They say that Medical Education and Training is amongst the toughest of all. Books heavier than your heads may be common with other streams too, but not everyone gets the lovely chance to dissect and appreciate the beautiful details of the divine creation-the human body- so what if your tasty mess food gets even more delightful with the unforgettable fragrance of formalin, which you carry right away from the Dissection Hall- and yes, if you are one of the lucky ones you may even start tasting it in your food, don’t panic ‘it’s just psychological’!
This training lets you boost up your confidence too, you get the opportunity to talk with a variety of people and seriously speaking, after some 18 months in a medical school, I feel no shame in taking power naps during lectures sitting in the very first row (unbiased towards Guest Speakers too). Let some time pass away and you will proudly call your father and say, “Hi Dad! I failed again!”
Once you have figured out whether it’s an eosinophil or neutrophil, and whether Seliwanoff’s gives reddish-pink or pinkish-red, things do get unbelievingly interesting when you get into the III Semester and start attending the clinics. It’s still a mystery to me how those 500-odd metres to the OPD take half-an hour to cover! (Potential STS project!)
Now that moment, that very moment when you put on your White Coat with your steth and walk up to the Doctors Chambers/Departments with all the patients watching, makes you feel like a true celebrity. Suddenly, the time flows slowly and you walk like a Maharaja. Sadly, the feeling goes away soon when you switch back to reality as your Professor asks you to take history with examination and you, the most unfortunate, can just curse the crossed-stars, “Main hi kyon? Kal hi to history li thi!”.
Each encounter with the patient has equally stimulating and special story. And you’re the Sherlock Holmes with nine Dr. Watsons, if you listen with open khidkis of your khopdi – you crack the mystery or get your head ready to be cracked open. Loud and boisterous like Navjot Singh to speechless like Manmohan Singh, you deal with person of every kind here. Press upon the right nerve and they’ll tell you even their best kept secrets.
To add spice to the curry is that moment when you try to enquire about what medication is the patient on and you end up with a prescription that 9/10 people will agree is written either in Hebrew or Swahili. You can just give a grim look to the patient, pretend that you understand and expect Dr. Watson to decipher the script.
Thirty minutes pass away and it is the 15th time when your patient reaffirms that his constipation for the last 2 months is due to the aloo-chaat that he ate in his uncle’s wedding 15 years ago!
Then, Dr. Watson says, “Sherl, Examine bhi karna hai!” You wrap it up quickly and, Knock! Knock! The Professor is here.
History is presented and you realize you missed significant points while you searched for the biological plausibility behind aloo-chaat causing constipation 15 years later. Now what looked like a simple presentation of constipation turns out to be a ‘prototype’ Obstructive Sleep Apnea case as you watch the Professor unravel the mystery! That’s the charm of Medical Science!
Improper History! Don’t be dejected, my friend! Try again, work harder and above all-
Sab kuchh bhula ke ban Besharam!