HE fainted when he first entered an operating theatre while still a medical student.
But today he is one of the best heart surgeons in the Asia region with Sahyadri Hospitals in India.
In an exclusive interview with The Fiji Times, Dr Rajesh Kaushish revealed how he started his medical career, not forgetting the more than 5000 heart surgeries he has performed so far.
Dr Kaushish, who hails from Punjab, said he was always interested in science from his childhood and he was good in biology while in school.
He is the first doctor in the family while there are many on his wife's side, although she is not one.
"I fainted when I first went into an operating theatre as a medical student," he said with a laugh.
"I got attracted to cardiac surgery because I found it to be the most demanding and challenging.
"I did my surgical training and the specialist training. It was a 10-year training in India and I did my fellowship in the US."
Dr Kaushish graduated from the Armed Forces Medical College and served with the Indian Army, further specialising in cardiac surgery.
He completed his 20-year bond before taking early retirement and joining Sahyadri Hospitals. He is in Fiji for the first time.
"I served with the artillery regiment and went to high altitude areas with them. I used to do surgeries on Indian troops and I was quite used to the surgical field before I performed my first cardiac surgery.
"There was so much glamour attached to cardiac surgery when I was doing my training. It's a slow learning thing and my first case was very, very thrilling. The feeling was very, very great."
Dr Kaushish performed his first heart surgery in 1996 and he has done more than 5000 successful surgeries so far. He also performs lung surgeries.
"Ever since I left the army, I have been doing only heart surgeries but I also do lung surgeries. I performed 20 successful surgeries on beating hearts in Fiji and all were successful.
"I am looking forward to coming to Fiji again. I am glad that I was of help to 20 people. But if we have two theatres and 10 beds, then I can do four surgeries a day.
"Cardiac surgery is like skating on thin ice and I'm very happy and lucky that I didn't have any major complications in the 20 cases."
Although Dr Kaushish has not seen most of Fiji because of his tight schedule with the heart patients, he described the country and its people as beautiful, with nice scenic views everywhere.
He is looking forward to his second trip to Fiji next year, with the view to operate on more patients and give them a new lease of life.