This year, Dr. Kuldeep Singh was named LocumTenens.com’s Resident of the Year. As the winner, he received a $5,000 cash grant. Beyond the recognition, Dr. Singh is an inspirational physician who is changing lives and demonstrating his passion for helping others.
Dr. Singh shared his story and gave us a better understanding of who he is, where he is going and what drives him.
What made you want to become a physician?
I always had an innate desire to be in a profession devoted to service and helping people. I specifically decided to become a plastic surgeon because of the diverse scope of practice. It is truly the broadest and most unique of all fields, requiring expertise from head to toe. Plastic surgery entails creativity, problem solving and affords autonomy to channel the practice to what you desire and the option of working in both the academic and private setting. Most importantly, the ability to make transformational changes with the ability to make a direct positive impact in someone's life and improve their quality of life drew me towards plastic surgery.
How did you get to where you are now?
My preparation for medical school represents a challenging journey – one that has continually demanded personal reflection and growth. Starting from a humble background in India and after finishing high school, I was offered an opportunity to pursue undergraduate studies in the U.S. I had no family here and having to figure everything out on my own was quite challenging at first. It took a while to adjust to the new place and it was really a "one small step at a time" approach and flexible mindset that guided me throughout. I worked full-time throughout college and even in medical school. Ultimately, I was fortunate to match into the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency training at the world-renowned hospital, Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn.
What do you hope to accomplish in the medical field?
Our profession is all about service and giving back. First and foremost, I hope to utilize my skills as a plastic surgeon to provide the best care for my patients. Additionally, I hope to be actively involved in teaching and mentoring medical students/residents/fellows through their journey to continue to push our field forward.
What does it take to be a successful physician in today’s world?
Being a team player and willing to work hard is a must. You have to be passionate about what you are pursuing. Plastic surgery residency is a six year long "marathon" training. There is so much to learn. Similarly, most surgical residencies range from 5-7 years. One has to learn to balance themselves and take time to relax. Ultimately, you need to be in a healthy mindset to treat patients compassionately.
What does being named Resident of the Year by LocumTenens.com mean to you?
It is a huge honor to be the recipient of the Resident of the Year award. I had no idea that I was nominated. What a pleasant surprise! I am incredibly grateful for this award and opportunities thus far in life.