What To Do Next? Part -I

 

“The best time to plant a tree is always twenty years ago. If for some reason, you did not plant it then, the next best time to plant a tree is now”.

I had involuntarily shared my interest to become a doctor to Kitty. She was a replica of Anne Frank diary. Most people obtain habits from influences with human relationships; I made my influences limited to books and novels. I tried to be regular at it, but often had to apologize to Kitty when I exceed a week or two.

This winter break when I got the opportunity to flip through those pages again, I realized that at 16, I had decided what my next 20 years would be like. At 16, I was locked in the boundaries of Saudi Arabia. Inspirations were showered through the Indian system of knowledge and I thought I would attain the highest attainable degree in the world like most of my friends, who discussed and shared their higher level of thinking in the lunch hour.

Two years after I departed from Saudi Arabia to finish my junior school, I was lost. I was not sure what I wanted in life. My dreams were fading and I was drifting. My dreams were not nurtured and motivated to that level. Then by the grace of the Nepalese Government, we decided to move to Dhaka. “Med school is cheap in Dhaka”, is what they said. People around me motivated me after that, they helped me to map out my dreams and they enhanced it with “pride” and called it a “great respect for our family” if I decided to go to a med school.

Plans are meant to be thought, processed, assimilated, digested and beaten up until something new emerges. That’s called life. You can’t map out your life like a building block but, you should have the courage to dream big, no matter what people have to say to you. Dreaming is your right and no one should rob you of that.

Turning into a general physician was my goal and after nearly two decades of unknowingly what life direction I would go, I completed it. But even after completing one goal, I am hungry for more. Life right now seems so undirected. I need a goal and a new direction. Where would I go, what would I do?

I cannot limit myself to just a “general physician.” I want more! Most people decide to choose London or Canada for under graduation. But I choose Bangladesh with full cooperation and with hundred percent certainty that my life would be different, if I choose to stay in a third world country. I would turn out to be humble and I would stay ground to earth if I choose to feel the pain and suffering of the normal people. I still remember how I had to convince my parents that leaving me in Bangladesh would one day make them proud parents. “Let me suffer today” I said and later on, I can get all the happiness in the world. Plant your dream today, who knows ?,it, might come true. I don’t write to Kitty anymore but she played a very crucial role in my life.

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Overrated junior doctors!

There was no hesitation when I decided to do MBBS, nearly five and half years back. I just left what normal kids do during my age, giving SATs, applying colleges abroad but “No” I was so fixated to one and only goal to get a better GPA and proceed to a med school. Little did I know that life would change forever after finishing that degree! Professional wise, I am still a needle in haystack, a junior, a learner but yet the society gives it a highest accord available. Society overrates junior doctors!

No, I am not an almighty! If prescribing simple over the counter medicines makes me get the same status as of a god then I decline to get that decree. I am as normal as most people, at least, I try to show that I am normal. There are days when I am painstaking waiting for the clock to strike to two thirty and leave from work.

Education wise, I may have proved myself but the professionalism attached to being a doctor has still not gotten in my veins. Being a doctor is pretty similar to business men of any kind. The only difference is that businessmen would sell merchandise of any sort and doctors sell medicine and treatment to save lives.

Things like what it means to be a doctor aren’t taught in med school. Factors like how you treat patients are not taught in med school, which makes us come to the conclusion that the personality that you had or developed over the years becomes the highlight of your career. Since med school caters less to what most med students are like, those that have the objectively unsuitable personlaity do not get filtered in the process.

Personality is cumulative of what parents teach at home and how they confidently project it to the society. There were several days, when I struggled to be people friendly. It was not a smooth teenage hood, cracking out of the self made delusion of being the superior individual was the first step. The following steps involved, engaging with everyone in an event, including those people that you always thought were mean to you and the last is the art of pleasing people instantly.

So how did a people pleasing person have doubts about being perfect for the job?  Every day is an event, every minute is a gala event now-and-then there are moments, when I completely want to forget that I can be an instant charmer. It’s stressful as it is and communication is another factor which detaches me from making a connection.

Five and half years of med school has made us to excel at collecting information and storing  them in our memory but it fails to produce quality doctors. Med schools cannot make there student’s realize what it means to be “practicing”. The power to execute a decision, actual duty hours, and endless patients to please are not as easy as they show in television sitcoms.

Med school should filter student’s worth of the job of empathy and should introduce actual internship related job earlier than the course offers (for this, my organization Health Nepal Foundation, will be focusing in the upcoming years), otherwise countries will produce doctors with the highest record of burnout physicians!

Parents, Patriotism, Point!

