PGMEE and the Past Year

2010 was the year when, for the first time in my life, I tasted the bitterness of failure. Of course, I am talking about the post grad entrance tests: the examination which allows or denies you an entry into the hallowed pantheons of higher medical education in India. It was also the year when, due to unavoidable family circumstances, I was forced to forego my long-term dream of trying to go overseas for higher education, at least for the time being…that was a difficult dream to let go of, but life, as they say, is a bitch, and it gets us all in the end!

But it was not all just bleak tears. I got a housejob, where I have been learning every day. I acquired numerous clinical as well as practical skills which, I am sure, will help make me a complete physician. I learnt a lot about how to handle grief myself and how to help patients’ families handle it as well. It has been an exhilarating ride, and I have enjoyed every bit of it. I threw myself into it with a vengeance at one point, spending longer hours than anyone else, working in the unit, trying to drown everything out. And I loved every bit of it. At one point, I had considered moving into research because I was so not inspired by the teachers and clinicians around me. But now, having faced the clinical challenges myself, I have realized my true calling.

The days creep in a petty pace from one to the next, and the juggernaut of time rolls on. Much like MacHomer says here:

A new year dawns. New decisions have to be made. I complete a year on my housejob this coming March, and thereafter, plan to take a gap year. Do some relief work with an NGO I have been intending to help out for the last 3 years. See the other side of the mirror of human affliction. Reach out to the people who stay in so far flung areas that they cannot even afford to come to a hospital. Where medical treatment is doled out by quacks who can barely scrawl their own names. Where everything, from fevers to tumors, are conceded to be the effect of the wrath of God.

Maybe 2011 will bring to me the sense of self-fulfillment that 2010 could not. It is time for taking a step backwards and taking a new look at life: after all, “What is this life, so full of car/ We have no time to stand and stare?” Maybe 2011 will also be the year when I finally swallow the bitter pill of Post Grad Entrances and manage to shift to the next phase of life: been stuck on this one for far too long.

May 2011 be a very happy and fulfilling year for you too…

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