An Interview with General Practitioner Pawan Kumar Bajaj Agrawal

What is your professional background?

A photo of Pawan Kumar Bajaj AgrawalI’m a general practitioner in Nepal. In Nepal, a general practitioner is equivalent to a family medicine specialist in the US. We are also involved in surgeries, including trauma surgeries and delivering children, which is very necessary in rural areas. I finished my post-graduate work four years ago and have been working in the far west of Nepal, which is a very rural area. Until very recently, I worked with the NGO Nyaya Health Nepal, which is part of Possible Health, at the Bayalpata Hospital in Achham. In practice, my main responsibilities were to supervise medical officers and direct care delivery in obstetrics, trauma and general surgery. I was also responsible for managing the overall clinical workflow. 

I believe that quality healthcare can be accessible and affordable for communities in rural areas. I experiment with approaches to make this possible. I’ve just left Nyaya Health and am planning a new organization that will be four to five hours from Kathmandu, the capital city.

What challenges do you face in your daily work that UpToDate helps with? How does UpToDate assist?

In my previous hospital, there were almost 300 patients per day.  All of them were treated by clinicians that I supervised. We really had to work 24-7.

Being a general practitioner, I have to deal with a variety of cases and simultaneously keep case management in mind. For this, UpToDate has been very useful. UpToDate is also useful for following recent guidelines, especially in diagnosis. Whenever I have any doubts or can’t work out a case, I look at UpToDate for the guidelines and to explore different diagnoses. 

Specifically, I had a patient recently who had complications of acute rheumatic fever and rheumatic chorea. I never dealt with that during my graduate or postgraduate studies, so I went right to UpToDate and used some of the medications they recommend. The patient has done well on UpToDate’s recommended medication. 

What makes UpToDate a unique tool in healthcare delivery?

UpToDate has a very useful interface that makes accessing data super easy. When I’m working as a clinician, I can directly go to the diagnosis part and see the treatment recommendations. I think the most useful part is the calculators. They make the platform more useful for clinicians.

It’s just very useful. To get any information you want you can just scroll and see it.