As the month of May 2015 approaches, so do the days of my life as a Vitreo-Retinal fellow,as well as a student. All my life I have wanted nothing more than to take my own decisions not only in life but also in profession. But as is the sate of things right now for doctors, it only leaves me in jitters. With the latest news of Doctors being sent to jail, it only rubs salt into the would.
5.5 years of Under graduation, 3 years of post graduation, and 2 years of fellowship!! Whew!! That’s a lot of years not counting the school days. Now that I come to think about it, I would be 28 years old when I finally start to earn as a Consultant. And that is considered to be early for a Vitreo-retinal surgeon. Might sound optimistic, but if you look at it from another perspective, I have been almost fully dependent on my parents for the most part of my life up until now.
To be honest, without my Dad, I don’t know if I would have ever studied past my high school. But assuming that’s the case with almost a huge majority of the students, except for those who go through by merit of their marks, even then it is quite a lot of years to the student life. On an average, at least 3-6 years more than any other course.
A few things that I have been enjoying since my college life, good food with more than the occasional trips to restaurants, a nice car which I have changed frequently, decent clothes, Post graduation of my choice followed by super specialization of my choice again, a marriage that I wanted, holiday trips, birthday parties and what nots.
Now lets take my Father’s backing out of the equation.What as an individual could I have managed after my MBBS? Post graduation would have been a distant dream. With my level of under graduate knowledge, I would probably be still writing entrance exams or maybe given up long time ago and settled for whatever I could earn.
The innumerable outings to restaurants would have become once in a month or during special occasions only, provided I have the time to spare as an MBBS graduate doing multiple duties in a day to earn more.Forget about a car. A bike is what I could have probably managed at most. And along with that goes all the road trips that I have done too. Even now, I don’t own a vehicle. I just drive around one of my father’s.
Marriage to the girl I loved would have never been possible had it not been for my dad and mom. Well, frankly speaking, my post-graduation and my parents were one of the reasons apart from my love for my wife that actually made my marriage possible among other things. Else it would have been so difficult financially as well as on the convincing part of my wife’s side.
There are a lot of things that can be mentioned, but these are things which are a part of my life that will make my life miserable if taken away. Most of the merit medicos with no family backing are also under these circumstances after their MBBS.
They struggle to get into post-graduation. The countless entrance examinations are not a joke to be taken lightly. With each failure, even the strongest will break down. But the fear of failure in life pushes them further forward. They undergo post graduation with a meager stipend barely managing their own, forget about supporting their parents or family.
Add to that the humiliation and stress one has to go through during their PG life. Even after finishing PG, when we start to work, we are still looked down upon by the general public as well as the experienced in the field as juniors or as lacking in experience.
When finally we start to gain the so-called experience, a complication leads to violence, penalty, a smudge on the reputation slowly built over years, and even jailed!!
And yet the Doctors are looked upon as wealthy, unsympathetic, callous, impetuous group of people who are out to rob people of their money for ailment which dont require any treatment or worse, who take the money to do only more harm and sometimes kill them.
Kindly live with us for a month. Live with an intensivist or an emergency physician to know what it is like to be woken up in the middle of the night constantly, live with a pediatrician to know how much pain it causes when they fail to save a child, a general physician to know the sheer number of cases they see in a day, a surgeon to know how anxious he gets the night after his O.T day, with any doctor to know how it feels when you get beaten up even after you did everything you could to try to save a hopeless patient.
With having enjoyed the past, and living a fearful present, I look forward into entering a doubtful future hoping for the best. The least I can think of is not to get beaten up by a mob or sentenced by a someone who doesn’t understand what medicine is. After all, medicine is not exact science to work wonders each and every time.