“Would you like to be an unconventional medico?”

By- Akanksha Mahajan 

Final year MBBS, Govt. Medical College, Amritsar

You enter the med-school and on the very first day, you’re told that this is not an end but the beginning of a really crucial yet nerve-racking journey. They try to haunt you with all those thick scary textbooks. But don’t worry, college life is undoubtedly fun when you get to witness that college fest once a year. You’re allowed to take a break from your textbooks during that period, otherwise, whether it’s a vacation or whatever, keep on sticking by the side of your textbooks, because that’s what being a medical student is all about, isn’t it? In case you decide to pursue your pg abroad, you’re allowed to get into multi-tasking, to build your CV, obviously.

I have always wanted to get into research, since forever. I remember going to a professor of mine and asking them if they could help me with that and I was told, “you’re just an undergraduate student, do you know all your subjects that you want to get into research?” So, to be honest, I am just an average student who finds it extremely hard to retain all that I study and at that point, I had no clue about research. So, I didn’t have even a tinge of audacity to let them know that I certainly had what was needed for research during my undergraduation. Sometimes professors do agree to give you case reports but I wasn’t doing it for getting a publication for the CV at that time, so, that wasn’t enough to fascinate my heart and head.

Fortunately, during my final year, I got the privilege to be a part of the “Summer Research Mentorship Program” by Lexcion. Well, I am certainly not trying to advertise the program, it really really was a turning point for me because it didn’t just teach me the methodology part but bestowed me with that self-confidence to independently work on the research projects, present at conferences and I can now confidently go to my college professors with my research proposals and it doesn’t bother me anymore when they tell me that I am just a UG student, I am in my final year and so on, as long as I can get the ethics clearance from them ;). I am always going to be grateful to my mentors for tolerating the stupidest of my questions.

So, the most important lesson that I learnt so far during my UG years is that you can never have enough time to do what you love doing. Yes, undoubtedly, medicine is your passion but who said that you can’t have other stuff to be passionate about. Who said doctors aren’t researchers? Who said doctors can’t be writers? I can just go on and on with the list.

Because being in med-school isn’t about being a book worm. Why can’t we try being unconventional medicos instead?

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