I am a student!

student is a learner, or someone who attends an educational institution. I am a student, have been since four. My parents graciously allowed me to be a student..I am so lucky to be literate and be able to decide what I want to be. So what makes me write this? Its 2:30 AM when I am fighting with sleep and memorization, I ask myself “Who am I?” I could easily answer by saying my name, my address, my father’s name but at that instant the words that were uttered were ” I am a Student ..a Medical student.”

This phase that we have before assuming our responsibilities is what many people called the most amazing time of  life. Some of them say “we had a blast in college  …the craziest time of my life,’ etc. Many medical students answer by saying “It was full of countless days of sleeplessness and stress”. I am not bragging about the stress that we go through but just to prove a point that we lead a very abnormal life.

While some of us enjoy as much as we can, there are some of us who are busy  in actually utilizing their youth towards their countries development and some of us are busy writing articles like this one. If I am correct, 80% of the youth are interested to have fun and 20% actually do something substantial for their country and for themselves. I don’t mean to imply that the majority lack love for their country but they are not ready to carry the burden of being patriotic. Ask me which group I fall into? I would say neither. Can you see a wingless bird fly in the sky; well let’s say I am one of them. By the time I realized what patriotism was, my wings were clipped off, but luckily I can grow them back.

Lack of proper motivation from home and from college is the real culprit. To motivate a person, you require attraction, a worthy leader to guide you and finally assure them that a reward is waiting. What most parents do is break this chain and give them the reward beforehand. That doesn’t make them the culprit either; it just proves that they want more for their child, more than what they had when they were young. This overwhelming love is satisfaction for them but a downfall for their children.

We all have our own experiences and good memories about college and high school. We gather knowledge on how to survive and be independent. We learn hard facts about life and mature accordingly. I accept that we are “Nobody” right now, don’t have a bank balance, we eat cheap food available in the menu, wear the same clothes over and over again. We walk more and travel in the local bus. At the end of the day when you finish your dad’s money and get broke, you ask yourself “why didn’t I save that extra money?” and often do more “window shopping” and dream of buying everything in that store one day.

 

 

Letter From Mind!

This is a letter, which I wrote before starting off my OBS/GYN rotation during  med school. I don’t know how many of you find writing something down as a motivational tool to study but I found that to be extremely helpful!

Dear Sarnia,

First write a blog post about it, play an instrumental song, makes you more productive. GYN and OBS is full of practical, OSPE, Viva and written. So start of the two things that over –lap, Viva and OSPE and then end up practicing for written. Start of slow, with patience, that’s what you need when you want to start of things, “start slow!”

First day, try finishing two topics and relax, you can’t burden your mind, that precious minds that pops of when a teachers asks you.  Start off one topic and finish it, I have seen you change your mind change from one topic to another, do not do that, it hampers your biological memory clock.

Allow others to be productive in class but never feel scared to ask a question in the class, even if the question is silly. Avoid hate, anger, fear from you mind. These things affect your brain, which is the most precious gift that mankind has ever received. Make sure you do not insult it with foul thoughts of being depressed, alone and insecure.

Life goes on as usual; the only thing that will change is you! The person that you are now, and after a vacation are two separate people. Patience will reward you well!

Yours Sincerely

Mind

How To Survive The Big Board’s?

 How to survive the Big Board’s?

  1. Find something that keeps you engaged while you are not studying. Alternate that “Thing” between your study time and relaxing time. Reward yourselves after studying with that very “thing”.
  2. Eat well and don’t decide to jump into caffeine if you haven’t before. You might be better off without it. The excess brain hyper-stimulation can make you lose your mind!
  3.  Dissolve any conflict that you ever had with anyone. Make a start; trust me the other party that you were angry with, would be looking forward to that too!
  4. Consistently stay positive, I had a collection of positive pictures popping in my facebook page and mobile. Exams can bring so much negativity that you would not have thought before, so brace yourselves and get prepared!
  5. Take deep breaths and finish what you started. Either, decide to study a small portion of a topic for a day so that you can finish that, but don’t decide to finish the entire syllabus in the same day. What happens when you can’t finish that syllabus? You get angry with yourselves and you don’t want to do that. Your brain is your power house, which got you into med school and you don’t want to insult it!
  6. Right before the exams, show your confidence, trust and believe in your studying and stay positive and do not drift away from what you prepared. Stays tuned with new developments in the exam hall and keep your confidence level high!
  7. Sing. Yes folks, just when things seem be black. Release it with the loud repetition of a song. It actually helps to release serotonin, the happy hormone.
  8. Studying for months can make you a different person. So you need to explain this to your near and dear ones about how you feel and make them understand how you pass your days. If they love you, they would probably understand you and would defiantly support you!
  9. Change you study pattern, either verbally study or write down what you memorized. Each of these methods helps you to stay focused rather than blind reading without recall.
  10. Last but not the least, must do three things: RECALL, RECALL, and RECALL!

