Welcome to another Docscopy section, Parul Soni of MedBound Times had an opportunity to have an exciting conversation with Dr. Dhara Sharma.
Dr. Dhara Sharma is a Physiotherapist and Principal in charge of Silver Oaks College of Physiotherapy, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. She has 15 years of experience in academics.
Parul Soni: I am excited to interview one of the young physiotherapists who is a principal now!
Parul Soni: Please tell us about your life and professional journey.
Dr. Dhara Sharma: Thanks for inviting me. I graduated (BPT) from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences. After that, I took my master's degree (MPT) in Neurology and psychosomatic disorders from the same university. I did my Ph.D. in Geriatric Cognitive Rehabilitation.
I was always attracted to academics. I joined as a senior lecturer at Ahmedabad Institute of Medical Sciences in 2008 after master's degree (MPT). I taught there for 9 years. I was the Principal at Sharda College of Physiotherapy in Gandhinagar, Gujarat for two years. I got to take charge of Silver Oak College in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. I have been the acting principal for a year. Soon I will finish my 15 years in academics.
Parul Soni: How did you come across this opportunity to be a Principal of this institution?
Dr. Dhara Sharma: This is a new college, nothing comes to you easily. you have to work your way up. There is politics everywhere but somehow I managed to stay away from it. Some people try to pull you down and you need to pull through with hard work and dedication. I got this great opportunity at the correct time. I think the people who hired me and my seniors who recommended me had faith in me. That is why I am here.
Parul Soni: What is your vision regarding students after taking charge of this new institution?
Dr. Dhara Sharma: I always had a clear vision. We had a challenge to start a new institution, to maintain the standards and quality of education. The people who joined as teachers under me are a good team. As a team, we always ensure that whatever knowledge, skill and technique we impart to our students is top quality. I have always made it clear to the teachers that there has to be no compromise in the quality of education.
Parul Soni: What was your Ph.D. thesis?
Dr. Dhara Sharma: I am very proud of it. My study was on Cognition, Technology, and Quality of Life in Older Adults. Physiotherapy treatments usually revolve around the quality of life through functional training. The older adults don't get enough exercise, maybe because of co-morbidities and lack of awareness. Cognitive skills go down as age progresses. So I collaborated with a mobile application company and gave them games to improve their cognitive abilities. There were daily challenges in the game and I got 100% compliance. One group was assigned cognitive activities. The other groups were assigned aerobic activities with other exercises. Cognitive activities and aerobic exercise activities were then compared. We got great results!
Parul Soni: What were the challenges you faced in your profession?
Dr. Dhara Sharma: There is competition in our field. We have a narrow mindset. I can't say that in Gujarat we don't have politics. When people tried to get me involved into it, I fought my way out of it. . But we all need to work our way up if we aspire to achieve something.
Stay tuned for the Part-2 of this conversation