LEXIAMMA – The (medico) Agony Aunt
Frequently asked questions with even worse answers.
Why? Because Lexiamma has had enough!
- Hi Lexiamma, I have a pressing medical query. I was looking up my symptoms on Google and…
Lexiamma: Hold it right there. You had a headache and Google said it could be pseudotumor cerebri and now you have come to check if those words are even real? Google is a great software. Brilliant at times with its search feature and speed. You know what it is not the best at? DIAGNOSING AN ACTUAL HUMAN BEING. Maybe a time will come when Artificial Intelligence or Google will replace doctors. You’d read about that in big, bold letters in an Elon Musk tweet or in a newspaper (about how an angry mob beat up a robot because they were not ‘satisfied’ with the services). Till then, for any of your symptoms, consult a doctor. A real doctor.
- Hi Lexiamma! I’m a first year MBBS student, and I’m slightly worried about the future. Is doing Marrow and Prep-Ladder enough?
Lexiamma: *Sigh* No, it is not. Firstly, there are at least 8 other PG-preparation services out there, so I fail to understand why you felt that you could ignore them. Secondly, you are in your first year of MBBS. By now, you should’ve already forgotten how to have fun, socialise with people, get to see your campus in its entirety, or even the concept of timely meals. I am somewhat disappointed at your callous attitude and your words don’t even show the correct amount of anxiety regarding your future (The correct amount is: debilitating).
I want you to print the above paragraph, then fold the paper and throw it in the bin.
Dear first year who wrote this letter, and others who are reading this. Don’t forget to pause and smell the roses or make a bunch of them and give it to a significant someone. Play sports, play music, play pranks, flunk an exam (preferably an unimportant one – you’d know which ones), attend college festivals. Just live a little. Medical college is usually an unforgettable experience. The only thing left to see is whether you’d actively try to forget it or try to relive the nostalgia whenever possible. Life is much, much more than another upcoming exam.
- Namaskar Lexiamma ji. I am a 15-year old person entering 11th standard. I want to opt for biology and become a doctor. Can you tell me about a doctor’s daily routine, how much a doctor makes in a year and the scope of progress in such a career?
Lexiamma: Hello you innocent, innocent little human being. As you write to me yet to fully understand the force and impunity with which life, as we know it, is about to hit you square around your cheek, I can’t help but reminisce about the time I was in your place: somewhat motivated, slightly confused and heavily misled.
A doctor’s daily routine is highly variable, depending on the area of expertise, the patient-load and the work setup. However, evenings are full of stimulants such as tea/coffee/anti-anxiety solvents and nightly routines are usually fixed: crying yourself to sleep, or no sleep at all.
A doctor, as we know have come to realise after surveys by multiple economic forums, makes either a fool out of him/herself, or makes a difference to the society. Some people may claim that some doctors earn a lot, hence it is one of the most lucrative career options out there. Then you come across what a few Tik-tokers or Instagram ‘Influencers’ are making, and then this career line seems like a social experiment gone wrong.
As for your final question, I may simply tell you what I had been fed by my own agony aunt once upon a time: “Medical le lo… Scope hi Scope hai” (Opt for medicine; there’s a lot of scope!). You, for example, would make a good neurologist, because you can easily get on people’s nerves with your never-ending questions.
- Lexiamma! When I walk too much, my legs start to ache. I’m only 20! Could it be arthritis?
Lexiamma: It could be. It could also be that you’re walking too much. You need to look at your feet, have mercy on them, and give them some rest.
Follow-up: I can’t see my feet, what could be wrong with my sight?
Lexiamma: Your sight may be OK. It could also be simply about size.
Follow up: Oh so you think my toes are too small?
*Mail ID marked as spam*
- Hi Lexiamma! Is it possible for a woman to get pregnant without sperm?
Lexiamma: This is not that kind of an expert section, Sir. Yet, I’d like to recommend two things to you: a good book on reproductive biology, and a relationship counsellor.
Written By: Dr Nishitha Bujala, Kamineni Institute of Medical Sciences
Dr Ankit Sharma, All India Institute of Medical Sciences
Panic-friendly doctor, tone-deaf percussionist, failed humorist, unimaginative writer.