Dr. Kavita Jain is a practicing OB/GYN, as well as a professional physician tutor. As such, she performs two very different and important roles in the medical community.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Kavita nursed a dream of making a difference in women’s health from an early age. After graduating from college, she attended medical school at the Atlantic University School of Medicine on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia. Kavita then proceeded to accumulate clinical experience bouncing around between Baltimore, Chicago, and New York City—stark contrasts from the tropical location where she received her med school education. Currently, Dr. Kavita Jain works as an OB/GYN in Macon, Georgia, a job she loves and considers the fulfillment of her lifelong dream.
Remarkably, Dr. Jain also works in a second field for which she feels an intense passion; she is an educator, employed by Select Med Tutors to help medical students prepare for their exams and just generally fill in the cracks of their medical knowledge. Although the practice of physician tutoring is relatively new within the American medical community, it has, in recent years, grown exponentially in popularity. Equipped with her extensive medical training and accrued expertise as an active and practicing OB/GYN, Dr. Kavita Jain is well-positioned to impart her wealth of knowledge and experience to any med student seeking academic assistance.
Why did you decide to get into medical tutoring?
Physician tutoring is an up-and-coming occupation in the medical industry, and I think that’s why there are a lot of young people in it. Five years ago, there weren’t half the companies specializing in it that there are now. I love Select Med Tutors, the company I work with. We provide tutoring for the specific specialized exams that physicians have to take, including board exams. All of the tutors invest a lot personally in the success of our students. It really feels like we’re all working together to try to help our students succeed. I think it really helps to have someone by your side who knows how to handle this and has already been through it all. The head tutor always picks up the phone on the first ring. Whenever I need help, they are always available and supportive so I can, in turn, be there for my students.
You practice medicine while tutoring medical students at the same time. What brings those two worlds together? What do you love about each one?
I’m someone who really loves to help other people. I feel it defines who I am. Whether I’m working with patients or tutoring medical students, my professional situation really allows me to apply my skills to the two things that I love the most and that I’m the most passionate about: medicine and teaching. It’s kind of the perfect setup for me.
What does your typical day look like?
I think balance is really important. I generally reserve the morning and early afternoon for the clinical side of things, and then I always set aside of a block of hours later in the day—usually in the afternoon, though sometimes in the morning if my schedule allows—for physician tutoring. I’m on a texting basis with most of my students, so we’re always talking to each other and available for each other. I think it’s important to have that kind of open contact. If it’s a really stressful time for any of my students, they have access to my support and advice any time they need it.
What keeps you motivated?
What keeps me motivated is knowing that I’m doing what I really love. If you have a passion for your work, doing it just makes your day-to-day life all the more enjoyable. I feel really fortunate to have been drawn to the field that I specialize in; I want to make a difference in women’s health. I also want to be able to continue doing the other thing that I love, which is teaching and physician tutoring. I think that combination of things definitely helps bring variety to my daily life, because some days are longer and rougher than others, and on those really tough days, I think remembering all that can really help.
How do you motivate others?
When the students that I tutor are in the last couple weeks leading up to their exam, they are dedicated to full-time studying and it can get really overwhelming for them. I try to motivate them by encouraging them to power through whatever exam it is they’re preparing for and to keep their larger focus on what they want to specialize in. Although these exams are really important to help get the students where they want to go, I try to help them maintain the longer-term vision of ending up in their specialty and where that’s going to lead them in their career. So that they don’t get bogged down in the moment, in the day-to-day stuff, and lose perspective.
How have you seen Select Med Tutors grow from its early days to now?
I have been with Select Med Tutors for about five years now, pretty much since the beginning for them, and I have seen it grow in a really nice way. There are times that are busier than others during the year, but they never stop growing. The best thing is that it still feels like a family working with the head tutors, which, in turn, helps me to better serve my students. It doesn’t feel like it’s a big company even now. Things like quality are still so important for them, even as the volume of work has increased during the past couple of years. The quality of our instruction and what we can offer physicians has not suffered because of that growth at all.
How do you maintain a solid work/life balance?
I think work/life balance is really important, especially for people in the medical field. The most important thing in maintaining that balance starts with finding a job you can put yourself in one hundred percent. When you’re at work, I think it’s important to be focused on what you’re doing with one hundred percent of your effort and concentration. I also think that when you have a night off or a weekend off, it’s really important to fully enjoy that time away from work. Both are equally important.
What traits do you possess that makes you a successful leader?
I think that most people would say that I’m a really driven person. I was driven to get my residency in OB/GYN medicine, and to train and tutor physicians. I feel like I’m really driven by the success of my students, as well. I’m passionate about trying to help them get where they need to be. I think everyone sees all of those qualities in me. In terms of being a leader, I think it’s important to have control of a situation and to be able to see the big picture. But I think it’s also really important to do that in a way that’s not overbearing, especially with students, because they need their independence, too. Often, they’re the best evaluators of their own progress and how they’re doing, personally. They know themselves best.
What suggestions do you have for someone starting out in the medical tutoring industry?
I would say to anyone interested in getting into physician tutoring that I think it’s really important to start by reaching out to different companies that specialize in the field and to find a company that will allow you the flexibility to create your own schedule. A lot of times, physician tutors who are also doctors carry a heavy workload, so finding a company willing to work with that—to have an understanding of that—is incredibly important. You also want it to be a company that will be there to support you and to help you do your best for your students.