This testimonial first appeared in the second edition of the Ziauddin University Atlas.
BY: DR DAANEYAL J. DILAWAR, M.B.B.S., BATCH XVII
It`s 2:48 a.m. At this time of the night, people are usually sleeping, chilling with their friends or watching their favorite television shows. Not a lot you can do at this particular hour, right? Wrong. Take me, for example. I am currently sitting in the doctor’s room, finishing a cup of coffee and trying to memorize the steps of a laparoscopic splenectomy. Any second now, the radiology department would be calling us, confirming that the patient indeed has a grade 3 spleen rupture and we’ll be rushing upstairs to the OT where our surgery team will be performing the above-mentioned procedure. An episode from Grey`s Anatomy? Nah. This is what it is like to be final year medical student.
I still remember my first day as a medical student in Ziauddin University. We were all so hyped up about the fact that we were finally starting our training to be doctors. It’s a pretty different feeling, knowing that you are no more just a college student but an M.B.B.S. student. I remember distinctly how excited everyone was on the first day – you could just feel it in the air! Let me tell you one little secret; this feeling I am talking about? You will never get this again.
Days progressed; we started getting accustomed to our new home and our new colleagues with whom we’d be spending the next five years together. The excitement died down a little bit; we realized we wouldn’t be saving lives or performing surgeries for a really long time! Instead, we would be getting up early, racing to school to ensure we got our morning attendance sorted out and then sitting through hours and hours of lectures. Luckily, we made new friends and started bonding. Our first year wasn’t that bad since we were all new to the setting and our excitement trumped everything. From those early morning Boatbasin nashtas to those “dhabay ki chais” in the evening, we were living the Pakistani-med-student life.
Time passed and we started progressing . While our friendships became stronger, our courses became harder. By the time we entered third year, we knew exactly why those cool kids in A’ Levels decided to take up commerce. The things our relatives used to say about how tough medical schools are, started making so much more sense! But somehow, our motivation and our parents’ prayers got us through that time. I remember as if it was only yesterday when we had our T-half and how proud all of us were to be done with half of med school. It’s an achievement unlike any other! Fourth year started and our campus changed from Clifton to Kemari. Doesn’t sound like a big deal but to us, it was. We realized how those boring long lectures that we used to sleep through were finally over. We were now in our actual clinical training. Our consultants expected us to know everything we were taught earlier and it became clear to us that the days of being spoon fed were in the past. Between all those long hours in the hospital , taking histories from patients and taking their vitals and presenting them to the consultants (and getting yelled at for missing things out), I would be lying if I said I didn’t miss our first three years.
Just a few months back we started our fifth year. It has a strange tone to it, fifth year! At least, to us medical students. Even though it proves that yes, we were strong enough to survive med school, it also makes us realize that this is it. This year is going to be the last year for us to be called medical students. After this, we’ll be called doctors – something we have been waiting for our whole lives.
These past five years have been the most important ones of our lives. While we found friends who we can be certain will be there with us throughout our lives, we also lost some of them. There were a lot of happy moments throughout but there were also tragic times. The most important thing is that we survived. We stuck through thick and thin and we managed to come out of it alive and with our heads held up high. Our time in Ziauddin taught us that life isn’t easy. It will come at you from places you never expected but that you have to stay strong and face it, with guns (or stethoscopes) blazing. Everything in life is temporary and it all passes. What matters at the end of the day is how YOU faced it, how you were there for people who needed you and how your existence made an impact on the lives of others. Before I leave for the O.T., I would just like to end this by saying how each and every one of you guys mean so much to me. We have had our ups and downs but I like to think of us all as one family. And no matter what, you do anything for your family.
Batch XVII, you guys are the best. All of you have the potential to touch the sky. Greatness awaits you all!
Lots of love,
About the author: A carefree soul and traveller, always hungry for more. Proud and unapologetically Pakistani.