Getting an Education in Medical Health in India
Since I was a kid, it has always been my dream to become a doctor. When I was just 10 years old, i was suffering from appendicitis. Although it is considered as a minor condition, but the pain was unbearable and I though I was going to die. When the doctor managed to relieve me of the pain, he became my hero. It amazed me how easily a doctor can solve our troubles. Since that day, I made up my mind that I will become a doctor in the future.
Here in India, medical is considered as one of the most respected professions. For admission, a national competitive exam is held, which is extremely difficult to crack. I burned the midnight oil and managed to get into, “Calcutta Medical College”, which is one of the most respected medical colleges in the country. That was a dream come true moment for me.
I still clearly remember the first day in my college. I was nervous and excited at the same time. The principal of our college entered the classroom and welcomed us. He looked like a really nice and helpful person. We were told everything about the course, the rules and regulations of our college. I looked around the classroom and everyone seemed intelligent and determined. There was a competitive environment right from the beginning.
After that, the medical classes started.
In India, the duration of the medical course is 5 years, which is quite long. In the first year, we obviously didn’t save any lives. We were just introduced to the basic subjects like anatomy of the human body. After every 6 months, there used to be an exam. Now, I wasn’t expecting life to be easy in a medical college, but the sight of all the 2000 page books was really discouraging. Initially, I thought that there was no way I could survive there for 5 years. However, my friends and seniors made things much easier for me. I managed to clear the first exam with decent marks. That gave me enough confidence for the upcoming challenges.
From second year onward, we were taught how to handle all the medical equipment and the basics of surgeries. I still remember the first time I saw a dissected body. I felt like vomiting, but that is a sight, we medical students have to get used to. When I entered the medical lab for the first time, I was shocked to see so many kinds of equipment and their different uses. However, I gradually became familiar with them. My first patient was a young girl who suffered from a leg injury. I injected her, cleared the wounds and gave her the necessary medicines. Although it was simple, but that is probably the proudest moment of my life.
During my third year, I interned with a reputable hospital.
Working in a hospital for the first time was really an eye opener. I got to know the challenges which doctors have to go through on a regular basis. They have to take care of so many patients, perform surgeries. And you can’t afford to take anything casually, because someone’s life is at stake. After the internship, my respect towards the profession increased. I also did another internship in a rural hospital. It was a government owned hospital. In the rural parts of India, hospitals are not equipped with the latest infrastructure. But they still try to do their best with the limited resources that they have. I learned a lot of things there.
Most people think that we are geeky and always like to stay drowned in our books. But, that is completely false. Life in a medical college is not as boring as everyone thinks. We partied a lot in our hostel. Apart from that, we also participated in many extracurricular activities during our college life. There also used to be inter college fests, which gave us an opportunity to interact with the other medical students. I made lots of friends in my college life.
It has really been an unique and challenging experience. Those five years were extremely tough and we had to study like crazy to pass our exams. But now, when someone addresses me as “Doctor”, I fee that it was totally worth it.