How should Physicians Choose a Medical Specialty?

Jasbina Ahluwalia interviews Dr. Rajeev Fernando.

Dr. Rajeev Fernando has been recognized as one of “America’s Top Doctors in New York” for the specialty of Infectious Disease since 2014. He formerly worked with Doctors Without Borders and runs a charity on behalf of his parents called CHIRAJ ( His charity donates masks that meet all the necessary safety standards and have a value of $15.
He is an accomplished doctor with a generous heart and compassion for making the world a better place through the #MaskUpEarth campaign.


Dr. Rajeev Fernando:

I really think the most important thing to do is really wholeheartedly love your job. Unfortunately, I feel there are a lot of physicians who choose careers where they say, “Well, this is where I make the most money” and things like that. You may have a few thousand dollars more at the end of the first three, four, five, six years. But if you really don’t love what you do, you’re setting yourself up for disaster, mental fatigue.

Like for me, I’m the first physician who gets to the hospital on Monday morning, and I’m there bright and early ready to go. And a lot of people say “Why are you so happy on a Monday morning? Did you get a lot of coffee or a triple shot of espresso?” For me, it’s really just loving what I do. And it’s loving the challenge, loving every minute of it. And that’s really what keeps me going. It’s was very hard, and probably will be hard tackling the pandemic. But really, if you love your job, I think it’s very easy.

For example, I really get upset, or I hate the term when someone says, “Oh, you’re a hero health care.” I said, “no, I’m not.” We’re here. These are our patients. We do this every single day. And we’re not heroes just because we treat COVID-19 patients, we’re not. Nothing has really changed. Of course, we have our good days, we have our bad days, and sometimes at work I tell my students and residents, I said, “That was such an easy day. I shouldn’t be paid for today.” I mean, I really shouldn’t.

But that’s one end of the spectrum where we have our easy days, but we aren’t going to have our tough, complex, challenging days as well. And I don’t think that makes you a superhero any different at all. So really loving your job and loving yourself, I think is very important to get you very far in your career. Because if you’re not, then it just becomes a part of the day. “Hey, I had a rough day today. But let’s keep going.” But if you don’t love what you do, that’s going to be a really big problem, unfortunately.



The above is an excerpt from Jasbina’s interview with Dr. Rajeev Fernando.

The entire interview transcript is at – Philanthropist and Infectious Disease Physician Talks COVID, Women’s Empowerment, and Physician Gender Dynamics with Dr. Rajeev Fernando