Nikhil Ballal

KYT – What inspired you to become a
CW – In my family there were no
doctors. During my formative years I was
inspired and influenced by my civil
engineer cousin. It was only after completing
my 12th standard exam I decided to
become a doctor. My teacher Prof. Vilas
Joshi at M.H. High School wanted me to opt
for Biology, but I was determined to pursue
MBBS and become a doctor.

KYT – People feel that you have to be
extra ordinarily brilliant in your studies to
become a doctor. Tell us about your
academic performance in school, college
and MBBS.
CW – I was not the one who always
stood 1st in the class, but yes, I was among
the creamy layer of students throughout my
life. As far as I remember it was only in the
third grade that I managed to secure the
top rank in my class (laughs). If I talk about
MBBS, getting admission in a good college
is a daunting task but once you get your
there things start falling in place. the life is
easy. To become a great doctor requires
10-12 hours of study is a myth. Only three
hours of dedicated study after your regular
MBBS classes will serve your purpose.

KYT – You were a student of Grant
Medical College, Mumbai. How was your
college life?
CW – The 4 years I spent in Grant
Medical College will be the most memorable
years of my life. Be it the hostel life,
lectures or practicals, I enjoyed them all.
Those years were a perfect blend of
learning and fun. Our professors strived not
only to make us good doctors but also great
human beings. They imbibed in us some of
the most important moral values and made
us fall in love with the medical profession.

KYT – We know that your spouse Dr.
Vaishali Wavikar has been a renowned
doctor herself. How did she help you and
what was her contribution to your success?
CW – Vaishali has been a born leader
and a wonderful HR person. Without her I
don’t think I would have been able to reach
such great peaks. Wavikar Eye Institute
stands on two strong pillars – Clinical work
and Administration. Vaishali takes care of
the majority of administration and HR part,
which allows me to focus completely on the
clinical front. Thus I feel that she has a lion’s
share in my success.

KYT – Being one of the leading
Ophthalmologists in Thane, the turnout of
patients must be tremendous. How do you
keep yourself enthusiastic and energetic

CW – Patients are the drivers of my
energy and enthusiasm. Talking to them in
general and not about their ailments
directly keeps me fresh. According to me,
OPD is the mother of all. Interacting with the
patients from different walks of life gives
me immense happiness. I actually start
enjoying my work thereby increasing my
productivity. A patient comes to a doctor
with lot of confidence, so you cannot let him
down. Every patient is subject to 100%
productivity of yours. Though I am an
Ophthalmologist, I don’t treat an eye, I treat
human beings.

KYT – What do you do in your free
CW – In my free time I generally read
books. I prefer autobiographies and
travelogues. Typically I read 25 pages
every day and make sure that I understand
the nuances of the book that I am reading.
Apart from reading what interests me is
music. Though I am not much into sports but I
love keeping track of various sports like
Formula one, tennis and cricket.

KYT – Which book are you reading
CW – What I love reading the most is
the autobiographies of the people that
inspire me the most. I have completed
reading the Master Blaster Sachin
Tendulkar’s autobiography – ‘Playing it my
way’. I have now picked up the autobiography
of yet another great man Mr. Nelson

KYT – Who is your role model?
CW – Being a doctor, you may expect
me to look up to some great medical
practitioner as my role model. But I believe
that you can learn different things from
different people. For instance, I admire our
former President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul
Kalam for his dedication towards the
nation. Like Mr. Kalam I aspire to serve the
nation through my medical expertise. I also
look up to the greatest actor of all time Mr.
Amitabh Bachchan for his humble nature and
modesty. However successful you become in
life, you need to be grounded to scale
newer heights. Professional commitment is
what I appreciate of the batting legend
Sachin Tendulkar.

KYT – What are your future plans?
CW – In the future I want to work for the
Adivasi people of Thane district. I believe
that these people too have the right to live a
healthy life. The major constraints faced by
these people is the lack of income and
unavailability of proper education
facilities. On an average, an Adivasi earns
Rs.12-15 per day which is not sufficient to
meet his daily needs of life. It is shocking to
know that these underprivileged people
survive only on alcohol and dal-Rice. Such a
diet will typically lead to Diabetes mellitus
(DM), which in turn affects the eyes of the
patient. With the help of an NGO, I would
like to help these people by creating
awareness among them, organizing medical
camps, providing them proper and
balanced food atleast once in a week and
also encourage them to participate in the
‘earn and learn’ programmes.

KYT – What appeal will you make to
the young and budding Ophthalmologists?
CW – First and foremost it’s my humble
suggestion to all the budding Ophthalmologists
that they should not compromise
quality for cost. They should give the best
quality at minimum possible cost to their
patients. Also they should always think from
their patients’ point of view and understand
their problems by getting into their shoes.
For every doctor, it is pivotal to constantly
sharpen his saw and improve himself with
every passing day.

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