Because Australian medical exams are expensive, I had to do extra ambulance shifts in India to make money to sit the exams. I worked double what I would usually. I would do 24-hour shifts in ICU and during my days off, I would do one- or two-hour ambulance shifts to get money. I was working 60-70 hours a week. There was one interesting incident — actually, I shouldn’t say interesting, because it was pretty scary. We were taking a patient from one city to another. While coming back, we had to drive for seven or eight hours. The driver of the ambulance wasn’t really alert, but I didn’t realise because I was sleeping behind him in the ambulance. Suddenly I heard a bang and then the ventilator fell on top of me. I had a big split on my right knee, a big wound. Then I realised people outside had more injuries than me. I stepped outside and saw the ambulance had crashed. There was another car that had hit a tree. I think the ambulance was hit from the side. The driver had died and one of the passengers was severely injured. I tried to resuscitate him, but unfortunately, we couldn’t save him. Another ambulance arrived and we took the other passengers to hospital. I was taken to the hospital as well. I had a few sutures in my knee and you can still see the scar. I think having experiences like that help in general practice. One of the good things about being a GP now is that I get more time off.

Dr Devesh Dhulekar
Gladstone, QLD