Featured Doctor

MOTILAL, Dr Shastri

Trinidad: Montegut Scholar

Dr Shastri Motilal MBBS (Hons), DM Fam-Med, from Trinidad, is the WONCA North America region (Caribbean College of Family Physicians) Montegut Scholar for 2015 and represented the College at the WONCA Polaris preconference in Denver, Colorado in October 2015. He is also the coordinator chosen by the CCFP for our Caribbean Polaris Group, the group of young and new family doctors that practice in the non-Spanish speaking Caribbean. He is an Honours graduate of the University of the West Indies, having completed the DM in Family Medicine.

What has your path been in Family Medicine?

I grew up in Spring Village, Valsayn, Trinidad where I started UWI, St Augustine Campus in 1998 after winning a scholarship from Fatima College. I completed M.B,B.S. with Honours in 2003 and started internship at Port of Spain General Hospital in July 2003.

After 1½ years internship I joined the North Central Regional Health Authority as a house officer in Emergency room where I spent almost two years before being accepted for the training Family Medicine. I worked thereafter in the St Joseph Health Centre where I received most of my primary care experience and training. During this time I interacted with clinical medical students and started teaching final year medical students as an Associate Lecturer (part time) with University West Indies (UWI) which I really enjoyed.

Finally I took up a post of lecturing full time in Family Medicine. As a UWI staff member my duties involve teaching at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels in family medicine. What also comes with the position are responsibilities for correcting and attending examinations both locally and regionally. I am also involved in research.

Although I resigned from the public service I still practice clinical medicine. I had started my private practice in October 2009 in Kelly Village, Caroni, Trinidad. It is a rural community that has been gradually developing over the last couple of years. I work there part time (roughly 20 hours a week) and see a range of patients with the common ailments that would present to any general practice service. I have a keen interest in procedures (intra-articular/ intra-lesional injections, ECG’s, electro-cautery skin lesions) and minor surgery (removal of lumps and bumps) which I do every week.

What are your special interests outside of work ?

Music Keyboard (Piano), Meditation.

I love musical instruments like the piano and guitar and I play as a novice. Meditation has gained my greatest interest over the past decade and I see it as the secret to true happiness and enlightenment. I grew up in a Hindu home and celebrate the major festivals however when asked my religion I prefer to describe myself as Spiritual. Another area of interest has been where medicine and spirituality meet in form of Regression Therapy. This is something I aspire to do and I read books on the topic. I think it has huge potential for curing lots of symptoms that traditionally we as physicians cannot explain after using the biomedical approach we were taught in medical school. I hope someday to practice this..

What does being a family doctor mean to you, especially in the context of family medicine in your country?

Being a Family Doctor is more than just delivering a service where I try to aspire to best practice in caring for a wide range of patients. Having served both in the public setting (past nine years) and private setting (past 3 years) my wealth of experience has come from dealing with people from the different cultural and socio-economic groups.

Primary care to me has been about making a difference in patients’ lives. I look at it as not only a Medical Science but an art form where the human touch can be introduced into every patient encounter. In this regard I believe together all of us are capable of transforming our patients for better and by extension our nation.

 Read news item on Shastri's Montegut Scholar experience