Who Is Pavan?
I am a a mum of 2 boys and a doctor specialising in obstetrics and gynaecology (women’s health). I never know how to answer this question! I have been married to my husband for 8 years, which have honestly flown by with lots of major life events including having our two boys, who are 17 months apart in age, buying our first home together and pursuing our careers.
What is your favourite book and song?
I’m not much of a reader so I don’t really have a favourite book. My favourite song is our wedding first dance song by Harbhajan Mann – “Sohniye.” It’s such a beautiful Punjabi song
Who are your role models?
My role models are definitely my family. They inspire me in every way possible.
My dad for his kindness, compassion and just being a good human being. He’s always the person I turn to when I’m not feeling quite on track and he gives the best advice.
My mum for her strength and determination. I don’t know a single person who works as hard as she does. I guess that’s where I get the drive to keep going from. She’s always made us believe that we can achieve anything we want in life.
My Bibi (grandmother) for supporting her children and grandchildren to achieve their dreams. Family meant everything to her and even 10 years after her passing, our family has remained together and strong. I hope I can raise my family to be the same.
What is your day job?
I am a registrar doctor in obstetrics and gynaecology, which encompasses all aspects of women’s health from periods, miscarriage and menopause to pregnancy care, labour and delivery of babies. The difference between what I do and what a midwife does is that I get involved if the pregnancy is assessed to be higher risk or if women need assistance in labour/with delivery when things aren’t quite following the expected path.
What does your job involve?
No two days are the same for me, I could be doing caesarean sections in the morning and then seeing women in the early pregnancy clinic with, for example, bleeding or tummy pain in the afternoon. I see patients who are referred to gynaecology clinics with problems such as heavy/painful periods, sub fertility or pelvic organ prolapse. I also see women in antenatal clinics to put appropriate plans in place for their pregnancy care or review them in follow up appointments to see how they are getting on. I am a trainee so almost everything I do is under the direct/indirect supervision of a consultant.
You are married and a mother of 2 beautiful boys how do you balance your career and home life?
This is one of the commonest questions I am asked. It isn’t easy but organisation is key and I also work part time so have 2 days off per week to focus on the boys, cook, clean and get as much admin done as possible. It does mean that my training will take longer but being present for my children is so important to me. We have help from my in-laws with school pick ups as well, which really helps and means that the boys get to spend quality time with their grandparents.
What do you do when you have had a stressful day?
I tend to reflect on my day as I shower. I think it’s the only place that I get a few minutes to myself (unless the boys are asleep obviously)! I love lighting a nice candle, putting on some sort of reality TV show and switching off.
Why is being a Doctor so important to you?
I think it’s in my nature to want to help people and my job obviously allows me to do that. I am so passionate about women’s health; there are far too many misconceptions. The focus of my blog is to use my knowledge and skills as a doctor and my social media platform to educate women to better understand their bodies and to empower them with evidence-based medicine to take control of their health and seek help when they need to. I think far too many women, particularly from ethnic minority communities suffer in silence and this is something I’m passionate about changing.
You write your own blog Its A Mummy’s World. How did that come about?
I started my blog when I was at a really low point in my life. I was dealing with social bullying and to be honest, it was really impacting my mental health. After lots of encouragement from my family, I started blogging. Initially I blogged about work-life balance, family holidays and beauty/fashion and then I delved deeper into my experience of the baby blues (but more likely postnatal depression) and social bullying. So many women could relate to my experience and were going through similar things. Taking that step to write about it was liberating and the start of a new chapter for me.
Your blog is so inspiring for women’s health did you ever think it would do so well?
No! I definitely had imposter syndrome when I started all of this but I’m so glad I did it.
You suffered your own miscarriage and wrote about your experience that many can relate too. What made you decide to write about this?
When it happened I felt really broken, ashamed, embarrassed and unworthy. I felt like there was something wrong with me. This is me talking about my emotions with my background as doctor in women’s health, so I knew deep down it wasn’t my fault and my feelings were irrational…but I still felt that way. If i felt like that, I could only imagine how many other women felt the same. In our community we don’t speak openly about it, it’s all kept “hush-hush,” which is fine if you don’t want to speak about it but if you do, you should be able to without worrying about others will think. I used my platform to try to normalise the conversation and to learn from others as they shared their experiences with me so that I could improve my own practice and interactions with my patients.
How difficult is it when you are dealing with a patient and not let your own emotions come into play?
It’s so difficult! I find it really difficult to hold my emotions back. There’s times when I’ve sat with my patients and cried with them. I used to wonder whether that made me a bad doctor or unprofessional, but I really don’t think it does. It just makes me human.
What blog post that you have written on your page is the most closest to your heart?
Most definitely my social bullying post. I poured my heart and soul into that post and tried to be as honest as possible. I wrote it out on the notes in my phone and waited ages before I actually posted it because I needed to be sure it was the right thing to do.
Have you ever dealt with negativity, if so how have you dealt with it?
I think everyone deals with negativity from time to time. I think constructive criticism, which we sometimes portray as negativity is something we should take on board because it’s usually meant with good intentions. Pure negativity? I just don’t have the time or tolerance for it. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll attempt to sit with the person to discuss and air the issues, but if they aren’t receptive to that or are the type of people who just keep chipping away at me, I just walk away from that relationship, be it friends or family.
What would you say to someone who wants to pursue a career choice like yourself?
Research it as much as possible, talk to someone doing the job and follow some doctors on social media to get a real insight into what is involved and whether you can see yourself doing it and making the sacrifices that many of us often have to make. I’m always happy for you to reach out to me via Instagram as well. I have written a few careers posts and done some “Insta lives” with other doctors about careers in various specialties.
What is next for Pavan?
My focus right now is to get through my training and pass my final exam. My boys are always my priority so the next few years are very much going to be about them and raising them to be the best they can be. I’ll keep blogging my journey on Instagram but there’s no grand plans right now.