Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I just ran as hard as I could, and then, the race started.

I just ran as hard as I could, and then, the race started.  <Part III,  The Final Showdown>
The journey Of class 11th and 12th was indeed  *******.  But now after all this, after getting into a medical college, I am being told, “The” race is yet to BEGIN. Life is indeed a Bitch..

1st January 2012 

The fishing is best where the fewest go, and the collective insecurity of the world makes it easy for people to hit home runs while everyone else is aiming for base hits. There is just less competition for bigger goals.  If you are insecure, guess what? The rest of the world is, too. Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. You are better than you think.”
–Timothy Ferriss

2011 is over, 2012 is here. This was going to be the most happening and hard year of my life. (Well, I had no idea what happens in a college till then :p)

My pre-boards were supposed to start next week, followed by Board Examinations. Then of course came the Medical Entrances. AND also not to forget the weekly tests conducted by my coaching institute. I was surely going to live the time of my life! :P

٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(̯͡͡)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)

February 2012: My Month.

Well, the pre-boards went fine. Actually, nobody cared. Friends, I think that the most important time of the two year saga was February 2012. This was the month, where I had an ample time of self-study. Be it revising your notes all over again, or having the teachers clear your doubts. The teachers were also kinda not busy at this point of time as most of the classes were called off.  The teachers were literally begging us to clear all our doubts and offered ANY help we needed. At this point, I realized how useful it becomes to be in good books of your teachers ;) 

Another key thing I realized was to revise the basic and the Needed things. Friends, these coaching institutes make you study things way out of the syllabus. They said NCERT is supposed to be the only bible, though made us cram hundreds of other material. Friends, the truth this additional information does help A Lot, but not in AIPMT. AIPMT being affiliated to CBSE is supposed to make the exam entirely from NCERT. While the other exams, they have variable syllabus, thus making this additional info necessary. 

 This proved to be the month where I really furnished my knowledge to the final touch. And, not to forget, revising the Class 11th course all over again.

   However, many people held different views. Many of my friends considered this month to be the perfect time to revise for the boards, practice last year board papers, and improve handwriting speed. I don’t understand why they feared the class 12th examinations SO much. Shouldn’t our basic goal be to perform well in the entrances and get pass the cut-off percentage needed to qualify for the entrances?

  My friends, I am not sure if I m right or wrong, Many of these friends of mine got really good ranks, many of them didn’t get any. So, you are free to experiment.  ;)

٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(̯͡͡)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)

Class 12th CBSE Boards.

Surviving the boards was tough. You get so used to the MCQ format, especially in Chemistry and Physics, where the questions become so conceptual or calculation based, it hard to mug up all the definitions and diagrams, especially when you haven’t practiced before. :P :P

But luckily and unexpectedly, I survived and the prep leaves before the exams seemed to be enough to get descent scores.

It’s strange how relatives heed so much to the board exams, hardly having any knowledge about the entrances. They will never call on your birthday, but will die to know your board result.

Frankly, I did not expect much. Just wanted to get marks good enough to save me from irritating remarks from my relatives, who just don’t seem to look at anything beyond the board exams. The dream marks were 80+ in English and Physical Education, 90+ in Phy, Chem, n Bio.

The dream was achieved :p, and I got a % in early 90’s !! There were celebrations and congratulations.  My class-mates did even better, getting percentages in late nineties. I wondered why did they study too much for these exams, but I had no time, I had entrances coming up.\

٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(̯͡͡)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)


There were around 10 exams I had to give, to get into any medical college. Sounds like many colleges and many seats, eh ? No. With each college having around 100 seats and cancelling the reserved seats, 3 out of every 200 students get selected. Ha !

Exams were good. Though I did not perform as high as my teachers expected, I got a good enough rank to let me into the 2nd best, Maulana Azad Medical College OR MAMC.

I did not get through AIIMS.  As I said earlier, I was a border line performer for AIIMS, good enough to become the twelfth man on a cricket team, but not quite a player material.

 Though based on my AIIMS rank, the Other 6 AIIMS started by the government this very year, invited me for admission. Being a new institution and being unsure of its future, I decided not to go for it.

