The PG Quest- Week 7 & 8

First things first:

polio 2 eradicated

Isn’t that just the best thing ever?

This declaration made my week and gave me an unbelievable surge of hope. I mean if Wild Polio (type 2), which was so prevalent in so many parts of the world at one point of time (which was not so long ago), can be eradicated, then, surely, I can clear my PG! My task is definitely much less impossible than that. Or should I say, improbable. 🙂

Of course, to bring about this improbable reality, a bunch of stuff was planned, distributed, undertaken and organized. It, most definitely, was no easy task. And so is my PG. But, this week was good. I have studied. As much as I could in view of the fact that the first floor admin kept playing havoc with my time table with surprise classes at all hours and any days.

Micro, I have done and Biochem, I haven’t as class got cancelled leaving the future of my biochem hanging in a rather tenuous balance. 😦

Pharmac- I have definitely started. With this:

-Review-Of-Pharmacology-9th-edition-2015-by-Sparsh-Gupta-Gobind-Rai-Garg--medical-books-25-July-2015-12-17-470

This book has got a lovely blue and cream themed inside and lots of questions and lots of explanations. I know it is not the usual thing to be, but, I’m very excited to open my new book and dive in! Of course, it might have a lot to do with the fact that I’m excited about any new book- be it pharmacology or J.K. Rowling’s newest work of fiction. Oh well, welcome to my nerd-dom!

Anyway, the question of next week: Well, week 8 is still en route and if I might dare to trust the current schedule given by the admin, I will be spending most of next week in Ophthalmology and Anesthesiology classes. So, subjects of the week (8 & 9) are…….(drum roll please)………OPHTHALMOLOGY! and ANESTHESIOLOGY!

Yep! That’s it for now, folks.

Wish me luck!

P.S: I’ve been punctuating my study with breaks that involve reading a few books that have been sent to me for review (I’m still having trouble believing that some author actually wants my review of their well-versed work…Gosh! I know not what to say…or think…except, of course, that I’m so flattered and so, well, grateful!) Anyway, here’s my first such review coming up right after this post.

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The PG Quest- Week 6

Hello!

After that extremely depressing post of last week, I decided that its time to stop being the drama queen and move on. I told myself to start small. However, that had to be soon given up because starting small didn’t go beyond the thoughts of starting small. Instead, I now decided that its time to pull off a dive straight into the deep end. So, yesterday, I opened up one of the numerous tests lying ignored on my laptop and started to answer it.

It was psychiatry, my feel-good subject.

It took me only 5 questions to realize I didn’t know s@&!. So, I closed that window, completely freaked out and grabbed the nearest pen and paper to make myself a time table. Needless to say, sometimes, the push is all that is needed!

I’m now entering the new week armed with a new timetable and a new hope. Of course, classes are still beating me down back to back and 9 to 9; exams are still looming closer and closer; but, at least now, I’m back to putting my best foot forward and enjoying the view of my future.

That's a brain! Isn't it amazing!

Diffusion Tensor Imaging- A picture for every brain!

Just thought I’d start this week off with a look at one of my favorite images. It re-ignited my enthusiasm for my profession during the final hour of a 12-hr day. The 8 ‘o’ clock- when my fingers go too lax to take notes, there is a dead look in my eyes reminiscent of Michael Myers in Halloween, I can almost hear my neurons fizzling out and there is a continuous loop picture of a clean shower and piss-pot playing in my head. That is when this picture of Diffusion tensor imaging came on the screen and jolted me back to life.

This, folks, is a picture of the brain! Showing all those tiny intricate pathways that carry our senses to the brain and back- like pain or touch or the salivation at the thought of a double-layered cheese pizza! When I studied these pathways for the first time in my first year of medicine, they were beautiful, but intangible. Even later, when so many things made sense, these pathways still felt like a figment of some over-zealous doctor’s imagination. But, now, I got to see them; on the screen; in the brain of a living, breathing person! How amazing is that! How much more amazing can life get! Medicine is indeed moving forward by leaps and bounds and here is the proof lying right in front of my eyes.

Sigh…This feeling of wonderment was almost forgotten until it came back to me that day and reminded me of one of the many reasons that I took up this profession for. It also came back to me today when I stared at this picture for so long before I started writing this update. I also blame that sense of wonderment for the number of exclamation points in the above paragraph. But, anything for the brain!

The timetable for the next week then:

  1. Microbiology
  2. Biochemistry
  3. Teensy bit of Medicine

That’s it folks, wish me luck!

The PG Quest- Week 3

Week….3? 4? (I think I’m going to cry)

Status over the past week: Sieve for a brain.

Current Status: Hole where the brain should be.

Objectives: Achieved (neurons lost).

Next Week: No schedule. Only admin-decreed information overload every day from 9 to 5 (Yay!) or 9 to 9 (FML).

 

I think zombies have a better life.

Do you know any?

 

Wish me luck! (or I might…just…tears…keep in…can’t see….breathe…breathe………bye..)

The PG Quest- Week 2

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I should have posted this last night because my week had to be ended a day early thanks to the people below (the admin people are on the first floor and I’m on the fourth) who have decreed that there will be a class on dermatology today.

I’m not complaining. See, in general I don’t consider myself a stable, level headed person, but put me in a 12 hr class of anatomy and I want to put a beeper on my vehicle that blares “get out of the way! Crazy is coming!” That’s Crazy with a capital C too. So, any reason to escape (P)TSD by anatomy is fine by me.

Also, all my knowledge of dermatology during undergrad years comes from listening to the fevered recital of treatment of psoriasis by my friend five minutes before walking into the examination hall; and which is prompty forgotten five minutes after walking out of the examination hall. So, I’m going in with zilch. Nada. Which is how I went in for anatomy except that I’m sure dermatology doesn’t want to suck my life force out of me.

