For everyone who wishes to become a doctor in Pakistan
Medicine is considered to be one of the hardest professions. Nothing about medicine is easy. From the ratta of the syllabus to the hours you have to put in as a professional, everything takes a toll on anyone in this field.
Here’s a bunch of ways in which medicine is a relentless struggle:
1. You’re thrown straight into the deep end if you’re looking to become a doctor in Pakistan
The jump from Inter/A Levels to med school is immense. From the word go, you’re expected to memorize the text, build your own concepts and learn to cover a shit load of syllabus in a small amount of time.
2. The syllabus will kill you
If you thought A Levels/Inter was hard, wait till you get to med school. You expect it to be tougher, of course. But what you don’t completely expect is having to refer to 12 different books and memorize every word in order to score on the actual paper, which could question you about any and everything that you’ve learned.
3. Becoming a doctor in Pakistan means you have to teach a lot of things to yourself
The teachers may not always be great. In any case, your lectures will never be enough for you to fully understand the concept, which means you will always have to go back home teach yourself. Medicine is definitely a lot of self study.
4. Your social life plunges to an all-time low
Between the parhai and your frequent mental breakdowns, you can kiss your social life good-bye. (Unless you’re insanely good at juggling multiple aspects of your life at once.)
5. There is no concept of vacations for a doctor in Pakistan
Most med schools do not get summer vacations. In fact, that’s usually exam season. And winter? Yeah, also exam season. Basically you have exams all year round. Your life basically becomes one exam after the other with no space for recuperation. Chew on that.
6. Neend bhool jao
There’s always that one subject (looking at you, Anatomy) which will require you to chug red bulls and pull all nighters. After a while, you forget what 8 hours of sleep is and you’re pretty much grateful for what you get.
7. You can’t afford to fail if you want to ever be a doctor in Pakistan
If keeping up isn’t hard enough as it is, failing will set you back immensely. It’s extra load and pressure, your work piles up and if you fail your retakes, you’re at the risk of repeating an entire year. Whoever said that medicine main sirf pass hona hota hai clearly didn’t know how hard it is to even score a 50.
8. Your khaandaan will hit you up for consultations
It doesn’t matter if you just started and have no clue about what medicine even is – you WILL be asked all sorts of questions by your khaandaan. Prepare yourself to give multiple diagnoses, even if you have no idea what’s going on.
9. The pressure gets to you
Mental breakdowns are inevitable. At one point or another (or multiple points,) you will question why you joined med school and will curse your decision and anyone who pushed you towards it. Hota hai. It will pass (hopefully.)
10. The competition is insane
Every time you talk to someone, they’ll have covered topics you didn’t even know existed in your syllabus. People around you will deep dive and end up doing better, leaving you to question your intelligence and if you’re smart enough to be a part of med school. You always need to remember to compete against yourself instead of everyone else and aim higher than the last time. Maintain your sanity, you’re going to need it.
11. You don’t earn a lot in your initial years
You spend 5 years getting your degree, but you realize that to earn big bucks, you need to study a whole lot more. While your business and finance friends will already be earning a lot, you’ll be making a whole lot lesser.
12. It may not always be your choice
Pakistani parents tend to force their children into professions they may not like. It gets a lot harder when you know you don’t want to be a part of the struggle, but you have to follow through regardless.
13. People won’t empathize with your struggle
If you complain, or talk about your struggles, others tend to make it into a competition. They will tell you to stop whining or they’ll argue about how hard their field is as well. The fact is that medicine is an unforgiving profession that leaves its mark physically and mentally – and not many people understand this.
Medical students don’t have it easy, and it definitely doesn’t get any easier when they see their acquaintances or friends living it up during their spring/summer/winter breaks. Medicine takes copious amounts of ambition, coupled with determination and hard work. If you want to be a part of this uphill battle, just remember that the slope is steep and the journey will take years, but at the end of it, it’ll be worth it.
Cover Image via: thewell.northwell.edu