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Just Like That

conversing with myself




Skipped Back 10

May 15th, 2006


I have got 69.11% in the exams i had previously written about.Lovely marks,I am happy and I am still patting my own back for consistency.It has taken a lot to do this.Unlike all years,I am not going about giving sweets to the staff of departments I passed out of.No work,no respect.Colossal waste of hard earned money on professors who prefer to rest thier ass on cushions rather than teach sincerely.No,teachers are not gods,they are paid professionals... and no,respect is not unconditional.When education can become consumerist,we can happily push down teachers from heights of godliness.So,I take all the credit for my own success..along with my family.
My newest fascination has been subject of general surgery.One thing to be learnt from surgeons is precision in whatever they do.Even thier normal conversation is sooo cut throat precise.I am head over heels for surgery!I love the cut and dry attitude the subject imparts.
It appears amazingly mathematical and logical to a novice like me.You know it or you don't.There is nothing inbetween...there are no ifs and buts.By the way,I managed to like an Indian book,Textbook of surgery by S.K.Das even after trying out the legendary Bailey and Love.Das does have hideous mistakes.For eg.,Das says hereditary spherocytosis is caused by sodium channel defect...It is actually caused by ankyrin-spectrin gene defect disturbing RBC cytoskeleton.Many more mistakes,but Dr.Das still has done a good job.Both clinical surgery manual and text book by Das are very comprehensive.Bailey and Love on the other hand is an amazing entertainer.Both books adorn my shelf.How much of both I will master,only time will tell!

April 28th, 2006

Best part of the exam was this Tamil ophthalmology examiner.He told me to take a seat and looked carefully at my viva marks sheet.He looked up and asked,"You signed in karnatakaa?" and grinned at me.
He was referring to my kannada signature.I wanted to say,"No sir,I signed it in nayi dilli"....But he was the examiner,a forced obedience prevailed and I smiled.He went on to say,"Good,very good" and continued to look at my signature for a short while.
Then there was this short,bald but amazingly smart ENT guy.Middle aged,dressed in white shirt,white and black checks pant(This actually looked grey from a distance,I was very keenly observing him though!)and a very lovable red tie,neatly polished black shoes.Above all,he was incisive.I love incisive people.My case was 14 yr boy,chronic parenchymatous tonsillitis,from 4 months.He asked me my choice of investigations.I replied,
"Sir,Except culture and sensitivity,I would say it is a clinical diagnosis".He told me,"You are from Bangalore.To survive(to extract more money),you need to do more than that,lady!".His late question was,
"Which tonsillitis surgery do you think is best?".I confidently answered,"Laser,sir".He gave me a I-knew-it kinda smile and said,"Naturally,u are from Bangalore,you wanna make more money by doing a laser surgery,alva? haa haa haaa"The other examiner,a handsome St.johns guy sat there,just smiling at me.When I did not remember the eponymous forceps,he remarked,"Today is the last day of the exam,is it not?You are already in bangalore.hahaha,It is okay.Answer this...What are the emergencies in ENT?".I started off...epistaxis,juvenile papillomatosis,forien bodies,epiglottitis...Both of them looked pleased.Both the examiners smiled and wished me good luck!I walked out contented:-)

April 27th, 2006


Practicals are the best form of entertainment in the exam category.Strange and refreshingly new set of faces interview students.My motto for practical exam is to remain confident and cheerful,no matter what I did the previous day.Winning over a external examiner calls for year round dedicated learning,not blind cramming the day before.Believe me,boldness is better than plain brilliance.
Community medicine was definitely entertaining.I got a case of leprosy,cured with residual deformities like foot drop and classic claw hand.I took on the job of giving health edu to the patient.Arduous task, this translation stuff.I used words 'keetaanu' and 'sookshmaanu' for lepra bacilli.The patient somehow thought it sounded similar to 'nona',meaning a fly in kannada.I desperately tried not to laugh,I tried explaining all over again.I ultimately managed to convince the patient that it is a bacterial disease and not a curse for his 'paap'or sins as it is believed.The well built,eagle eyed Tamil examiner had me present the case and appeared satisfied.Afternoon viva had a lady from BMC,dressed very stylishly.I sat in front of her for the viva but could not take my eyes off her purple glittering lipstick.I was soo kinda shocked by the color that I asked her to repeat her question all over again."Could you explain the evolution of concept of health over ages?"....
There were questions on bird flu too.I was too glad to finish the exam.

