [00:34] Getting to Know Dr. Amita Kumar
  • [04:13] Why Dr. Kumar Settled on Internal Medicine
  • [06:58] The Things Dr. Kumar Believes Should Be Taught in Medical School
  • [09:37] Benefits of Having Passions Outside of Medicine
  • [10:24] The Big Changes Needed in Our Healthcare Systems
  • [11:55] Best Piece of Advice Dr. Kumar Has Ever Received

Why Dr. Amita Kumar Settled on Internal Medicine

Like most people, Dr. Kumar’s journey to medicine is not a straight line but is one most people can relate with. Her grandfather was a renowned neurosurgeon and a pioneer in pain management and deep brain stimulation. She aspired to help people just like her grandfather, but there was a problem. Dr. Kumar’s grandfather was a surgeon, and as you probably already know, surgeons can sometimes work 100-hour weeks. And Dr. Kumar was concerned about that work-life balance.

Her turning point came when she saw how primary care physicians interacted with patients. Primary care physicians form relationships with patients that are the foundation of clinical care. The way they interact with patients and develop personal and lifelong connections with patients was something Dr. Kumar wanted to experience. And so, after enrolling in an Ireland medical school, she settled on primary care, a decision she has never regretted.

Benefits of Having Passions Outside of Medicine

For the most part, most medics believe that one of the more effective strategies to prevent burnout is to maintain hobbies. In medicine, it’s so easy to fall into a cycle of sleep-work-repeat.

Calendars are clotted with meetings, appointments, rounds, and other minutiae of a day in medicine. Remember, although being called a physician is an essential part of your identity, it’s not your entire identity. It would be best if you had a life outside of medicine. For Dr. Kumar, she loves travelling. The prospect of meeting new people and embracing new cultures is one of her favorite pastimes. She believes that whether you have old hobbies or are interested in taking up something new, it always pays to have something that keeps you occupied outside of medicine. But be realistic, choose a hobby you can allocate a reasonable amount of time to.

You can reach Dr. Kumar via email at [email protected]

Got questions, feedback, or suggestions? Send a message to Dr. Erkeda DeRouen’s Instagram or MedSchoolCoach’s Instagram.

Erkeda DeRouen

Dr. Erkeda DeRouen is a graduate of Hampton University with a B.S. in Biological Sciences, followed by completing medical school at the Boston University School of Medicine. She then completed residency at The University of Maryland Family and Community Medicine Program. After that, she worked at an underserved community health center, and currently is an Associate Medical Director of a telemedicine company. She recently became one of the first 1,000 lifestyle medicine certified physicians in the world! Her areas of interest include: health equity and eliminating health disparities, service of underserved populations, HIV management, transgender care, mentorship, and lifestyle medicine.

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