Oh! My youth.

 

Beautiful sentences for an article come up, when I am studying. A beautiful aspiring dream builds up.  But when I am free to live my life, after an exam, those words get lost and I don’t have those dreams any more. Those statements that I plan to give are no longer in my head and I am so empty and wordless that I have to start all over again.

You want to know, what comes in my mind when I am giving a major exam? Well, I am freighted to the very core, my blood pressure rises, I have restless legs and my hands become a source of water (If you know what I mean!).

Most people have their own ways of dealing with exams. Well, when I have episodes of that sort, I keep, telling myself, at this rate, I will be having high blood pressure soon and that I will age quicker. Then I wander, oh! My youth, I am spending it, all on studying. What have I done so far? Nothing important! Yet I am still here, in my room, filled with books, markers and pens, studying so that remaining 19 days of misery ends.

What do I do? I take deep breaths, blow the excess carbon dioxide on my hands, and they stop being moist and I keep reminding myself  “Be positive, think good and good things will happen to you”. I am taking deep breaths while writing this as well, I could utilize this gap to sleep, or watch a movie or study but I decided to pore my heart out to my blogging.

It funny! Because, once a man asked me, if I had a boyfriend and I replied “I Blog”. So yeah, it’s equivalent to that or even better because, it has no expectation.

Why do I take exam crap? I don’t know, it’s probably the fact that I am far away from home and I live in another country. I fought with my parents to get into med school and I do this for my ego. I do this, because I want my parents to be proud of me. I want to make something of myself and I want to do something for my country.

The best one liner that comes in my mind right now is “be satisfied, be happy with the things that you have now and stop being angry with yourself and start worshiping the brain that you have and never insult it!”

Typical Medical Student In Dhaka

I am just speaking out for all the medical students who come to Bangladesh to accomplish their dreams of becoming a doctor. It’s my final year and I know how things work here, through and through. So here’s a list of things that you will end up doing, especially when you study in the capital city.

  • You will spend a lot of money on food. You will either spend most of it on fast food chains or you will end it on junk food for your “while you study” regimen.
  • Dhaka is no place for partying or drinking. Alcohol is prohibited and the only alcohol that you smell is at the airport lobby before the final immigration hassle. So forget about how much you enjoy you Gin and Tonic and try adjusting to “Tang Juice “and “Prawn mango “drinks.
  • You need a serious wardrobe change up, no low cut vests and you can say good bye to your shorts and skirts. Because here, people like to see girls all dressed up from head to toe, despite the scorching sun and heat. It actually depends on how you handle the wardrobe change in your life, I have seen girls dressed in the usual clothes that we wear in Kathmandu and they do get the blunt stares but somehow they dare to manage it without much fuss. For me, I personally like to dress in “Salwar Kameez” when I go out or I wear the “Kurtes” the rest of the time. You should be comfortable in what you wear and thats my fashion statement.
  • Trying to adjust with the fact that most of the books that you just bought are photocopied versions of the original and move on with it. I think the fake ones are better than the original ones and money-wise it saves me half the amount that most med’s have to pay in other parts of the world.
  • You need to learn “Bangla” fast, like within a week or two because most of the stuff happens in this very language, its mostly like Nepali but the old Sanskrit version of it. It’s easy to understand but you need time to work on replying back. No matter how much one glorifies a college, most medical schools teach in Bangla at the very starting and end of the lectures. But no harms done when you can understand what they say.
  • It depends on which college that you go to. Mine, well literally forces the balls/guts out the students to study so basically when I am bored to death and wish I was not a medical student, I still would be studying or giving an exam. There is no way out of this mess of items, card finals, ward ending exams, block finals. So, you repeatedly get beaten up, mentally of course to study all your life, as long as you are in Dhaka. You life becomes a mess when you can’t balance the pressure and fun.
  • Coming to the part, “Fun”. What’s the fun part about being a medical student here? Well, none, besides that fact that we spend half our times obsessing about how our fellow med students in Nepal are having all the fun that we did not get. And the rest half of the time goes into studying excessive theory, seriously, like as if we are giving the PG exams the next very day and we stay focused, because there are no distractions, except when you fall in love, but that’s rare.
  • Is Dhaka the right place for you? Yes, if you can learn to cope up with new changes in your life, starting off with eating, living and defining fun, all together, if you need some seriously studying to be done with less distraction for the rest of the five years and six months then this is the best place for you. Once you make a group with a bunch of people that you like hanging out, you will always find ways to have fun and satisfaction in life in ways that you could not have imagined.