April 26th, 2006


Medicine is my God.It is above all people,relationships,marks,exams,money,fame to me.All sundays,all weekends are liable to sacrifice if anything catches my attention.
That is what happened this time.I am posted in orthopaedics now.Naturally,it is full of anatomy.I took the daunting challenge of studying Gray's anatomy.It is an intimidatingly huge book,weighing about 6 kg.
It requires mental and obvious physical effort to pull it out of the rack.All that effort is worth coz nothing can beat a 'GRAY'S' experience.No anatomy text is soo fascinatingly beautiful.It is the bible of human structure.Flipping through it's pages is like enlightenment.It is the most elevating experience for a med student.It does what no other text does,it answers the hows and whys of anatomy.When a mediocre book says elbow is a hinge joint,Gray's tells you there cannot be any perfect hinges in biological settings.The mechanics of joint movement is mind blowing.Infact,it has a special name-KINESIOLOGY.
I picked up an argument with a lecturer that circumduction is possible at wrist joint even though it is not ball and socket type.This is a very unconventional argument.I can definitely prove myself right,but carrying 6kg Gray's all the way to hospital is beyond my physical abilities.(Hmmm,I am actually planning to do it,but I am scared that my biceps will come out of the skin,crying).It feels great to pick up academic arguments with teachers regularly and it takes excellent PR skills not to offend them in any way.My life is soo much fun,I probably starting to love a 'geeky'myself!(I do not think I will have anything other than studies in my life for the next one year.My journal will be full of technical entries,I feel.)


My first attempt at teaching has been very successful.The OPD was soo full that the professor or the lecturer were not even wiping thier brow.Hmm..Fetal head,maternal pelvis were in my friend's bag.We had to beg for it and reassure that we would return it safely to the department.Alas,there was no one to teach.Some knew I had already studied the topic in detail.I had done it all with imagination,not with actual bones.On request I decided that I would teach the normal labour to 20 of my classmates in a dimly lit examination room in government hospital OPD.To my own surprise,I was able to do it with perfect ease,even though it was my first time with actual bones.Fetal positions in relation to maternal pelvis, stages of labour and why they happen the way they do,almost the whole chapter flowed from me soo well.I am surprised at myself!I had ofcorse made my own illustrations independant of the text book for a 3D understanding of anatomy in labour.My friends liked them very much.My 5 hours of hard work to get a conceptual understanding has paid me well.Considering I have studied OBG seriously for only 15 days,I deserve a pat on my back from myself.I am my own critic.It is difficult not to take all that peer appreciation seriously.I have to confess,I am extremely flattered.I am yet to study abnormal situations in labour.
I made some of my friends hold the bones and demonstrate the whole process to me after I finished.Even some uninterested boys could do it.Not bad at all,I thought.I found my calling.
I want to teach medicine in never before seen novel ways,atleast for a few years of my life.

April 16th, 2006

I am dyslexic!