But at least I can tell others, I left AIIMS for MAMC !!  :p :D

٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(̯͡͡)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)

Today, 15 August 2012

A very Happy Independence Day to all my friends !!

 The last two months have been AWESOME. I truly had time of my Life !!  Friends, Food, Games, I It was just fantabulous! Tomorrow is the first day of my college. Hard work and stiff life awaits me there!! But frankly speaking, after spending two months doing nothing but fun, now I seriously want to do this. I want to study and fulfill my dreams! 

But Now, after all this, after getting into a medical college, I am being told, “The” race is yet to BEGIN. Life is indeed a Bitch.

I don’t have much of an idea as to how my college life is going to be. But, I am sure I ll take out enough time to continue writing this blog! Cheers!! :D

Monday, July 30, 2012

I just ran as hard as I could, and then, the race started.

I just ran as hard as I could, and then, the race started.  <Part II, Class 12th>
The journey Of class 11th and 12th was indeed  *******.  But now after all this, after getting into a medical college, I am being told, “The” race is yet to BEGIN. Life is indeed a Bitch..

2nd April 2011: After Class 11th Final Exams
I was sitting in my room playing on my pc (still vista :p), when my father showed up and like every other day said, “Son, these are your free days, why don’t you utilize them efficiently, you can revise your class 11th notes, or do some MCQ’S, shall I get you some more books ? “

Class 11th was over, and so were the final exams. This time, was my time, and I missed it a lot. One whole year of studying, mugging and struggling really made me feel beaten up. ;)  I still had a week before the commencement of the new session in the school, and two weeks to the next session in the coaching institute. I wanted to have hell of a time, watch movies, play games, go out with friends and everything that I would be deprived of in the coming year. The coming year was going to be a thing.

I had performed decently in the final exams, descent enough to save some respect among the school teachers. Seriously, NO ONE cared. Even the teachers, being aware of the fact that their students have been bought away by the coaching institutes, understood well, and were pleased even by a descent performance like mine. Of course, it’s the English teacher who you need to tackle. That teacher just won’t let you LIVE.

 You see, I have nothing personal against this subject.  English, my friends, is very important to learn and practice. People, CAN NOT let you live in this world without this language.

BUT, it’s the stories, the dull stories that we were made to read, and mug up each word as the “Question Paper” would be based on the text-book and any answer out of the book will make you lose marks. That, my friends, is CBSE.  And that is exactly why I hate these kinds of exams, and thus the subject.

I was just taking a chill pill in the Great Indian education Race, but my parents just don’t seem to digest this. I had decided to drop Mathematics and take Physical Education as my fifth subject. This was to drop off burden from my shoulders. But it might have done vice-versa.  You see, math is a subject you need for almost every other stream, be it engineering, commerce etc.  By dropping math, meant you have no other choice to make other than the medical career. NO backup. That my friends, can really get the burden ON your shoulders.

The concern of my parents seemed fair.

With just 3-4 thousand MBBS seats in India and about 3 lakh wannabe doctors appearing for the exam, the remaining 2 lakh 95 thousand students will sink like the stones put into the sea and disappear without a trace.

٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(̯͡͡)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)

2nd July 2011

A tall dark man walked into our classroom, the teacher wished him and so did all the students. I got to know, he was the Director of my coaching institute, a rare figure to be seen in the classrooms. He took the teachers mike and started,

“Students, this day, is a historic day. (why ? coz you showed up for the first time ?) We are proud to announce the results of our institute this year. As you all know our institute has been performing remarkably well for the past 15 years, but this time, we have created a record. This time, Our institute has got 105 students in top 100 ranks. ( !!! ) Yes, you heard it right, 105 students in top 100 !! (yes, I wanted to ask him how)  Please accept these ladoos as treat. (wow ! now, who cares) Students, please mind, these ladoos you are eating are not any ordinary ladoos, these are called the “Magic Ladoos”, eat one and you get a sure  chance of selection, eat two, and you get selected with a good rank. (I ate three).  ALL THE BEST!"

In the midst of the magic ladoos thing, I forgot to enquire about the 105 out of 100 thing, But, who cares, we had free ladoos !! :D

The class finished, and we saw the pamphlet of the selected students. 30% students belonged to the GENERAL category, 20% SC & ST, and remaining OBC’s.  Since each category gets it separate ranks, many students had the ‘same’ rank, and thus getting more than 100 students in the so called top 100 doesn’t seem so hard.

