The Start Begins

Or The Beginning Starts- take it whichever way you’d like- I think both sound pretty much the same.

This is the first official post of the Lunar Descent. Everything before this were archived posts that I’ve shifted over from the emo wolverine writes (old book reviews and that one blog series I wrote from the depths of my heart and soul).

So who am I and what exactly am I trying to accomplish here? (I wrote a whole About page but hey, repetition is catchy) Basically, I’m here to tell you guys how my studying as a future doctor is going at Shifa College of Medicine. I find accounts like these really fascinating and since I’d be experiencing it first hand, what better than to pass it on to other people who would love to experience it too?

I’ll describe myself more fully later on.

Med school newbies are inducted into the medical field by what is called a “White Coat Ceremony”. Let me be brutally honest here- I was expecting much more out of the “Orientation and White Coat Ceremony” that was held on the Sunday of this week. I mean, I can’t explain it, but I thought it would be… a bit more pompous and official looking. Nevertheless it was pretty nice. It started with a speech by some teachers and faculty followed by the students being asked to stand up and wear the coats before repeating the oath of medical ethics after the teacher. There was a group photo taken of the first years- about 100 in total.

First day was on Monday.

So far, it’s going pretty good. A little boring- since everyone is talking about how they’re going to teach us, the teaching methodology, the module system, the this, the that. Basically, the module system is where instead of reading things in order from the book separately, we’re going to do an entire system and study it from the biochemistry/anatomy/physiology point of view together. That way, everything you read is directly linked to each other and that makes studying it either. Apart from that, everything is going to be clinically oriented with problem based learning- the objective of all your learning is to apply it on a patient so they’re going to try inculcating that right from the beginning.

Last, but not least, we’re supposed to be doing research in these five years. They’ll have this start right from first year and by the time we have an MBBS degree, we are supposed to have a research article published in a medical journal (how cool is that). I’m a little excited about this bit!

The college also has five societies operating. I can’t remember their names exactly, but one is a Student Society, one deals with Blood Donation, the other is Social Welfare, there’s one for Debating and then comes Sports. They all sound really nice- I’ve already registered for the social welfare society. I don’t think I’ll be able to donate blood though (you have to be 50kg for that and I don’t think I come near that yet- I am not exaggerating) and debating/sports isn’t exactly my thing.

We even had a tour of the campus and the hospital. We didn’t get to see all of the hospital, but we definitely covered most of the college- including the museums and the skill labs which have their real stuff put on display- like embryos and fetuses and this adult size leg and arms and brains and all that kind of stuff. They look REALLY realistic- in the glass jars with the jelly/water- so I’m pretty sure they’re real. Oh, and there was this big steel door in the lab and I think it was the dead body storage because there was a log outside for recording temperature (around 10 degrees Centigrade) and it was labelled something like “Morticiary”. (Apparently that’s not a word…? Maybe I read it wrong).

Oh- and guess what? We don’t get to dissect dead people. One of the teachers explained that it’s been proven that dissecting dead bodies is absolutely useless and doesn’t aid you at all in learning. So that’s why, we don’t get to do that. You can imagine how upset the students got.

Anyway, things are going pretty smoothly. There’s supposed to be a book fair going on so we can buy the things we need. I can’t wait to actually start studying- even though people are like “it’s going to be real tough!” but hey, I’ve been ready for this for SIX WHOLE MONTHS.

So this was today’s rambling. Here are some common questions I was asked so far.

Are you having fun?
Well, not really because we’re just listening to lectures that are 2 hours long but could just as easily be cut down to 30 minutes if you just want to hit the nail on the head. Oh, and the lecturers are like “I have an hour to kill, so let’s talk about this now!”

Did you make any friends?
Not exactly- there’s just too many people and it’s so loud and I can’t hear what the other person is saying- plus there’s not exactly any place to hang out in the premises. You’re expected to stand most of the time. Since the medical students have their breaks at the same time, there’s a lot of rush and crowding. It doesn’t help that I’m a little anti-social and can’t make myself heard (or even be able to hear anyone in that noise).

How are your classes going?
Boring so far. Haven’t done anything remotely exciting yet.

And this is a wrap up of the “Beginning of the Start”. Apparently, this week is just going to be nice and easy since it’s the first week. Our seniors have been organizing events for us too- like a bakesale, movie night, sports day and scavenger hunt. Let’s see how the rest of the week goes…


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