How To Tame A Medico’s Bane:101

-Taj Prabhugaunker

  2nd year MBBS, Goa Medical College

Just as another online class concluded, I made a beeline for the kitchen, completely ignorant of my pathology prof. who’s resounding “3rd July!” crepitated along with a cacophony of buzz and static (Unsurprisingly, the network had conked off), owing to the monsoons. The barrage of messages and phone calls among students, that sprang from the vague announcement, was fairly bizarre. Nonetheless, the chaos and confusion were alleviated when the CR confirmed,

“It’s scheduled from 3rd of July- The EXAMS”. The resultant enormous dread and fear of exams were disturbing evidence of the significant inertia that had set in us, medical students: the pillars of future healthcare.

While it has been 18 months into a turbulent battle against the pandemic, with the valiant doctors and healthcare workers at the helm, we have realized their crucial role to safeguard equilibrium in the world. On the flip side, the online version of medical academics has fostered an unforeseen nuisance among novice medicos. Revealed through their negligence towards studies due to lack of clinical exposure and inadequate application of theoretical knowledge, leading to passive behavior towards the profession, sowing the seeds of their own insecurity leading to tremendous EXAM STRESS: the ultimate villain.

To quote my professor, “Medicine is not just a profession, it’s an emotion, it’s a world by itself, it’s a LIFE!! Whenever the art of medicine is loved, there is also a love for humanity. No salary is worth leaving your family at 3:00 am to take care of a patient – it’s a lifestyle full of passion. The sacred education of medicine is not a competition. Grades and marks allotted in vivas and theory exams are by NO means prophecies to your success as a doctor. Indulging into the rat race of comparing marks and distressing over exams not only incapacitate its victims mentally but also through physical disease sequelae. Study to gain knowledge, to HEAL.”

The high incidence of the so-called ‘Hypersyllabus Hypopreparation syndrome’ is commonplace in the cosmos of medicos (so relatable right?) and yet lakhs have conquered the hitch. So will YOU.

It’s often a subject of humor that MBBS vivas are the places where one experiences the unique phenomenon of oral constipation and mental diarrhea (shudders), frequently instigated by unwarranted fear and nervousness rather than the lack of preparation. Exams are the necessary evil of the modern education system which cannot be escaped, it’s just a transient hiccup, a minuscule part of the rollercoaster journey of medicine that lies ahead.

A clear-cut observation among medical students- It is not the failure of exams itself that holds one back, it is the fear of failure that paralyzes one, the social ramifications of the failure ‘ log kya kahenge’, paving the way to loss of perspective- a prevailing handicap. MBBS, is the phase of learning, through mistakes and experimentation. The errors are to be forgotten, but the lesson must be remembered. We must not worry about consequences, while the preparation for the exam is still in our control because it is said,

“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”

Examinations in Medical academics:

A boon or bane? The popular opinion states that exams are an integral part of every professional course including medicine and imperative to assess whether the aspirants have the prerequisite knowledge and skills to practice. While exams pose as the eustress to encourage us to study (Let’s be honest, we wouldn’t have studied half as much if it weren’t for the exams) and expand the horizons of our knowledge. On the contrary, the sky-high frequency of exams in the medical curriculum, impart distress to the students, owing to the compromise on their sleep and mental health, to clear the exams.

As every bane has an antidote. So does ours. Studying throughout the year,  clearing our concepts in time, and understanding, and enjoying the subject keep the exam distress at bay.

Last-minute studying usually aggravates the exam phobia, this can be tackled by planning your preparation based on how much you need to work in a day, considering the available preparation time.

Steer clear of intoxicants and smoking to keep awake at night to prepare.

Make a schedule or a practical timetable to ensure a balanced relaxation time. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy, listen to music or practice some yoga, physical exercises, and meditation, to avoid mental stress and gain more with a lesser amount of effort. Healthy meals, decent sleep, and efficient guidance from a professor or senior boost our confidence to perform better in exams.

Let’s be mindful of the fact that theory exams help us to reconstruct our basic concepts of medicine in a concise manner for practical and clinical applications while the intimidating vivas with our professors aid us in improvising our communication skills and personality development.

In fact, examinations in medical college are synonymous with a simulation of our clinical practice, wherein the only barrier between the patient and his/her grave would be us, their DOCTORS!

The chapter you are reading today may salvage a life tomorrow. Pay attention.

You want to cry?

Let it out.

You are stressed?

Work it out.

You are tired?

Grind it out.

But, You cannot afford to quit.

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