The great Indian Reservation System it was, for the upliftment of the backward classes. Friends, this system reflects the Sad story of every GENERAL candidate.Belonging to the GENERAL category, makes you feel irritated.   I just don’t understand how someone with a low score should be entitled to a seat in a medical college just by the virtue of belonging to a backward class.  Some say they don’t have the required facilities to prepare for such tough exams. Right, then why can’t their education and coaching be subsidized so that they are equally prepared and ready for the cut throat competition others face?  Why are they granted a direct entry into these colleges thereby denying admission to much capable individuals? I know, these questions will never be answered. And neither did I care.

UNTILL, I got to know that AIIMS has a total of 77 seats, 35 out of which were open for me.  *BOOM* 

Solution?    STUDY  :|

٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(̯͡͡)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)

2nd August/ September/October/ November  2011

So, it went on and on.  Day after Day, I had the same schedule to follow, no different than the 3 lakh wannabe doctors drilling hard to get into a college. You want to have a look ?

 6 am                           Wake Up.  Because…
7 am                            School Starts
                                   {Give your attendance ( that is why I go there), do your school homework, chill out with friends,  complete coaching assignments, chill out with friends, pay attention to science classes, Return.}

1:30 pm                      School Ends
1:50 pm to 2 P.M.      Back ! Run to bed as fast as possible.
3 pm                          Wake Up ! Lunch !
3:30 pm                     Leave home for the coaching institute. Because….
4 pm                         Coaching Starts. Lag Jao Beta.
7:30 pm                    Finished.
8 pm                         Back ! Have some snacks n milk.
8:15 pm                    Self Study (Note: First time in the day.)
Includes understanding today’s lessons, revising pending notes, completing assignments, MCQ’s do till your eyes cant permit you.
11 – 12 pm               Have dinner if you have any energy left then Bed.

Saturdays n Sundays ? No school, so it must be easier, eh ? You just can’t imagine. :|

Friends, I don’t want to sound scary or discourage you from taking on this stream. Being a medical student is THE best ever thing you can feel in Life.  NOW, after finally getting into a medical college, I realize, this schedule, these sacrifices, these were totally worth it. It’s all about the FEEL you will get, when YOU heal, when you make someone smile, when you become a doctor. It’s totally worth it.

Friends, there are many things that made this schedule possible: 
->My parents.  Did everything they could, to let me carry on the schedule smoothly.
->Proximity of my bed with school and coaching institute. Took me less time to travel, and thus more time in bed.
->Equally determined friends. Be it at school or at coaching.
->No facebook addiction even when  I never ever deactivated my account. You see, if you have determined friends, no one spends much time on fb, so you don’t have anything on fb.  Simple.
->My focus ONLY on studies  ;)  :/

But there IS something most important that kept me on my feet right through this tedious schedule, this was enthusiasm. You see, every time I went to my classes, I learned something new. Whatever it was, it was something I haven’t read before, and thus made these tiresome classes FUN,

“When you have the enthusiasm and the passion, you end up figuring how to excel.”

Love what you do, love what you learn, take it as a new experience, feel the busy schedule you never had, experience the fun in having so much more new information all together.  My friends used to call me insane when they heard this, but, this was the only way I knew of, to take a good lead in the Great Indian Education Race.

٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(̯͡͡)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)

2nd December 2011

“Congratulations! You have been selected for the Top-80 Batch!  Here, you will be thoroughly revised the two year course by the best teachers of the institute. Your classes will start soon.”

This call did give me a cheer, being selected for the Top-80 batch was a big deal. This time, this was batch of top 80 students from the entire country. That surely sounded BIG. But the happiness was as always, short-lived.

The classes were supposed to be held EVERY DAY, from 9 to 8, ha ! Friends, this was 9 am to 8 pm. This meant you would need to miss most of the classes because of upcoming school board praticals, preboards etc. But the limited classes I attended, was sure an experience.

