It is literally blood, sweat, and tears that are involved in the 5 and 1/2 years journey called MBBS, from the days in physiology lab in the first year where we drew our own blood for practicals, to being the blood delivery guys in house surgeoncy, all the sweat we shed to cover the humongous syllabus every academic year, to the sweating out in the wards to help a patient as much as we can, to the sad and happy tears we have shed along the journey; it is an emotional rollercoaster, and it is bound to continue as long as you are a part of the medical community.
MBBS, as glorious as it is depicted in popular culture and perceived by society, also comes with its shortcomings, but we only see the good side of it when we decide to start this journey of a thousand miles. And although it takes its toll, along the way, at places, we find it was all totally worth it. As for me, being a fan of biology subject, I felt that medicine was the best platform to be learning what I love as well as put my knowledge to the best use. I would wonder, how by just listening to chest with a stethoscope, a doctor could give an accurate diagnosis and solution.
And it is magic indeed that happens through the hands of the physician when they turn the derangements of a bodily system back to its optimal function.
Students get into this field through one of the toughest exams in India, NEET UG, not only due to the challenging questions but also due to the mad competition ongoing with many coaching centers that compete among themselves for top results. And once you get an entry into a good college, the fight with the syllabus begins!
What though might seem like a long period of five and a half years, time does fly and a lot of life happens in medical college. You gain amazing friends who become your support system and you are theirs, bearing through thick and thin and hardships on the way. You learn to find mirth even in trying times and also party hard wherever you get a chance. And then finally it is time for you to enter the much awaited period of house surgeoncy, your first real step into the life of a physician, which you might have been eagerly waiting for, but also with a touch of fear and self doubt. It gives you so much insight into the world of medicine, all the internal workings of a hospital and on the way you learn that medicine is not just reading off theory from a textbook but rather a bit more complicated.
Before you even check the blood pressure, you check sugar levels of an unconscious patient. People can have reactions to any drug, even paracetamol. Having a conversation with a patient can help as much as medicines can. These are some of the things that you cannot read off a textbook, but rather learnt only by seeing and experiencing
The whole experience, although exhilarating, can also be exhausting to some students, when they start to think about their future plans. But with the kind of exposure the current medical education system gives, there is little scope for finding other directions to grow in, unlike in many other fields where academic topics are supported by minor courses in finance, management, soft skills development, coding, and other computer applications. The average medical student is very much unprepared for a changing world where basic knowledge in multiple domains has become almost a necessity. We can expect to see innovations like the integration of artificial intelligence and nanotechnology into the practice of medicine in the near future and systems like telemedicine will become the norm. The curriculum should be open to changes and integrated learning approaches should be introduced. And also, this is where online learning and communication platforms come into relevance. Getting to meet like-minded people who are eager to share their experiences and conduct meaningful discussions on topics of contemporary relevance is indeed a blessing.
The essence of MBBS would be to find out where you fit in and how you would face life as a physician. It gives you important lessons on responsibility, patience, empathy, and perseverance. With fiery passion and determination, to be that person between life and death for someone, it is one heck of a lifestyle worth leading!
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