He knows a good doctor when he sees one.
Dr. Amandeep Grewal knows a good doctor when he sees one. A good doctor is not someone who knows how to read charts and allocate medication – To him, a good doctor is someone you can trust. It is someone capable of understanding and adapting to their patient’s feelings and needs in the moment.
MU Dr. Amandeep Grewal. Dedicated Doctor. Co-Founder futureDOCTOR. Founder of Match4HealthCare. Community Organizer.
When Dr. Amandeep Grewal walked into our office on a bustling May afternoon, we were excited to learn that he was what we thought he would be. What seemed instantly apparent was his kindness, his gentle, attentive and curious nature. With smiles, we shook hands and jumped right into a conversation. He is wearing a white pristine high-collar shirt concealed by an understated greyish-black sweater – and adorned with a left chest pocket. His upper-half is complemented by a pair of gray jeans – folded just a bit over his ankles with dazzling white sneakers to break the darkness. In many ways, his dressing echoes the beautifully hectic enigma his life has become. A closer look at him exposes something very peculiar; he is self-aware and conscious of the spaces he inhabits.
So he takes it upon himself to treat any and everyone he meets with kindness, respect, and an open heart. We talked about his formation years, his parentage, what home is to him, the movement Match4healthcare he founded to help in the wake of the COVID crisis, and so much more. At the very start of the interview, he name drops Reutlingen as his hometown. We learn it is a place very dear to his heart. It is where he took his first steps. It is where he was raised, where his childhood memories are situated – it is the same place he still goes back to when he visits his mum, dad, sister, and friends. He strongly believes that Reutlingen is where the seeds of who he is today were planted. It is a place where there is unconditional support for him no matter what. He crowns it as arguably the most special place in the world because it is the one place where he can feel like himself. When he is home, he does not have to worry, act or twist himself into something he isn’t to accommodate anyone’s ego.
He told us about the people and things he misses when he is not home. He mentions his mother, his dad, his sister, and his mother’s food. Dr. Amandeep calls his boyhood a “not normal” and “classic childhood.” That time of his life did not appear particularly typical to him because he thinks of his life generally in milestones and not in fluid memories. He vividly remembers being thrown out of school twice. And the advice of his school principal, which sought to reel him back into the right direction. He heeded that warning and straightened himself up. That moment in his life is a barometer with which he measures how far he has come. It is a mirror of sorts he holds up to himself to gauge where he is in life. As we dug deeper into how the previously mentioned conversation with his school principal changed his trajectory, he told us about experiencing a transformation. To him, that shift came with the understanding that an individual “cannot connect the dots moving forward but rather when you begin to look in the opposing direction.” He added that his mother had a hand in making his transformation even more tangible by urging him to volunteer at a hospital through the “FSJ – Freiwiliges Sozial Jahr.” This experience left a lasting impact on his life. After several weeks of working with health care professionals, engaging with a diverse array of patients, and learning about their respective medical conditions, he began to understand that patients are people with dreams, desires, etc. who deserve to be seen as wholly and complete human beings and not just simply as medical cases.
He knew in that moment, that his interest in his patients exceeded their medical conditions. He wanted to know about them not just their cases, but who they were as people and what had led them to him. To sustain the care he has for them, he needed to make medicine his focus. He also opened up about his love for patient care and the sense of purpose and pleasure he feels to help and be of service to people who need him. In retrospect, he believes that medicine is the only way he could help tangibly. Dr. Amandeep thrives on the unwavering support he gets from his colleagues, friends, sibling, and parents. In their household, he was raised with the belief that nothing is impossible. That there were no limits to what he and his sister could do if they set their minds to it. His parents are some of the most important influences in his life.
He talked about them in inspirational and tender terms. He makes it clear that his parents have shaped his career decisions both consciously and unconsciously. He cites their work ethic and devotion to education as a bedrock of their parenting. That to him is the foundation upon which he stands. He asserts that his parents started with nothing. They had migrated from India between the 80s and the 90s. His father subsequently became a computer engineer. His mother, however, took a career path similar to his. She became a medical doctor in her own right. He studied them, watched them closely and he listened to all they had to share with him. He remembers being talked to by relatives about how hard his mother worked after his birth – how she would hide out in the basement to study when he was asleep. That is how serious she took her studies.
He knew he had to do the same. When he thinks about his parents, he says that he thinks about what they have accomplished with little to no resources. In doing so, he forces himself to think about how privileged he is to have access to resources his parents could only dream of. He believes that is a singular thought that drives him. It is his biggest motivator and a point of reference he can always come back to. He declares that notwithstanding his parent’s dedication to their education and work ethic, he believes it takes a community to do anything worthwhile. He notes that having a mother who has worked as a physician for twenty years has taught him the importance of saving lives, uplifting his community, and being useful. To continue that dedication to his community, he has created an initiative called Match4healthcare.
He defines match4healthcare as a centralised platform that aims to match and connect medical professionals and students who are willing to help with institutions and hospitals that require help. He told us that match4healthcare was created amid the covid crisis to support hospitals suffering an influx of patients. It all started with a Facebook group he created on the 16th of March 2020. He told us that he wanted to offer his services to hospitals that needed them but didn’t quite know how to go about it. He said he felt there maybe be other medical students who perhaps wanted to offer a helping hand. He made the first attempt at reaching out to other medical students by creating a Facebook group. The group which was called Medis vs. COVID-19, grew exponentially overnight into a full-blown movement. As we conclude, he tells us that he wants to make his parents proud and he intends to do so by making good on their investment in him.