Since childhood, I have always been curious to know about the lives of doctors and other para medical professionals. Destined to become Librarian by profession, it gave me a chance to work closely with doctors and other para medical professionals when I was selected for the job at Lokmanya Tilak Municipal Medical College and Lokmanya Tilak Municipal General Hospital Library at Sion, Mumbai, where I worked for close to three years.
While working at Sion Hospital, I observed that doctors, especially PG students, were hard pressed for time and needed support from librarians; this combined with the fact that they were not really trained in how to look for relevant information in minimal time. But I also observed that they did not seem to realise that we librarians are formally trained in information searching in our University and we could add great value to their research or thesis. That we were taught and trained on using various sources some of which were free of any charges came as a big surprise to them. When I helped them, I was often asked if were a doctor, as I could get them exactly what they wanted, even when they spoke to me in medical terminology.
Ms. Vasumathi, who is my batchmate from the Library Science Degree course, was working for Hinduja Hospital at that time and quite often we exchanged notes on our experiences at the respective hospitals where we worked. We had similar experiences and concerns. Soon, I shifted to a corporate job, and she started her own venture – QMed. I was thrilled to know that QMed was doing exactly what we both used to feel strongly about and had much more value added services to offer. Many times when I visited her office, I secretly wished that I could do what she had been doing all these years – making a difference in the way information and knowledge search happens in medical institutes. I often joked that I wish I could afford to do such work, even if I were not being paid for it.
And one pleasant day in 2019, I realized that I was in luck and my dream would materialize. Vasumathi asked if I would join QMed as one of the Trustees! I actually stopped short of jumping with joy. And looked forward with total anticipation to get associated with medical profession all over again. The role of course is pretty different from what I had done at Sion Hospital, where I had a direct involvement with the profession. But here the opportunity came for brainstorming, critical thinking and more, in this domain. Hence, it was only natural that I grabbed her offer.
So, the fruits of my early efforts in this profession have indeed been growing sweeter all this while. Well, as they say, where there is determination and passion for something, miracles are bound to happen!
In the first couple of months of my being a Trustee, Vasumathi and I have had some great discussions. There is lots more for me to delve into and experiment, to give my offerings to QMed. I have met the other Trustees and enjoyed knowing them. Yes – there are “Miles to go before I sleep”, but I believe every mile is going to be very enjoyable.
Anujaa Navaratnaa – Trustee