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First Year MBBS - Day One, Chapter One

Author: vimoj, Posted on Sunday, June 25 @ 14:38:10 IST by RxPG  

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First of all I would like to congrats all you dudes and gals who cracked thru the big Pre Meds into the so-called royal and pious world of Medical care. Kudos to you all! You really deserve it. At the same time amidst all that excitement of a brand new start, your stomach might be in knots on what to expect and what not in this new beginning. Will there be times where you have to make sudden and solid decisions? moments when you are pushed to the edge? moments where you are considered none less than equivalent to GOD. I assure you all that and more.

At the same time, being prepared for all that and experiencing everything in the best way possible could be done if you are given the proper guidance on what to expect! So giving you a sneak preview into your first year MBBS life!


As you stand under that gateway entering to that holy abode where thousands of boys and girls have walked in before you as ordinary student and walked out as hard-core doctors, you will be proud that you have come so far. And indeed you should be. With your next footstep you are entering the holiest profession of them all………..Yup! You are now a medico!!


Once you took that first step into your campus and into the class, the first priority in your mind would be looking for that pal or group [or comfort zone as some shrinks put it].
These buddies are gonna be there with you for a loooooooooong time. Don’t start to be on too choosy on what type of pals you want and how you want them to be towards you. Because life teaches you that what you yearn for is not what you always get. But it might just be even better. You will be meeting people of different kinds and you will learn to adjust and learn and enjoy with them as they do with you. Learn to be supportive to others, as people may be from different backgrounds. And there are always some people who take longer or have difficulty to adjust. But soon they will join your league also. You dont have to be too flashy to get good pals. Just be yourself and the true ones just will flock around you automatically. But this I guarantee, you will definitely going to enjoy every minute of your medico life and your friends are going to be there with you all along the way!


After you make you new pals [and even before that in my case] you will be meeting some would be docs with grins on that faces ready to meet you. “RAGGING” as they put it, is always an event dreaded by all pre medicos as they start of their medico lives. Somebody might have advised you that it will be an experience equivalent to vultures tearing your body apart. It is nothing like that. you have to remind yourself that people have gone through all that before you and might be still going through it at the same time as you now. Ragging in various forms have always been a part of the campus welcome wagon for the medicos. It is not always bad. Most of the time it ends as good memoirs in some corner of your mind; which years later you sit back and laugh talking about it when you reach the peak of your career as doctors. Your seniors have once gone through all that and they understand exactly how you feel at each step. As the things you are asked to mimic or enact may look silly or childish initially. And it is meant to be nothing but harmless fun. And making you much more stronger and ready to face the harsh realities of the world in the process. All is fair till no permanent damage is there. Most seniors like juniors who just go along with the process and looks scared and stupid [need not be one but act like one]. Making them feel superior and satisfied. And they might just leave you free. Some campuses have a “fresher’s day” on that day where freshers have to introduce themselves on stage and show your talent. For those without any options to show, your show will be choreographed by guidance from seniors.

But of course, you should know when and where you should pull the plug!! If you feel things have gone too far. It is better if you have a senior in confidence, or any one in the same field who has gone through ragging[as any one outside;even parents might not take the joke in the right sense] , and if he/she thinks that what you went through was tough and way out of league, and that too in the most extreme situations must you report. Just putting a personal experience, in my first two days of college, I thought that I could not take any more ragging [as I had some pals as seniors and their classmates were also expecting to meet me in “the traditional “ way.] But in days or weeks, you start finding that you know each senior in the process and they have stopped pulling your leg and instead of that sadistic grin, they have a smile on their faces…..and ever ready to help you in any way they can. That is when you realise that you are officially “in”……..


As you sit in that hall full of newly joined medicos filled to brim with enthusiasm. Up there on the dais comes our deal ol’ princy [“PRINCIPAL” in the queens language]. A guide, philosopher and booster in your medico life. In short he is the boss. But don’t worry; you won’t be seeing much of him as he/she might be totally engrossed in his/hers busy schedule. More than that, you will be in touch with “THE FACULTY”. Depending on the department [yes! From now you will learn to live and learn in each department, one at a time!] you are posted; you will be in touch with your teachers, the experts in each subject, each with their own set or areas of experience. Even the so-called worst of the group might have something useful to teach you. Also be on the look out for cold wars or ego-clashes among the faculty members as you don’t want to be caught amidst the cross fire, as the pet for one might be the target for the other faculty. But that rarely occurs. So most of the time you will be trained rather than taught. On the art of medicine and teaching might be different from that of what you experience in schools. As you might have to go through many books on each topics for in depth info. Also your teachers will be more that happy to help you in any way they can!