My coaching institute did the best to take care of these ‘gems’, as these were the students who will give them ‘the’ ranks. That was not a tough task, as the batch itself comprised of ultra-geeks, who would prefer solving physics problems than having sex, for whom fun meant memorizing the periodic tables. This is when friends I realized where I stood.

You see, I scored a border line performance, good enough to become the twelfth man on a cricket team, but not quite a player material. Beating these top 79 students from my institute was almost impossible, and to get an All India Rank under 35, well, AIIMS seemed out of cards.

First you aim for AIIMS, then you look for second best (MAMC, ha!), then you just pray for anything. True Story.

31st December 2011
Well, because of the bad timing of this batch, I wasn’t able to attend many classes. All I now needed was some time of self-study. The teachers in my coaching institute were done with their part. Of course, the monthly bombs ;) were enough to keep us on the track !

The next year IS going to be the year of my Life. Board Exams + Medical Entrances

The people of the city seemed to be excited about the New Year, they went to parties, congratulated their friends, made resolutions and had fun.
I looked into the dark sky, overflowing with fireworks, and then moved my eyes back on the digestive system of the earthworm. This is totally going to be worth it.

1st January 2012 


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Things to do before you start college

If you live in India, you would know that victorious feeling when you finally manage to finish your high school, coaching, board exams and entrances. During the two years of rigorous study every prospective medical student has to do, it's not surprising it feels as if you've woke up from a really long sleep when it's all over. There's a lot of movies to be seen, music to be heard, so many things you've missed out on! Here's a few things on my list.

1. Learn Driving
Yeah, I've been waiting to do that for a very long time!

2. Learn a music instrument that you've wanted to learn for a very long time
For me, it was the guitar

3. Watch movies
After 2 years of preparing for entrances, you'd probably have lost count of the good movies you've missed. 

4. Download songs
My collection after the entrances made me feel like I was born in the seventies. Seriously.

5. Daydream about your college
Personally, my favourite pass-time :P I've read every bit of information I could find on the internet about mine. And I still need more :P

6. Visit your relatives
Why on earth would you do that?? Trust me, it's good for you (or your pocket atleast :P)

7. Read books
They don't have to be new or best sellers, sometimes the best talent remains hidden. Just go to a store and pick the books that interest you. I read one called 'Doctors' by Erich Segal recently, and it was sure worth the time. (I'll try to post an ebook or a review sometime)

8. Find the hidden talent in you
Do something new. I downloaded the top-grossing auto tune apps from Google Play and found the hidden singer in me. Too bad nobody else can see the great talent stored in me :( :P

9. Take revenge
So you remember those annoying kids who came to your doorstep and rang bells and teased you about not being able to play outside? Guess what, nows your time :P

10. Going out
This is probably the most important part and that's why I saved it for the last. Go out with friends, do new things, have the time of your life. Make memories you'll want to remember through the rest of your life. These few years, I've spent the best times with them, and learnt a lot of things too. I just hope things always remain the same way.

And now, because I like to end my posts with a song :P

Entering the big league!!!!!!!

Deciding on the aim
Till the end of the class 10th board exams I didn't know what was my aim in life. School was all about fun, friends and just getting good marks in the exams so that parents let you have more fun.

It was only after the board results when I had to choose a stream that I realized how confused I was... what do I want to do in life?? What kind of a person am I?? These are the questions that cropped up in my mind...whether to choose science or commerce or humanities..my parents got worried..they took me to an academic counselor...that didn't help much either..she said i would do well in any stream I chose...and she added a small line in the end.."He seems to want to help people"....I thought to myself " The 1500 bucks it cost and the long drive just for this one line". But then I thought and thought...and at last everything seemed to fit in like pieces of a puzzle..it was in front of me all the while..... I like to help people.....I love BIO!!! I don't like maths that much.... I love to study..... I admire doctors!!! and my mother too always wanted to become a doctor ...but sadly she appeared only for afmc and couldn't clear the interview...so finally..in a split second I decided I wanted to become a doctor...

