It was 2014. After wasting an year in post internship syndrome,the world seemed to stand still. With whopping 5 digit numbers in All India and State Entrances, I had started questioning my inner self if I was an apt fit to this profession. Should I sit back and prepare again or should I get a job and start making a living, such questions used to continuously hover on my mind, making things restless.
Should I sit back and prepare again or should I get a job and start making a living, such questions used to continuously hover on my mind
Preparation for an entrance are one of the most dreadful periods in a medicos life. You can’t eat more as you might start feeling sleepy after it, you can’t go out for that starts making you feel guilty, you can’t attend family functions for you are bombarded with what are you doing currently questions which if explained no one understands. Preparing? Achha uske liye bhi padhna hota hai kya?
Such questions used to boggle my mind off.
Battling all these self doubts and guilt in my mind, I decided to give it one more shot.
“The next 9 month,either this side or that side” I mumbled in my mind. Say it my luck or my room mates bad luck, he was stuck at a borderline rank. He couldn’t dare to take it neither leave it.
We both decided to change our study place in hope that will change our fortunes. This friend of mine was my MBBS batch mate. The last year we had shifted together and started preparing. But just in 3 months I lost way and left him. Anyways,this time with rock solid determination in the scorching sun of April we decided to find a place in the medical hub of Delhi, Gautam Nagar.
Anyways,this time with rock solid determination in the scorching sun of April we decided to find a place in the medical hub of Delhi, Gautam Nagar.
This place was true for a doctor what was true for an engineer in Bangalore. Even the barber knew the difference between a PG aspirant and a FMGE here. Surprisingly the landlord’s were more welcoming to a foreign graduate than to a Indian one. The reason which I came to know later on was not surprising.
So finally we found a place for us which by God’s grace had a balcony and a view. One of the rare things you would find in Gautam nagar,where people make 4 walls covered with a tin shed and call that a room. Thanking our starts enough,we immediately finalized and paid advance.
Now the next target was to find a library where one could immerse in the world of mcqs with many others who were one of the best brains of the country. In Gautam Nagar one would find libraries in every corner and streets. We finalized one which had the best record in past years plus which was no girls allowed library. We were so focused for a PG seat this time that we were trying to avoid all the possible urvasis around us, not that we were surrounded by any of them before.
Back then there were 3 types of coaching available. The tablet apps were still in their dormancy. One had to select between regular classes, test and discussion or test series. Being done with regular classes and tasting every inch of their business, I didn’t want to go for any further coachings wasting lakhs of rupees. Firmly, I decided to go for a test series,which would be light on my pocket and keep my preparation in check.
Every step in this place was competitive. From grabbing a seat in library to finding a place to eat,there was a que everywhere. Any place you could see up to you would find a qualified MBBS doctor in his bermudas looking as helpless as you . This was the place you would hear more MCQs than prayers.
With all the determination I started preparing. There was a provision for seating 2 people on a single table which would make you immovable. Things were tough here as I said. So I started with the weekly test series of a coaching institute. We would read up a subject in a week and give its test on Sunday. We had to make sure the subject got over in those 7 days itself. A single day here and there and the left over were left forever,so was the crunch of time.
We would read up a subject in a week and give its test on Sunday. We had to make sure the subject got over in those 7 days itself.
As the time passed and a few tests were done, we had started gaining some confidence. Then came may AIIMS exam. For which we never did any special preparation. For someone having 5 digit rank in NEET PG a few months back, aiming AIIMS was out of question where only a few seats were to be competed for. Anyways, with whatsoever preparation we did,we appeared for the exam and then totally forgot about it. When the results were out, I got a rank of 361. It was a major morale booster. Never in my life I had imagined of being so close to what I had been aiming for. Within a few minutes of results being announced I became famous in the library. People had started congratulating and asking tips on how to read as if I had topped the exam. But then,who doesn’t likes fame. Now I was more confident than ever. I started writing a small diary where I would jot down all the emotions I felt. Be it personal, professional, parents, love life etc. I used to appreciate myself whenever I did good and scold as well when I became overconfident. This diary was my mentor. I would often go through it and check my emotions.
Then came the mid year DNB exams and we both did extremely well that would fetch us clinical seat in the branch we wished. But now we were determined to take our fight to the NEET PG exam which was the landmark exam of PG entrances. With same enthusiasm we continued preparing. 12 hours a day, no booze, no girls, no outings, no parties, burning our ass to the every core possible. We often tried to escape from our other friends who were in jobs that time so as to save a few minutes. I often felt guilty of such behaviour but now when I am through it I feel it was necessary.
12 hours a day, no booze, no girls, no outings, no parties, burning our ass to the every core possible.
At an age when everyone is earning we were still drawing cash from our parents,who did not asked a single question on what we were doing. Every rupee we spent was with caution. PG preparation is not only a tough time physically and mentally but financially as well. We would regularly pump each other. There were times when we felt low,not able to think what would happen if we were not able to crack.
The situation in library was becoming tensed with every passing day. It was November and all were adrenaline charged . Even the noise of sipping tea was not tolerable. Being all men library,often brawls would surge up. The only thing now important was to hold the nerves and revise. Deep inside we knew that we had read everything possible and now only need good revisions.
Finally the d day arrived. And we attempted it with all the might we had gathered all year long.
As soon as the exam got over I ran away from all the books and immersed myself into the world of beer. I just wanted to forget all the questions and relax a bit. Now I wanted to use this time rejuvenate myself for all that was lost this year.
The results were out in a month time and I had finally cracked one of the toughest exams in India admitting myself to a government medical college learning the art of surgery. I was content and satisfied with what I had achieved. The dreadful phase was over. Not knowing what future was waiting with, I moved steps towards the next title. My designation had changed, PG aspirant to a would be surgeon.
The results were out in a month time and I had finally cracked one of the toughest exams in India admitting myself to a government medical college learning the art of surgery.
About the Author
Dr Vinay Kumar Rai is currently pursuing his DNB Urology at Max Hospital, Saket. He finished his M S General surgery in 2018 from Bikaner. He is interested in scalpel, sports and students.
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