by Swatee Jog
Her grandson was in his tuition class when his teacher asked him how he felt, now that his grandmother had got her Ph.D. Though he’s just 6 years old, he has been really happy for her. That’s Dr. Shaila Udchankar for you who completed her Ph. D. at the age of 58 in Repertory, a branch of Homeopathy.
Dr. Shaila is well known as a Homeopathic Doctor. Having taught for over 30 years, first at Dr. A. M. Shaikh Homeopathic Medical College for 19 years and now at Bharatesh Homeopathic Medical College since 2010 till date as Professor HOD and PG Guide.
Having completed my MD in 2005, I was not aware of what’s the latest in the field of research”. That’s when the thought of pursuing a doctorate crossed her mind. Dr. Shaila is just the second batch of research students in homeopathy from Bharati Vidyapeeth deemed-to-be University, Pune.
Dr. Shaila’s research enabled her to construct her own small Repertory on Infertilty as a part of PhD course.(one of the three branches of Homeopathy, the other two being Organon and Materia Medica) Repertory means an index to the symptoms for the homeopathic Materia Medica.
Dr. Shaila’s research ever since 2003 has been on male Infertilty & presently on undiagnosed and unexplained infertility. She credits Dr. Dattaprasad and Dr. Manjusha Gijare for encouraging her and helping her with the research, even giving access to cases at their infertility clinic. Often, it’s the stress and the dent caused by the inability to conceive that weakens the couple’s relationship she says, adding that counseling plays a big role in bringing harmony and normalcy in their lives.
She registered for her Ph.D. nine years ago after standing second at the All India Entrance Exam conducted by Bharati Vidyapeeth deemed-to-be- University in her pre-Ph.D.
Her aim was not only to treat the infertile patients but to go deep to the root cause of infertility. She laments that evidence based research needs more attention in homeopathy . She feels that documentation & publication plays a major role in promoting Homeopathy, which encourages young homeopaths to pursue research.
Dr. Shaila hails from Belagavi, third among the 5 sisters born to Late Shri Vasant Jalihal and home-maker mother, 82 year Mrs. Rama Jalihal. She says her parents ensured that all the kids got good education. A young Shaila was fascinated by noted ophthalmologist Dr. Chaya Shah who’d cross her house everyday at 7.30 am with the medico apron in hand.
As fate would have, her grandfather was a close friend of Dr. A. M. Shaikh who, after retiring as an IAS officer, had established the Homeopathic Medical College at Belagavi. She pulled out of her PUC and got enrolled in the new college (it offered a post SSLC 4 year LCEH -Licentiate Course of Examination in Homeopathy- diploma which later was recognized as equivalent to BHMS). From not knowing either English or about Homeopathy, she went on to achieve great academic success with sheer grit and determination, when barely 7 students would manage to pass among over 40 students at the course.
She started her career with Late Dr. N. R. Deshpande after giving her full attention to her son till he entered school and then at Dr. A.M. Shaikh college.
She credits Col. Dr. Deshpande, an army-man , who she says taught her OBG and whatever she knows today . In 2010 she Joined Bharatesh Homoeopathic Medical College as prof HOD and received exemplary support and encouragement from the Management and the Principal of the College Dr.Shrikant Konkan.
She also remembered to all of her colleagues whose help was invaluable.
Did she miss her family in her credits? Well, her husband Dr. Mukund Udchankar has remained her biggest pillar of support throughout. Her daughter-in-law Dr. Shantala is also a doctor and teaches at JN Medical College.
It was Dr. Shantala who accompanied Dr. Shaila to her Ph. D. Submission, even dropping her off at the Bharati Vidyapeeth campus. Not surprisingly, her son Dr Gururaj who is currently a practising chest physician, has been of equal support.
Dr. Shaila is a firm believer that when you do good all your life without ever compromising, good things happen to you. She is also pursuing a second Ph. D.
now on Dasa Sahitya and she is in in her 4th year out of the total five. Dr. Shaila maintains that a woman has to juggle two roles- as a home maker and as a professional. When you take care of your home first, you can wholeheartedly focus on your career, she says. At an age when many would hang their boots, Dr. Shaila’s exciting journey with her characteristic sunny disposition, seems to have just begun.