All the people said that I would've to study a lot... i knew all of this and keeping that in mind i chose to become a doctor....
July 19, 2010- The prep begins...Coaching!!!
i joined a coaching institute.... seeing my determination and gusto my parents decided that i should stay in delhi...my dad got transferred  to Jalandhar but still my mom stay put so that i could realise my dream.. this further made me determined to achieve my aim... if my parents could sacrifice so much for me couldn't i just do what i did best ...study!!....the hectic routine started two years weekend classes morning  8 to evening 5....no breaks..7 days working...but i enjoyed it...i saw my other batchmates doing the same and thought if they can do it even i can!!!!! 2years of hard work....with small breaks..a medical student can't afford long breaks....For all medical aspirants the line of thought is similar....at the beginning of 11th it is' i have to get into AIIMS' at the end of class 11th it is ' i have to get into MAMC..AIIMS is looking difficult' and at the end of class 12th it is ' GOD!! just get me into a medical college' .... And to top it all i had joined the late batch!!! The batch in which teachers never expected to find good students.....It was an uphill task.... The primary target was to get into the top 3 of the regular classroom tests so as to make it to the top batch in class 12th...... get into the top 3 among 300 odd students was not an easy task..but as it was the late batch...the other students were quite relaxed...so this gave us..the serious people an edge.... seeing a few of us perform the teachers pressurized us...baccho..tum ko aiims jaana hai...and when we failed to get a 600+ score..they said tum ghode nahi gadhe ho.....somehow the first year passed....i managed to hang on to a top 3 position... two weeks before the start of  class XII the coaching ppl called up and said "beta, ab se aap cw-01 mein baithoge (from now onwards you'll sit in cw-01)..the top batch of our branch.....Primary target achieved....sky and i had made it into the top batch!!!!....

April 5, 2011- February 28, 2012- The Final Countdown
Me and sky went into the new batch excited...from batch 5 to batch 1 was a great achievement.....we felt more confident...but as soon as we entered the class we realised....it was a whole new world.....here sub 600 scores were shameful....people didn't look below AIIMS..the students were a class apart.....the topper got 700+ scores...always being a sub 600 student in 11th i was brought back to mother earth....so i pulled up my socks to at least stay in the middle....then the results of the first test came.....i went to the notice board to check out the results... one guy checking the results asked his friend " who is this bastard Akash???"  while i stood behind him.....i looked at the score and amazingly i had managed to get the second position here too.....i realized the batch 1 students were humans too...then on i just strive to maintain my position though there were many ups and downs..... i finally made it into the top 80 " power batch" of our institute..... they treated us like VIPs there...we were made to feel important.... it was like extra pressure..."you have to get into one of the best colleges, because you are in the power batch!!!"... we were somewhat like the face of our institute.....they taught us, they fed us ....in return they expected us to bolster their image by conquering all the entrances with good ranks.....this phase ended...now the boards were almost on top of us....we left the coaching books and switched to NCERT.....a cbse student's bible!!
for a medical student ..the board exams are never a top priority....as getting 90% in the boards doesn't assure one of getting a seat..... so my board preps were coupled up with the entrance preps...somehow i managed to cross the hurdle of board exams satisfactorily......the real thing was about to start now..at school everybody is a king!! we compete with only a few hundred students only.....but competitive exams are a different ball game all together..especially the medical entrances..... there are about 2000 seats...and 2,75,000 aspirants... a 1:130 ratio!!!!!!!!.......cut throat  competition..each mistake can set one back by hundred ranks or more.......
After those 2 years..it's those two months of exams that matter the most....it is do or die.....no retakes, no second chances......it is the worst time to mess up... the most crucial two months of a student's life....
THE Exam Saga...to be continued.....

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I just ran as hard as I could, and then, the race started.

I just ran as hard as I could, and then, the race started.  <Part I, Class 11th>
The journey Of class 11th and 12th was indeed  *******.  But now after all this, after getting into a medical college, I am being told, “The” race is yet to BEGIN. Life is indeed a Bitch.

2nd April 2010: After the Class 10th Board Exams

I was sitting in front of my PC (Vista :p), thinking of what subjects to fill in, as I was supposed to select my stream and the subjects for class 11th and 12th. Science, the obvious choice of most of the students in my society was my evident choice too, but the question was, Engineering OR Medical ?
It’s not that I didn’t know what to choose, becoming a Doctor was a childhood dream (everyone’s is…..*sigh*), but belonging to a typical Engineering family, be it my father, grandfather, or great-grand father, it was a challenging task to be what people would say 'the first doctor in the family'.