As you and your bunch are then guided to the “ANATOMY HALL”. [This is the place where you learn about the normal structure of the body, by dissecting a dead human body]., you will be directed to stools around a metal table holding the “cadaver” / the body. As the smell of formalin pierces your nostrils, you soon realise that this smell will be there to stay and you will be used to it soon. Soon after you will be instructed on how to treat the body with respect, as a human who gave his whole body so that you would learn medicine. With the Cunningham’s manual of Practical Anatomy [will detail about books later], in your hand you will start reading about the part to be dissected. And with the scalpel in your hand you can start with that first incision. [A proud moment for the would-be surgeons!] At the same time, with the first incision, you will also find people falling down. That doesn’t mean they are weak, but they are not yet adapted. But soon will be. As it is all just a matter of time. And the ones who didn’t fall on day one may too on any other day. So basically it doesn’t say any thing about you. But if you are feeling giddy [I did] at any time, keep away from the sharp edges of the table if there is a chance if you go down. And as anything that goes down is sure to come up, so will you. In fact you will be soaring up for sure. For some I have to advice that you don’t need to be a good dissector for being a good doc. And while you can take turns in dissecting, and leave the fine areas for good dissectors, the rest are to read well about the part and guide the dissectors or help in teaching others understanding the subject. Always remember knowledge deepens as you teach. And the word ”doctor” was derived from the word meaning “to teach”.


Now it is time to meet a doctor’s best pal!! Books! Books and more books!! You will be swimming in books by the time you reach a consultant level. With references, text books, journals………the list is endless. In your first year of medicine, you will be taught how a normal body works. And in your following years you will be trained in the art of detecting and treating diseases. But to know a diseased area, you should master how a normal body. The first year subjects helping you to know that are ANATOMY [deals how the structure of body is!], PHYSIOLOGY [deals with the mechanisms that go inside!] and biochemistry [teaches you the biochemical reactions that take place inside each cell of the body!] for those still confused “ if the body was compared to a car- anatomy would teach you that the glass thing in front is the wind shield and the ring inside the car is the steering wheel and inside, what is inside the engine or inside the seat… basically it deals with the structure. Physiology will tell you how the fuel you put in is consumed by the car, how the light works when you flick the switch. And biochemistry teaches you the chemical reactions that take place as the petrol ignites. A little crude but I hope you get the point. Anatomy has sister subjects – embryology [teaching the structural development of body of a fetus inside a pregnant mother] and histology [dealing with structure of each type of cell in the body], osteology [dealing with structure of bones] Your text books for anatomy are For dissection- Cunningham’s manual of Anatomy For exam preps- text book of anatomy- chaurasia Clinical anatomy – Richard S. Snell [ A personal favorite] Clinical neuroanatomy- Richard S. Snell Neuro anatomy- by I B SINGH Anatomy by Kieth L. Moore- good diagrams, good for head and neck For reference- Gray’s text book of anatomy EMBROLOGY by I B SINGH TEXT BOOKS FOR PHYSIOLOGY- Ganong’s Review of Medical Physiology- Good book even for your PG preps Guytons TextBook of Human Physiology. Text book for physiology by chaudary- much easily comprehensible TEXT BOOK FOR BIOCHEMISTRY- Text book of Biochemistry by vasudevan and sree kumari. –Excellent book for exam as well as PG preps. Harper’s Textbook of Biochemistry. But if you ask me what to buy in the first month- buy one volume of Cunningham’s manual depending on the part you are dissecting, the corresponding volume of BD chaurasia, ganong’s physiology and biochemistry by vasudevan and sree kumar. Of course you have more and more books on the subject, which you will explore depending on the topic of your interest. And sometimes, the college / department recommends some texts and you may have to follow them in that case.


Brace yourself dear medico!! Now you will see that holy abode of all of medicos in between busy hours, where in the coming future will spend your best of times. With moments of company, friendship, laughter and for some romance. Yes! The canteen is gonna be all that and more in your coming years as a medico. Your canteen wallahs will be a familiar face for you in the coming years as you spend your times drinking coffee, hanging out with pals, or checking out that cool dude/ gal in that hallway of emotions. And of course ! not to forget !! the tasty food provided there still makes me wanna visit there again and again! THE LIBRARY A place of solitude for those who want to spend hours reading. Going through tonnes of information written by the masters and pioneers of the field. Or else just to go through the magazines and newspapers provided there. And for some a good place to sleep in midst all the silence. At the end of it all, I would like to remind you once again how lucky you are to enter this new profession. And enjoy through all the moments you face, whether good or bad. As these moments will be always cherished for the rest of your life. As you go forth as a medico; you will get fully adjusted with the system. You will soon learn to mould yourself as you go on converting yourself to fit perfectly in that dream of yours. A dream of being a good doctor.....


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