I have acclimatized myself to the world of books and illness and hospital smells and the tongue twisters of names of tablets and pills and patient and medicines. To the world where people bleed to death like a gentleman and death comes in as a lady. To the world with gifted hands.
“What do you want to become when you grow up?” “A doctor.”
I am living my words today. Well, technically living the initial phase of marching towards my answer. When I first answered this question, well I don’t quite remember the details on the wh part (who asked me, when, where?), I said so just for the sake of it. Or was that because it seemed like the correct answer to the question? I was never fascinated by the white coats or the hospital smells. Surprisingly, I was the kid who didn’t fear the injection either.
The nineteenth year of my life, a first year MBBS student, seems like I really did say the correct answer. Well there are still four and a half years to go before I actually write up a Dr. in front of my name. After discovering and rediscovering myself, after the metamorphosis I tell myself I went through, I have completely changed. However, buying a MBBS degree isn’t a joke. It’s human life that is to be dealt with after all.
“As I wake up with the rays, I actually have a table attached to my bed, I freshen up and then the pen bookmarked in the books is left up and the train moves. I try to race with the words and build up understanding with the leftovers of the aftermath I did yesterday. After the breakfast, there are the long tiring puzzling lectures, followed by lunch and the library date. Some more studies. Dinner. Walk. Movies, networking, globalize. Chit chats sometimes. The myth is quite true, indeed medical students are techno savvy. They are updated with the gadgets. Some more studies. And few hours of sleep. “
12- 18 long hours of study, permanent absence in the times when friends of other stream are having fun, it is true and medical students’ compromise fun and sleep with studies.
The initial phase is the air charged up with electricity. Lost in the maze of medical terms, being introduced to a completely new language (the medical English feels outlandish), new world, maturing way too soon and then, the adaptation phase squeezes through. Sighs and shudders becomes niche soon. It’s amazing how human body and brain works, a part of the mystery, everyday is a challenge for the medical students.
There is whole lot of first times in the medical student life. The first entrance on the anatomy lab of the first dissection class, the adrenaline rush, the bulging of query eyes, the chill runs down the spine flanking with the goose bumps. And the first time a naked dead man is seen all readied to be scrutinized to study the viscera, tears stream down worse than chopping a bucket of onions; the formalin, it stuck up in the sinus making it difficult to breath and see. (It’s an aroma now, the sweat accompanies however). Injections, stethoscope, sphygmomanometer are the play kits, bones and skeleton are toys that convoys. The first time of community visit, the first time of survey, the first time of practical interaction. Students of Bachelors in medicine and bachelors in surgery, they are the people who respect their seniors more than the teachers. The first time of being ragged (which used to be fun in the golden days, now a dreary ritual) and yet the digestion is a medical student’s prerequisite.
MBBS students, they burn their midnight oil and study like crazy. There’s always a risk of forgetting own name, for trying to remember those of pharmacological drugs so hard. Mulling over notes and buried beneath the books, people call the medical students nerds. And we have to study like crazy, uphold the title of a geek so that we wouldn’t accidently remove the kidneys instead of appendix. Long hour woes of focusing on black fonts on white sheets, trying to solve the Rubik’s’ cube of entangled subjects, cutting off of the fun part we need to sum up the whole world to the medicine. Nothing scares us more than the viva voce and the exams. Wardrobe malfunctioning is not a problem anymore as the fashion is limited to whitened aprons and the stethoscope. MBBS student must be a pro at cooking. Cooking answers with the very right ingredients of course. It is inevitable that answers are required on the tip of the tongue. Studying the reports, cutting up bodies, these stuffs are tangible. There is no room for compromises and second chances.
Being a medical student, it teaches that hard work never hurt anybody. It is but the knowledge that is power. The pursuit of really achieving something, going beyond what can be seen, the hand eye coordination, to a medical student, there is so much to life, so much to learn, so much to give, so much to realize, so much to understand. And after 5 years, somehow we are the ones who will be keeping you safe for honking during the traffic jam for tomorrow. It may be a slow start with hardships, but these are the person who will always have the satisfaction of saving a life, making world a healthy and better place to live.
Epitome of status quo and bank balance and prestige, having a medical degree defines it all. However, MBBS, five years of courtship of dedication, determination, contemplation, constant pressure, the depression calls, symptomatic to every disease read, whines and regrets and occasional thought of giving up and walking away. Licensed to have the satisfaction in saving Homo sapiens, saving a life, saving an existence only makes it worthwhile and those five years of agitations ephemeral.