Its strange, how  people who ARE your well-wishers (in my case my parents), who try to aid you, help you, end up scaring you off.  My father, who came to my ‘rescue’, suggested, “Beta, its so simple, let's take both maths and biology, along with the obvious physics, chemistry and english, we will see how we perform in class 11th, then we can drop either Bio Or Maths in 12th,  after we are sure.”  THAT, my friends, WITH the “we” part, was indeed scary.

٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(̯͡͡)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩ (●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶

2nd June 2010

I was sitting in my Zoology class (yes, studying Biology wasn’t enough :p ),and, as it ended, the teacher landed a bomb on us. “Class, you have been working hard in this institute, now its time to prove yourselves, its been almost two months and now its time for your monthly test.  These tests will give you an insight to yourself, and help you know your level.  Please mind, scoring well in these tests will help you to get promoted to better batches, i.e. the Batches Of Excellence. 40 students in each batch means you need to get a rank under 80. All the very best !”

AIPMT (All India Pre Medical Entrance Test) attracted over 3 lakh wannabe doctors all over India. Having over 3 thousand seats in colleges makes this exam one of the toughest to crack. (Mind you, that's just 1% and includes the not-so-good colleges.. Seats in good colleges and metro cities may be around 0.02%) Of course, we have other exams for even better colleges like AIIMS, JIPMER, CMC, KMC, MAMC, AFMC  (sorry for those boring ..C’s ! :p), even tougher to crack.  Joining a coaching institute was an obvious choice.

I could not think anything beyond the teeming millions of wannabe doctors who I need to wrestle to get into a college of my choice. My choice, like EVERY other medical student, was AIIMS.  36 “top minds” out of lakhs would get a chance to study in this college.

They say, If you set your aim too high and don't fulfill it, then your enthusiasm turns to bitterness. Try for a goal that's reasonable, and then gradually raise it.

And that is why, my first goal was to get into “the” top 80 students,  to get a rank under 80 among some 300 students who were expected for the test.  Had I thought of the fact that to get into Aiims, I would need to get a rank of 35 among some 3 lakh students, my zeal would have turned to regret. But, the plan was, to take it one at a time.
I imagined myself in a sea, along with lakhs of other wannabe doctors, kicking and screaming to breathe. The waters may close over me, making me irrelevant to the Indian Education system. But what the future held for me, time would show :p

٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(̯͡͡)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩ (●̮̮̃•̃)۶

Was this easy ? (ha!) 

Well, The best way to predict the future was to create it. The challenge was to master the skill, which was the ability to tackle the multiple choice questions, where the 4 options seem to sway your mind, each one begging to be picked, and if you make a wrong choice, you not only lose the marks for ‘the’ question, but are also punished with negative marks . Its not that I haven’t dealt them before, this time it was about my life, my dream, my passion, It was about being a doctor. Its weird how your mind starts visualizing the worst, It was just a class test, And it appeared to be an ordeal for life.
I heard that the students of “The Batch Of Excellence” were treated preciously, similar to how one would imagine Mango slice officials treat their brand ambassador Katrina Kaif. (Dialogue credits Chetan Bhagat  :p). Man, I wanted to be with Katrina Kaif. ;)

I did all I could. My teachers said that in medical exams, even an average student can reach skies, he just needs to work hard. The specific reference to ‘medical’ reminded me the heavy mark weightage given to Biology, and I wanted them to replace “work” by “mug up”. ( I had a upper hand in physics, Ha ! )

I did get a rank. Rank 4. Marks 68%.
I soon realized, this was not a school exam, where anything below 80 meant death. It was the rank that mattered, Competition is the name Baby !

Can you repeat how many students gave this test ? 302 ? Oh, then it must be the quality then, were the other intelligent students absent?responded my father after the result.

It hurts up to a point and then it doesn't get any worse. Actually my parents had really low expectations of me, So I had this great problem of ‘the’ Indian Education System solved,  No high expectations from your parents. Whatever superior I do, it is considered as a bonus ! Check Mate !  ;D

٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(̯͡͡)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶٩(-̮̮̃•̃)۶ ٩(•̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶٩(●̮̮̃•̃)۶٩(͡๏̯͡๏)۶

2nd July/August/September/October/November/December/January/February 

Do not overestimate the competition and underestimate yourself. The only funda I had.
I kept fighting, kept struggling, Only to hope that one day I ll be trained to cure others.

