Dr Nivisha Parag is a medical doctor, specialist in Emergency Medicine and sub-specialist in Critical Care. She currently works in the Intensive Care Unit in private practice, and has also recently undertaken the role of Head of School for Healthcare Management Studies at Regent Business School. Her greatest passion is helping people to live their best life, and she uses the skills she’s acquired to do her bit in achieving just that.
From alumni to Head of Department
Dr Nivisha Parag was an alumni at Regent Business School, having obtained her MBA with them in 2013. “This is a very exciting opportunity as healthcare management education is still in its infancy in developing countries like South Africa and globally, and a niche programme like the sector-specific MBA in Healthcare Management is currently offered exclusively by Regent Business School,” she says.
Study hard and set career goals
Study hard and set your goals according to what you wish to achieve. Aim for your highest grades in school and explore higher education options to find the one that will suit you best. “To become a healthcare professional, you must have a passion to work with people, be tolerant and empathetic, and love your job enough to value it as a hobby. All healthcare professionals become managers inherently, needing to manage people, situations, resources, time and the changes that come with each new challenge. In this regard, a qualification in management can be invaluable in helping you develop these skills to navigate your work life,” she says.
The options for work in the healthcare industry are wide and varied
The medical education pathways are fairly well structured and the South African system enables all graduates in the country to enter internships and community service, and then determine their future career goals. “The management education industry is much more dynamic, and an emerging trend in the healthcare fraternity, with an increasing focus on strong leadership and management to drive the improvement towards quality healthcare provision,” says Dr Parag.
Finding a balance
For most employed women, it’s tough to balance a work life with the traditional societal roles bestowed upon us: being a mother, looking after a household, taking care of extended family etc. “It’s difficult to embrace the needs of women in the medical fraternity with a historic gender bias, but we are fortunate to be growing up in an era where the value of feminine qualities and women leaders are being increasingly recognised and nurtured,” she says.
Embracing the ethos of being a woman is a good start to enable career growth. Traditionally, becoming a mother, needing time off to look after family needs etc were seen as a hindrance to career growth, but today some of the most successful organisations are those that ensure they have fair and supportive policies in place to nurture career growth equally for all, explains Dr Parag.
Every opportunity is a chance to build
“[It’s all about] Diligence and taking every challenge as an opportunity to build experience – together with consistent studying and learning new things, and some huge doses of caffeine!” quips Dr Parag.
“Invest in your future early – from the time you start working, try to put aside some savings. Every little bit goes a long way,” says Dr Parag.
A must-read book
Bossypants by Tina Fey.