The Final Level X-ray on Bladder stone, luckily a specimen of bladder stone, a clamp, autoclaving, hernioplasty, fibula, the Austin Moore hip prosthesis and I was done!!! That was the final 20 mins of my last exam. And what a relief it is. I came out of the surgery seminar room at about 5 and didnt realise what just happened. This is what I have been waiting for not just for the last few months, but for the last 4 years, maybe longer.

As most of us know, getting past this torturous obstacle race is no easy task. To add to all this, you have the professors. They lurk in the darkness of the hospital corridors. Constantly observing your every move, and when the time is right, they would pounce on you. And as you go further ahead in the race, the harder it gets. Its just like that video game we all play. Well… a lot harder!! And what’s hardest is … The Final Level.

When it starts, you don’t know whats in store for you. You are all cheerful having just passed the pre-finals. Its 3/4th done you say… just one more year and BAAAM!!, I will be a doctor. Folks! Its easier said than done. Back then in February, you are carefree, hoping to organize a function or two and have your share of fun at the Gathering. Its just 4 more subjects, whats all this hype the seniors are creating. I can handle that… right? Wrong!! Those four subjects may look harmless and simple, but believe me, as your exams approach, you are going to wish you had never…ever… even thought of wearing that white coat or putting a stethoscope to your ear.

Let me tell you what I am talking about…

Behold… Pediatrics!! Now don’t go by the name. This little boy will pull hair out of your nostrils, cry all day, poop all over you and finally make you feel like you are full of it. These children, even when they are normal, they aren’t! They are this alien life form, completely different from the adult human. They act differently, they sleep differently, they even get sick differently. When you thought the children must be the easiest to handle, look at the expression on the face of a mother of two who just found out that she is pregnant!

Talking about pregnant… there is Obstetrics and Gynecology. As if dealing with girls isn’t enough, now you have to study their health problems. And honestly, why would a girl come to you and tell you about her menstrual irregularities? But if she does come… congratulations for reasons more than one!!

They even go to their doctors even when they are not sick. Dude, who goes to a doctor when you are fine? They just have a faulty body, but lets not go into that. What I am tryin to tell is its no easier than the other subjects. And when then the examiner asks you how does a couvelier uterus look like, you think you were better off with your girlfriend asking you if she looked fat in her new dress!

Lets have those hands together for… Surgery! In the beginning its so cool. No matter what the problem is, all you have to do is cut! That must be easy. Cut – Resect – Close! That’s an easy drill. And its so manly! But by the time you have finished reading about the kidney and the man organ, you will have no idea what so ever about what to cut, what to resect and what to connect!! Its all just Blah-Blah-ectomy.

And finally… Medicine. Thinking of this as ‘just a subject’ would be a blunderous mistake. That’s right… that’s how big a mistake it would be!! It’s the mother of all of them. It’s a real cocktail. You add up everything you are supposed to learn about the human body – how it works, how it doesn’t work and how to make it work – and mix them well and you are done! That’s medicine for you. But the problem is, unlike a cocktail, it just doesn’t go to your head.

That would be the study part, I didn’t even mention the fortnightly ward leavings, the case taking, the clinics, the classes, the peer pressure, parental pressure, the short attendance… and the list goes on…

But that’s nothing to worry, everyone goes through that. So can you… RIGHT?

Once and for all…. its over!!!

…an X-ray on Bladder stone, a specimen of bladder stone, a right angled clamp, autoclaving, hernioplasty, fibula, the austin moore hip prosthesis and I was done!!! That was the final 20 mins of my last exam (fingers crossed). And what a relief it is. I came out of the surgery seminar room at about 5 and didnt realise what just happened. This is what I have been waiting for not just for the last few months, but for the last 4 years, maybe longer.

After I sat for the Peads theory exam on 3rd Dec (which didnt go so well), there was a huge gap before my practicals started. Most of us enjoyed the first 15 days as if the exams were over. But as 29th Dec came closer, I started feeling the heat rise.

First came Paediatrics, I was allotted the same case as 5 other. Why do you think should I go through the pain of taking the history and examining the child? I took a short history just in case, and copied the rest from a friend. The examiner wasnt that nice though, he would flip through topics like a girl would flip through a recipe book to figure out what to cook!! In the end, it didnt even feel that I was done with Paediatrics.

Obs & Gynae was next on 2nd Jan. Me, Shashi, Swapnaja and a couple others took the case together. A Obs case couldnt have been easier! The examiner, instead of asking me about my case, which was IUGR, decided to go a different way. He asked me everything about placenta previa. But that went well. Overall, this exam was satisfactory. But still I couldnt feel the relief of finishing two of the four.

Next was the mighty medicine! Honestly, I was scared. We went in and I was allotted short cases… guess what… Psoriasis!!! I had read about it a month back and not in my wildest imagination expected not just me, but anyone to get that as a case. It was as if someone was teasing me. But that went well in the end. The long case was a good case of Pleural Effusion. It was an excellent case with great findings. But guess what… they didnt ask me anything about what I had found, or how did I elicit my findings. Every thing else went fine, but that was such a beautiful case!! Theres so much more that I could have told them. Anyway, this exam made me feel that I had done something. I was relieved!

Finally Surgery! Everything went simply great!! I was happy not just because I had done good, but because I had done it all!! Once and for all, I could say… its over!!