Dr Vinash Deyalsingh represents the first in his immediate family to lead a second generation of doctors.
Last Thursday, he became licensed to practice in the medical field in the specialised areas of obstetrics and gynaecology. His parents, psychiatrist Dr Varma Deyalsingh and Dr Sherene Kalloo-Deyalsingh, were naturally in a mode of elation.
In an interview with Guardian Media, his father Varma Deyalsingh, secretary of the Association of Psychiatrists of Trinidad and Tobago, said he never thought he would be so anxious and nervous waiting for his son’s results.
“I, who tell patients how to deal with their anxiety. His mother was more calm and collected and had to tell me to relax, have faith, he worked hard and he’s a good human being,” Deyalsingh said.
He said his wife of 35-plus years, an obstetrician and gynaecologist, had faith in God that their son did his work and she prayed with him each day before last week’s confirmation came.
“She and her mom always taught him that with spiritual food and faith all things are possible. He is a respectable young man with a soft genuine heart and reaches out to those in need—a remarkable and admirable characteristic in becoming a great doctor,” Deyalsingh noted.
He said they were even more proud of their son, as with the complications of COVID-19, like all educational institutes, the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine Campus had to change the format of the examination, a new factor that required quick adjustment.
“The medical curriculum is not easy, the hours spent onwards and studying can drain these young ones,” he said.
Deyalsingh said when their son told them he wanted to do medicine, they were not sure if he just thought he was expected to go into the field because both his parents were doctors or because his late grandmother, Mona, belonged to the Roopnarinesingh clan of doctors and would always tell him he should do medicine as it had a rewarding and satisfying future. Subsequently, Deyalsingh said he noticed it was a “heart thing” with Vinash, as he developed a love caring for others and reaping the rewards.
“Right after Hillview College his mom took him to observe and do surgery with her. He did his first supervised caesarean section and he was ecstatic. That was his defining point,” Deyalsingh recalled.
However, he said a great challenge occurred when Vinash lost both grandmothers during his journey and for a moment he questioned the limitation in medicine for saving lives Nonetheless, his father said he was compelled to pursue what his heart had already conceived. Asked if he would have preferred his son continue work in psychiatry, Deyalsingh said he chose to use the same advice his mother gave him.
“I had gotten accepted in both law and medicine. My father was a High Court judge (Lennox Deyalsingh) at the time and I had a law practice I could have gone into. But when I made my choice my mother asked me which one would make me serve humanity better to bring comfort to people, so I chose medicine,” said Deyalsingh.
“His mother would hope he can carry on her practice but I tell him he can serve to comfort more people in psychiatry. So like my parents before, we differ as parents on his career choice but we always allow him to make the choices that make him happy. After all, once you do what you love your job becomes your hobby and blessings flow.”
The Deyalsinghs also had some words of advice for their son as he enters the fraternity.
“An MBBS does not make you a doctor. You have to develop skills and know your limitation, never losing sight being a doctor is a privilege. Giving of yourself and bringing comfort to others should be paramount and staying humble is success. His journey has now started and he has to be of service to this country which has allowed him to be a professional.”