For Magpas Air Ambulance Dr Pragya Mallick, becoming a doctor and working in medicine was always written in the cards, but even she couldn’t have imagined just how far she would come.
Born in Eastern India, Pragya was to uphold the family tradition of practising Medicine and follow in the footsteps of her grandfather who was a doctor and a Major in the British Indian Army. She was thrust into the world of medicine and very quickly discovered she “had a knack” – as she puts it – for the family trade.
Pragya studied at Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in Bangalore and had her first job as a junior doctor in a rural hospital in Karnataka state. From there she worked her way up and took the leap to move to the UK in March 2015.
Now, Pragya is a specialty doctor in Emergency Medicine and Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine (PHEM), splitting her time between working as part of the critical care team on board the Magpas Air Ambulance and in the Emergency Department at Northampton General Hospital. She explains, “It’s a fantastic opportunity to be able to look after patients of all ages and backgrounds who need life, limb or organ saving interventions. On any given day I could set a dislocated joint, resuscitate someone and help them breathe again or take care of someone’s pain by administering pain relief such as a nerve block.
“Being a part of a patient’s story, even just for a few hours, is a privilege and I try to make a difference in any small way that I can. For example, during my time with a patient I try to make them smile at least once, in a bid to reassure them on possibly one of the most difficult days of their life.”
Pragya believes that doing this job is her true purpose of being. She continues, “In my humble opinion, Pre-Hospital Emergency Medicine is one of the best clinical specialties. I love challenging myself and have an innate curiosity to keep learning; PHEM has taught me so much and not only allows me to make a life-changing difference for our patients but has helped me become a better doctor – and a better human being!”
The doctors and critical care paramedics who work for Magpas Air Ambulance are senior clinicians who have been studying and working in the field for over a decade before they join the charity. Having worked with the service, based in Cambridgeshire, for the last 6 months Pragya says, “This is the best thing to happen in my career. I have one of the coolest jobs I have ever had and will be forever grateful to be a part of this incredible organisation and work with so many inspiring people, doing all we can to help those in their ultimate time of need.”
When asked if she had any words of wisdom for people looking to follow a similar career path, Dr Pragya sums up “I have always tried to push myself out of my comfort zone and believe that hard work, recognising good advice from brilliant mentors and a positive outlook reaps rewards. After all, we only have one life and growing and evolving by challenging yourself is one way to ensure that we are living that life to the fullest. As we grow, so does our power to make changes for the better.
“If I can travel all the way from a small town in India, to make a fresh start and get the opportunity to work with incredible people within the NHS and at Magpas Air Ambulance, then nothing is out of reach.”