Optimistic, motivated, emotional
Mita Dhullipala is a fourth year medical student at the University of Glasgow. She is the chair of the Scottish Medical Students Committee, and the founder and president of Glasgow University’s General Practice Society. Mita is also a co-chair of the British Medical Association Medical Students Committee and was the Widening Participation Lead in 2015-16.
Mita is the 2017 co-lead of the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) national student committee, won RCGP Student of the Year at the RCGP Student Awards, and sits on the West Scotland RCGP Faculty. She is a published author of a contextualised handbook of medical law and ethics and is currently writing a handbook for medical students.
You can follow her on Twitter @Mita_Dhullipala
What did you want to be as a child?
An actor. Sadly this didn’t quite pan out, despite spending most of my childhood hoping I would be discovered performing at various arts festivals.2.
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My mum and dad. They’ve always believed in me, and I owe them a great deal in every sense.3.
If you were given £1m what would you spend it on?
An extended vacation—I’ve always loved travelling. With the rest of the money I would fund myself through a law degree and donate the rest to Diabetes UK because diabetes has affected people close to me.4.
Where are, or were, you happiest?
Rainy afternoons surrounded by my family in Hyderabad, south India, with hot chai tea and lots of family gossip.5.
What book should every doctor read?
The Lost Art of Healing: Practicing Compassion in Medicine by Bernard Lown.6.
What poem, song, or passage of prose would you like mourners at your funeral to hear?
The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost. However, the melodramatic part of me would love a weepy rendition of Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On.7.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Sticky toffee pudding with cream and Quentin Tarantino films.8.
What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learnt as a medical student?
Three important things: change is slow but possible; compassion breaks down barriers; and there isn’t anything that persistence and optimism can’t achieve.9.
What has been the funniest moment at medical school?
The three weeks of hysteria before each February exam. I remember studying frantically at 1 am with a friend in the final week of revision. We were both in alternate fits of laughter and tears. It was utterly bizarre yet hilarious.10.
Do you support doctor assisted suicide?
I believe in death with dignity, but it requires a full and sensitive discussion and close regulation.11.
Summarise your personality in three words.
Optimistic, motivated, emotional.12.
What are your pet hates?
Superiority complexes; cufflinks featuring educational insignia; caipirinhas; and jelly.13.
What would be on the menu for your last supper?
Nothing. I wouldn’t waste my time eating, although I might stop for one last gin and tonic.14.
What subject should students receive more teaching on at medical school?
Community based medicine. Taking into account the changing demographics of medicine, I believe that primary care is integral to the future, and I want to see medical education become less biased towards secondary care.15.
What would you like to have achieved by the end of your career?
I would like to have tried my hand at as many things as is feasible; but most of all, to know that I have enriched people’s lives throughout my career.Laura Glenny, editorial assistant, Student BMJ
Competing interests: None declared.
Provenance and peer review: Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.