This may sound a lot nerdy ( Oh No.), but the tests actually helped a lot. These bombs made me trained to avoid any other bombs, tough bombs, easy bombs, unexpected bombs, unforeseen bombs, unpredicted bombs, surprising bombs, astonishing bombs………  Ms Word is out of synonyms, so I must stop.  :P :P 

School  + The Coaching institutes, some say this combination is one of the most harsh truth of a science student. Well, my case was different. (Ha !)  Schools (Friends to be specific) helped me to regain the mental and social strength, It was something that keeps you going. The Coaching Institutes drilled you hard, made you  'Rattafying Parrots' (The Great Indian education system, *sigh* ), and made your hopes of being a doctor alive ! School ? Well, they promised me a good for nothing percentage in my 12th board exams  :/

Coaching without School meant Brain without the Limbic system, while School without Coaching meant Brain without Hypothalamus. Samajh kar dikhao !

No matter how old I get, the race remains one of life's most rewarding experiences. My times become slower and slower, but the experience of the race is unchanged: each race a drama, each race a challenge, each race stretching me in one way or another, and each race telling me more about myself and others.

Class 11th was tough, But 12th was even worse. Class 12th board + entrances, this was going to be a thing. With this increasing pressure and studies, I needed to drop mathematics  and take a time pass subject (Physical Education ;D), but was I sure enough ? Or as my faher had put, Are ‘we’ Sure yet ?


Saturday, June 2, 2012

A letter to Aamir Khan regarding Satyamev Jayate: Healthcare episode

This letter has not been written by me, it is only a compilation of the thoughts of my colleagues all over India through the internet, compiled in the form of a letter. Parts of it have been edited to direct the letter in a positive way and have no intention of blaming Aamir Khan, but only to show the public, the other side of a doctor.

A letter to a perfectionist with a tad bit polishing undone

Dear Mr. Aamir Khan,

Though I agree to 'parts' of your show, however I couldn’t help noticing some factual inconsistencies like the ones stated below:

1) You said patients on dialysis live upto 15-20 years. Fact - The 5 year survival rate of patients on dialysis is about 25-30 % ( less than many cancers). Renal transplant remains the best available treatment option for chronic kidney disease. (I hope you take responsibility for people who after watching your show plan to not go for kidney transplant and die in less than 5 years)

2) An overenthusiastic girl from the audience said that her father was forced for an emergency liver transplant '6-7 years' ago for gastroenteritis. Fact - Even  today there am ' a handful' of hospitals in India offering liver transplants. To think that 6-7 years ago, just a gastroenteritis patient was offered liver  transplant is not only improbable but technically impossible.

3) A diabetic patient blamed a doctor for losing a toe. Fact - Lacs of diabetic patients per year lose entire limbs due to diabetic foot (cellulitis and gangrene) . Doctors go about stepwise cutting off toes, then foot , even the leg up to above knee level in order to save as much limb as possible. The patient in your show might still be able to walk just because of the timely action taken by the surgeon. Also, it is very unreal that a surgeon (the family doctor) can tell after a surgery that the surgery wasn't required at all.

Mr. Aamir Khan I am not getting back at you because I took your show personally. Yes, I agree that there am doctors indulging in shameful malpractices and even I know a few of them. But I can proudly say I am surrounded by more doctors who work day and night just to ensure that their patients get the best possible treatment..The 'BAD' doctors should be punished and I all can come together to ensure I do not encourage such malpractices.

Secondly I would have appreciated if you would have thrown some light on the entrance examinations and the hard work, dedication and sacrifices a doctor needs to clear his MBBS, MD, DM etc examinations. I wish you had spent half a day in the emergency department and OPD of a Govt. Hospital and realised that the work timings, working conditions, lunch breaks, doctor : patient ratio, hours of sleep per week , living conditions in the hostel and the stipend is worse than a class 4 labourer. You would have also surprisingly realised that the 'DOCTORS' am the only 'FUNCTIONAL' part of a Govt. Hospital which still caters to thousands of patients in a day. When you compared statistics of U.K and India, why did you not include the salaries, living standards and the doctor to patient ratio the doctors have in developed countries?

