Having just finished my school and having somehow graduated relatively unscathed, I have decided to compile a list of dos and don’ts for the new fledgelings to help them navigate the through the ups and downs of medical school.
- You have done well. You got into a medical school when so many couldn’t. So the next time when you feel like you are worthless remember that you are smart and brilliant. Sigh loudly, square your shoulders and get your head in the game! You can do it!
- Humour your seniors. They may pull your leg or tease you, but most of the time it is all in good fun. If you huff and puff and declare war against them, nothing good can come out of it. Smile, converse and have fun! They may tease, but they won’t bite!
- Along the same lines, if the “harmless” teasing gets too much or people try to invade your personal space, do not think that it’s all in fun and try to take it stride. Speak out. File a complaint. Remember, your safety always comes first.
- Participate in your college fest! No matter if you are good at dance or not, doesn’t matter if you can or cannot draw. Participation is important. In a field where studies crush your hobbies, dancing like there’s nobody watching can be more therapeutic than you’d imagine. And the friends you make on the dance team is always a huge plus.
- If things get too much, take a break. Go for a walk, go out to dinner with your friends, go out for the night. Sometimes when you are burned out, all you need is a respite from the endless loop of college, postings and studies. Trust me when I say, taking a break for a day will do you more good than harm.
- Explore the city your college is located in. find new restaurants to dine at, find gardens to chill at with your friends, or visit the old “bhoot bangla” of the town. You never know, maybe the newly opened café could be your next adda!
- Maintain good relations with your residents and professors. Remember they are ones who will help you in your practicals, tell you about the rare case in the ward and of course grade your exams. Similarly, be nice to all the nurses, cleaners, helpers and mamas and the mavshis. They may not have finished medical school but trust me when I say, they know much more than you think.
- Lastly, have fun. Work hard, party harder. Be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Be open to experiences and experience everything. You’ve worked towards this for two years, some of you have dreamt of this all your life. These 5 years are going to be some of the best years of your life. Find what you love, do what is right and let life take you along for a ride. After all, you only live once, and who knows this better than a doctor right?
Dr Poonam Nayak