Alumni Mentorship Session: Empathy in Healthcare

According to the tradition of Teerthanker Mahaveer University, the alumni always live in a traditional bond with the present students and from time to time bear the responsibility of guiding them in the fields of education, knowledge and growth. To continue this tradition, the program of Alumni Mentorship was started with the lighting of the lamp and garlanding of Maa Saraswati. The objective of this program is to connect the alumni with their parent institution and through this, help them to notice the various changes in the university over the years.

In the Alumni Mentorship session, Physiotherapist Dr. Sara Ansari (Gold Medalist, 2011-15 batch) an alumna of the university, was invited to give her insights about empathy in healthcare and to guide the students about their careers. She is currently working as a Consultant at Health ‘O’ Rehab Center and in the past has served as a Senior Spine Consultant at Army Hospital, Max Hospital Delhi and Mumbai. She was welcomed by Prof. Nikhil Rastogi, Joint Registrar, Alumni Relations Cell and Prof. Shivani Kaul, HOD, Department of Physiotherapy, with a bouquet.

On behalf of the university, Prof. Nikhil Rastogi addressed the audience and conveyed that the alumni are our valued and praised ambassadors and we look forward to their continued association with us. They are an integral part of the TMU fraternity, its present achievements and future hopes. On this occasion, he recited a quote given by the 35th president of the United States of America, John F. Kennedy: “I think the success of any school can be measured by the contribution of the alumni towards the nation.” He also appreciated all the efforts made by Dr. Sara Ansari for the development of society and the nation.

Alumna Dr. Sana Ansari pointed out how one can become a better healthcare professional in today’s era. She stated that empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of patients and their personal experiences, which provides the basis for therapeutic change. Adding to this, she said that many healthcare professionals find it difficult to adopt a model of empathetic communication in their daily practice.

She also conveyed that with the help of three dimensions (emotional, cognitive, and behavioural), there is complete help in curing any kind of patient. It has been proven that healthcare professionals with higher levels of empathy work are more efficient to fulfil their role in bringing therapeutic change. Dr. Ansari also described the Jefferson Scale of Empathy to measure empathy and discuss it with all the students in the program. Moreover, she guided the students to prepare for today’s context.

In question & answer sessions, students Aksha Tahir, Aksika Mittal, Aru Jain, Ramlah Naaz, Anoushka Gautam and Sayyad Ibad ur Rehman asked their queries. Student Aru Jain shared an incident in her question about how she had become very hopeless with an irritable patient, whose behaviour was also not good. On this, Dr. Sara repeated the various dimensions of empathy and told the best way to deal with such a patient.

In the end, Prof. Shivani Kaul, HOD, Department of Physiotherapy, proposed a vote of thanks to Dr. Ansari. She stated that such mentorship programmes will continue to be organised by the university because they enhance student engagement and learning. In the end, she expressed her heartfelt gratitude to all the present scholars and students. After the program, Dr. Sara meets with Mr. Manish Jain, GVC, Teerthanker Mahaveer University. She told him that she wanted to become a successful entrepreneur by serving society in her birthplace i.e., Bhadohi.

TMU’s Department of Physiotherapy is the best physiotherapy college in Uttar Pradesh. The college organises various industry-academic interaction programs, guest lectures, conclaves, alumni talks, mentorship sessions, and workshops for students. The college has highly qualified faculty to provide much-needed practical training to the students of DPT, BPT and MPT. Indeed, the Department of Physiotherapy is the gateway to an intellectual destination.