Coming to generic drugs, Yes, a large amount of rural population should have access to cheap generic drugs. But one should not forget the pharma companies that charge more for the drugs am the ones that spend crores of rupees for research and development of new drugs. Had there not been drug trials no new drugs would have been invented and I would have mortality rates compared to Stone Age.

Also I agree that most doctors endorse certain brands of drugs (which I do not deny may be for some financial gains also ) because thay have faith in the quality of the 'active drug' of certain companies. Yes many local companies manufacture generic products (which is a copy of the original molecule discovered by the expensive company which can be used for unaffordable patients. But you did not mention that many of these generic drugs am of substandard quality and am the reason of many uncalled for deaths due to drug reactions. Most doctors would not want to take responsibility of the quality of the 'generic' drugs.

Lastly, what do you mean when you say ' People of high IQ and desire to earn money should not become doctors'. Will you rather prefer showing yourself to a low-IQ doctor and risking him not even completely understanding your problem, let alone treating it?

Why aren't doctors allowed to have an ambition ? How can a person who earns 4 crores for an episode of a so called 'social' show decide on what should be an individual's ambition and financial status ?! Why can there be no doctors who earn well for their professional  skills and do not indulge in malpractices ?!

I would like to offer a few solutions to the problem :

a) ' BAD' doctors indulging in malpractices should be suspended for life. I need a strong regulatory authority to publish expected treatment 'protocols' and punish doctors found to be doing unethical practices. Also there must be a line distinguishing malpractices from mistakes or unexpected happenings. People must be made awam that things do go wrong in a surgery and the doctor cannot be blamed for everything that does.

b) Regulatory authorities should also keep a check on the quality of drugs being manufactured
and at the same time 'sold' at the local chemist.

c) Govt. medical colleges and hospitals should multiply several folds, increasing the number of doctors in each department , improving the doctor to patient ratio. Doctor's salaries and living conditions should be looked after and should be comparable to other professionals.

d) Regular CME'S and licensing exams (like other countries) every 5-10 years.

e) The Govt. should spend 6-8% of GDP ON HEALTHCAM and a part of which should also be committed to the research and development of newer drugs.

f) No politician should be allowed to be associated with any private medical colleges.

g) The general public should be educated well about common diseases and the 'acceptable' qualifications of the doctors.

h) The last but the most important, there must be no reservations whatsoever in colleges for a course like medicine, on which people's lives depend. By promoting reservation, the government is in effect denying admission to more capable individuals and guaranteeing it to those who am not only less capable, but also lack in very important qualities that a good doctor must possess, for example good communication. As medical students, I have all seen colleagues who cannot even pronounce terms correctly, let alone communicate or understand the situations. Reservations must be promoted only at school levels. Medical aspirants must be made capable, and someone with a low score should not be entitled to a seat for a medical course just by the virtue of belonging to a backward class. Those belonging to backward classes must have a subsidized tuition fee for their course, but only if they manage to make their place in colleges, in an equally footed competition, like anyone else.

These are just a few points I can think of at the moment. I am sure had you bothered to have a panel discussion and find solutions in a healthy way, I could have come up with a lot more viable solutions.

However you chose to sensationalize your show, by giving incomplete and sometimes even false information to viewers. I hope you take this letter in a positive manner, and emphasize on the fact that doctors indulging in malpractices am only a small minority of the lot, and also throw some light on the hardships that every student has to face to become a doctor, and the ones that the doctor has to continue to face, after he has become one. I spend sleepless nights very often, trying to research and find out the cause of our patient’s troubles. It is imperative that the public gets to see things from a doctor’s point of you.  Sincere doctors exist to help patients and to ease their sufferings, they have no intentions of doing any harm to patients whatsoever.
You had made an image in our hearts, but this episode has caused all of us doctors to rethink. The Aamir Khan who took such a brilliant initiative to take the truth to the world, how could he convey only part truth and be responsible for thousands of people losing faith in doctors?

Doctors and future doctors of India

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Affiliate Network Reviews