An introvert by choice and extrovert by force, Dr. Anmol RS Mittal is an orthopedic surgeon practicing in the bustling city of Mumbai. Having spent a decade earning degrees from premier institutions of the country, he now prefers (although fails at) being surrounded by mountains, coffee, dogs, books, and absolutely any kind of sports that he can get his eyes on. In his debut novel, he provides a graphic narration of the gruesome period of residency that every doctor in the world faces. Dr. Mittal’s ground-zero account of the battle against COVID-19 in this medical thriller, is a gripping testament to the deadliest pandemic of the 21st century, the broken system, and a ray of hope.

Let’s dive into the interview with the author to know the journey of “Resident of India”.

Can you tell us a little about your book?

Resident of India takes you on the journey of the enigmatic period of residency through the travails of Dr. Aryan Agarwal, a regular, general category, middle-class, shy boy in his mid-twenties. Aryan somehow makes it through one of the toughest exams in the world and through one of the highest reservation matrices, to get into the course of M.S. Orthopaedics in a government hospital. He has a doting family, a special group of friends, and a loving girlfriend, Dr. Bani Mehta. All of them, together form the pillars of his personal life, as he dives into this phase of professional hara-kiri. He is raring to go, fuelled by the youthful zest to learn, and become the best in his field. However, the moment he feels that he is prepared for anything and everything, the people and situations around him, make him realise that he couldn’t have been more wrong.
Resident of India is based on true events, narrated through the lives of fictional characters. It has been written with the purpose of being a raw, hard-hitting, unapologetic, and a no holds barred, realistic account of the journey of residency in every doctor’s life. Not only does it portray the professional hurdles such as inhuman working hours and living conditions, mob attacks and fatal assaults on duty, no support from the judiciary and slandering by public figures, fighting the pandemic with bare minimum resources, but it dives deep into something that has never been talked about enough, the personal and mental upheavals associated with being a resident doctor in India. The book will resonate not only with every single resident doctor in the world, but also with the established consultants and surgeons who once went through a similar period of training, as well as with the budding doctors, to whom this book intends to give a closer look into the quicksand that is residency, and how to come out of it satisfied, and with a smile on your face. Another purpose of the book is to spread awareness about the life, sacrifices, and role of this section of doctors to the general population, who have very little to no idea about resident doctors and their role in keeping the healthcare system afloat.

Is there a specific event that inspired this story or was this an out-of-the-blue idea?

I was visiting the hospital with my aunt after having completed my MS, when a nurse told her that the resident doctor will be with her shortly. She had no idea what a resident doctor was. This happened with three more patients who were there with us, including a foreign national. I was surprised that even after handling the entire pandemic and shouldering the nation’s healthcare, nobody knew of the existence of resident doctors. That is when I decided to pen this book.

What got you writing in the first place?

I have been writing since a very young age, but being an introvert, I never showed my work to a lot of people. When I used to narrate the stories of residency to my aunts they would ask me to write a book on it. Later, I started a page called the white coat chronicles to narrate such instances of heroism by doctors all across the globe. Slowly, but surely, the idea of writing a book remained in the back of my mind.

What was your impression of your first draft when you read it?

That this book will resonate with every single medico all across the world.

Which part of your story connects the most with you? Why?

The part where Aryan jumps into the field of an actively bleeding patient, trying to stop the bleeding with two artery forceps in his hands, without caring about the consequences.

On that note, we can’t wait for what comes in this author’s story.

Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.in/dp/9395563672

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