I found I am dyslexic after I started writing on LJ.I always interchange letters to find them in red on spellcheck.Being and bieng,fruit and friut,thier and their...soo many more.I find myself confidently typing away wrong spellings.Now I know why journals are a way to knowing yourself!
Summer time!Heavy duty sunscreens,umbrella are all-day companions to an otherwise lonely walker.My eyes pop out with excitement on sighting a heavily fruit laden mango tree.Mango andre hannu alla,ginimooti maavu.Uppu-khaara in summer is like oxygen in emergency rooms,it is indispensable.We drown our blues in the celestial sour mango,sliced in a hurry.News papers are spread on the carpet,with 5-6 large mangoes sacrificed and flanked by the heavenly uppu-khaara...Hmm..Surrounded by us like a gang of voodoo practitioners.As if by magic,mango slices disappear into thin air in no time.Cycle continues,we climb down the stair and pluck more of them and devour like we are the janam janam ka bhooka type.Ofcourse,guava acompanies mangoes frequently.Those believing in abilities of mango to cause sore-throat eat guava(I do not get the logic,though!).All of us mango fans believe that eating spoonfulls of sugar after the kaccha aam keeps sore throat away.
Not to forget the 'MINAKE HANNU PARTY'.Minake is also called tarbooja.It is a white-cream-yellow, insipid fruit with ragged surface.It is cut into two hemispheres and sugar added directly to the fruit.It is held like a cup and eaten by scraping the friut with a spoon,leaving just the outer covering in the end.We compete to make the remaining cover as transparent as possible.In the absence of tarbooj,oranges and grapes are handy.I love to have people happily spending time in my room,so I am one of the chief organisers of these 'fruit parties'.
Cucumbers too appear on my table.Watermelons,tender coconut water just outside the campus,sugar cane juice
near the govt. hospital...delightfully orange coloured PARANGI(papaya)...I am not at all complaining about the summer heat or obligation to sunscreens.What is life without simple gastronomic delights!!!!

(no subject)

Off late,I have been wondering if my life has anything except medicine.It is kind of like suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder,only it is not soo distressing.It is kind of like falling truly,madly deeply in love with someone.You just cannot stop recurrent thoughts about that person.Studying medicine has metastasised into every part of my being like an aggressive non-curable cancer.My conversations with myself involve mostly medicine.Whatever we are,is defined by the quality of our inner life.I have done pretty much nothing in recent times which is not related to academics.I am afraid I will be a dimensionless, colourless,lifeless doctor like most others are.I dread being extremely studious.Being cut throat intelligent is very cool though!It is literally impossible to keep ahead of others(let alone others,
try beating your own past records!Phew!) without serious obsession with medicine,regardless of the IQ.
I am desperate to read something nice.

I want to teach medicine

If there is any thing I really want to do before I die,it is to teach...to teach with passion topped with dedication.
I want to teach larynx anatomy with hand made models which can be separated and put together again.
I want to learn plastination techniques for anatomy specimens.
I want to connect young minds to the hearts of patients.
I want to teach pathology for the marvels of disease.
I want to show the joys of learning for it's own sake,not for marks.
I want to teach biochemistry to show that we are more than just chemicals.
I want to teach obstetrics,new lives bring new hope.
I want to teach Gynaecology,I am very proud to be a woman.
I want to teach medical etymology...to see the beauty of language in medicine.
I want to teach medical art,there is no science without a hint of art.
...To teach is to learn
...To learn is to LOVE
...To love is to live

April 14th, 2006

Heard one of my class mates saying after the community medicine practical exam..."How ridiculous!Bird flu is not in the syllabus!It is not even given in Park and Park.They can't ask such questions in viva voce!!".(Park and park is the text for community medicine.the latest edition was published in 2004.Obviously it will not have Bird Flu as a chapter!!!It does have SARS though).Hmmmm.....If we fill more seats with management and quota candidates,this is gonna happen more frequently.Govindaaaaaa Govindaaaaaa...
Even if you are of average intelligence,it is hard to accept such people as colleagues.Some are obnoxiously dumb....I mean,I stay away from them as I do from rabid dogs.Having read every published report,every relevant website,having seen every TV programme relating to bird flu as a part of my preparation,actually having internalized a world map with bird flu affected areas,I feel sad that people are soo marks oriented.I feel it is our responsibility to know all current issues and trends in medicine.Any person who can memorize donkey loads of info can be a topper in med.Toppers in my class are soo insipid personally.people study stuff only because of marks.I do not know where all the curiosity has gone.Conceptual understanding is almost nil,sometimes.Anyway,it is always possible to reproduce exact lines from the text,irrespective of depth of understanding.People who can never explain logically the steps of normal labour can get distinction in OBG....they know mnemonics,u see!mnemonic needs 5 mins maximum,whereas complete understanding and actual simulation of fetal position in the womb will take almost five hours for a novice.My usual methods of study suddenly appear novel to myself and naturally,I am regarded as a good teacher by others.I do not know where the failure lies...students?Teaching methods?I do not know...but I do feel sad about all this.
If you are sick,please check out the doctor's credentials before consultation.....
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