Anyway, class started.

Au revoir!

I’m back!

Class was all that I hoped it would be and some more because he finished five minutes early! Joys of life, I tell you!

As for my study update, last week was bad. Anatomy was very naughty and didn’t at all cooperate in holding my attention. A lot of time was wasted; a lot of questions were ignored; a lot of pages torn and crumpled in frustration…I don’t want to talk about it.

But, I have high hopes for this coming week. Following today’s dermat, I have Psychiatry and Forensic medicine on Monday and Tuesday– two of my favorites! So, in signing off, I do it with hope.

Oh right! The stats:

Week 2 (7 Aug – 12 Aug ):
1. Anatomy (I’m tempted to say done, but I’m afraid I can hear the textbook roaring with laughter. One day, Anatomy, one fine day, I will conquer you <shaking my fist at the book here>)
2. Ophthalmology- are you kidding me?

Week 3 (13 Aug – 19 Aug)
1. Dermatology
2. Psychiatry
3. Forensic medicine (as much as I can touch)

 Wish me luck!

The PG Quest- WEEK 1

Rx

Cap. PSM x 3 days
(to be taken orally for 12 hour continuous release action)

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And my week began. That prescription translates to a stuffy classroom, uncomfortable desk chair and a weekend spent driving myself into oblivion while taking copious notes. I looked at the bright side though- Community medicine done! Totally worth the 20 minute breaks spent wondering how hard the ground would be when I hit it from the fourth floor! Except I’m still doing PSM (aka SPM aka Community medicine aka the stick that’s currently up my arse).

You see, I have woefully underestimated my adversary for the week. PSM is 200% of the average subject, 80% boring and 99.99% volatile. I have realized that I might answer a thousand questions and more (which I am), but still won’t remember when National Leprosy Eradication Programme was launched (seriously, even now- nada!) or what the fancily-named health programs are for mothers and children and I definitely can’t remember what is what in a battle of hard tick vs a soft tick! (Try saying “hard tick soft tick” 10 times fast :-D)

However, it is the last day of the week and I’m going to spend that with more of PSM in the wild hope that if I cram it down savagely enough, it might just decide to stay there.

WEEK 1

Objectives:

  • Community medicine
  • Medicine- infectious diseases
  • Orthopaedics (untouched)

Well, I’d like to tell myself that 67% is not too shabby for first week, but the culture of competition here doesn’t allow me.

So, here’s launching a new week from 7/8/2015 to 13/8/2015 with new promises and old regrets:

To do:

  1. Anatomy (with the help of 12 hour continuous release capsules of course ;-/)
  2. Ophthalmology (not to underestimate Anatomy, but I really need to pick up my pace).

Alrighty! Wish me luck!

The PG quest- laying the groundwork

I’m a medico. Not a doctor, but a medico. Because “Doctor” is not a title to be lightly taken. It needs to be earned with mounds of hard work and years of experience and I’m not there yet. However, in the quest to achieve that coveted title, I have girded my loins and set out with alacrity. At least I’m supposed to have.

It’s called post-graduation (PG), without which you might as well throw that under-graduate degree in the bin in today’s world. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? After all, who isn’t a post-graduate now-a-days? Everybody is waving their Masters/MBA every-which-where. But, take a look at that medico in the corner hugging that MS/MD to the chest while keeping a wary eye out for snatchers. He’ll probably take that degree home, get it laminated or framed and store it away in the safe right next to his…well, it’s probably empty. Because he doesn’t earn enough to invest in anything valuable.

The point is, in my country, 1 million medicos appear for an exam that gives access to 20,000 seats. The only thing more screwed up than this is the specialist to patient ratio (duh!). More important- I’m also a runner in this rattiest of rat races.

I ought to be studying now; swotting away to glory like all my compatriots are. Instead I’m sitting here writing this. I can’t seem to stop passing time or start studying. Therefore, I have come up with an idea to keep me on track.

Taking up a challenge with the rider of having to record my progress in the blog did prove quite effective in the past (The big read challenge was going amazingly well until life threw me a curve ball). In light of that observation, I have decided to make work fun and fun boring by adding my studies to the mix.

Each “challenge” is going to be a weekly event. I will be recording my progress which basically means I will be venting and ranting about everything from the state of my mind to the state of the country, maybe even the world if you’re lucky. I’m hoping that this form of accountability will keep me on track and less liable to give in to the myriad of distractions that seem to crop up just when one sits down to study. Anybody who is reading this, please keep your fingers crossed for me. Please.

My first exam is on November 1, 2015. That gives me…

11 weeks, 3 days. (Leaving out the last 13 days for pushing myself of a cliff)

and 14 subjects

Right, I can feel my heart pounding and tension mounting. That is good.

Starting tomorrow, my first challenge for 31/7 to 6/7 will be:

Completion (theory and Q-bank) of

  1. Community medicine
  2. Medicine- infectious diseases
  3. Orthopaedics

So…in view of this great week ahead and having a 12 hour class of community medicine tomorrow, I think I should get my sleep while I can.

Wish me luck!

11-10-2014

The worst thing for a doctor is when a patient starts doubting your skills. The worst thing for an intern is knowing that the patient is justified in doing so.

As an intern, you are just a freshly baked cake- too hot to be cut into a perfect slice. A cake will cool off in 10 minutes though. The intern, on the other hand, might be 10 months and more into the job and yet, feel wobbly.

We come fresh from the theoretical ramblings of the medical school; where the only time we actually touch the patient is during the exams and in front of the examiner so that we can score brownie points for “applied knowledge”. People have such romantic ideas of being a doctor; that the moment you enter medical school, you’ll be saving lives.

Irony is, by the time we get a hold upon what we are doing, the internship is done and it is time to hit the books again for post graduation!