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!

Block Moments : Screwed Otolaryngology!

First of all, you would like to know, what “Block” means. Well, Blocks are rotations, clinical rotations, rapid fire rotations at different centers of the hospital where medical students try to learn the overall know- how of how things are done right before they give their final MBBS exams.

So apparently, we got 10 days at ENT. It started off with theory memorization, followed by a period of extreme fatigue where I completely stopped the routine memorizing part. It’s likely if you try to finish the entire syllabus in one go.

ENT is fun, well limited diseases and a good book to read as well but seriously the matter is the other way around.  With limited knowledge comes with favorite answers. Stuff like, he wants to hear the answer like that and he likes that question more. We don’t have much stuff to do practically, the viva is theory based and some questions will guide you through the exam.

Here’s how I messed or screwed my Block final:

It took me a while to realize that I can’t take ENT for granted. (This was after the Viva of course)

One of the sentences in S.K. DE states that learning is permanently stored in your brain when you utter the answer; temporal part of the brain receives it and faster the memorization. Well apparently in the quest to learn each and every disease that the book has to offer, you stop to utter after a while.

Well obviously the verbal part is the major factor in practicing for a viva. Cut the verbal practice out, you will get informed for written MCQ questions but you can’t even master written questions without the  practice.

How did the Block final go?

I screwed big time, not at my level. The mistakes that you make in the Viva table guide you to your next question and this is a viscous cycle of mistakes and more complex questions and ultimately you go nowhere.

What do I do next?

Next block is ophthalmology. Apparently I have to mix that block with Gynecology, so it’s going to bit more hectic than ever. I like to stay positive when things gets messed up, it opened my eyes for ophthalmology (doesn’t that rhyme?) and other blocks that are approaching in the upcoming days.

What should you plan be ?

PRIORITISE! That’s what I keep telling myself. You have to finish studying the common diseases before you master the uncommon ones. Exams are fun when you make the examiner jump into your direction, by guiding him/her through the stuff that you have studied. I am not an expert on how exams should be but the thing is, it’s very easy to give a bad exam but it takes many days of early morning memorization and focus to give a very good exam.

Wish you a good exam people!

 

 

What Is The Value Of Medical Students?

  • You have value. Your value lies in the knowledge that you built inside, which you have worked on for all these years. You cherish the fact that the general people call you “Dr shaheeb” even though you haven’t received the degree yet.
  • You accept the fact that this degree is going to make you a better person because you will be prescribing some medications however minor it is, (albendazole for example) it’s going to make someone else feel better.
  • People often want reassurance and they want someone to be there for them. Everybody gets lonely at times, mix that with an ailment, definitely they seek extra attention. Very few people carefully listen to someone when they get sick and we are those people who offers them that service. Tell me another profession who deals with such delicate human moments?
  • If you find passion for what you do, no matter how painful the job seems be, no matter how much personal space that you have to compromise. At the end of the day when you get praised for just checking someone’s blood pressure or just talking to them about their problem. Everything is worth it!
  • Our profession comes with great knowledge and power. People respect you for whatever that you could do for them. For example if doctor tweets about a women patient who moaned while doing a PV examination, do you think those statements are ethical for us? We have this tag with us; we are the society’s most respected and trustworthy people, if we started sharing personal details about patients, however little it may be what would remain of us?
  • You will find mental peace and ultimate satisfaction when the day comes. “Rome was not built-in one day “the most common quote used widely, applies to our profession as well. You have value if you make it valuable and nobody can be successful unless and until you keep on doing what you are doing, over and over again!

Share in your views.  What makes you value our profession/ degree?