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By Dr GB Rajan

Medical Graduation. Reality Awaits!

Focusing on an unenviable curriculum for five and half years and graduating on time, it is a really big deal in itself. However, for a fresh medical graduate, it’s just the beginning of a new timeline.

It slowly dawns on us that childhood friends are likely to be fewer in number than the average. In any case they are most likely to have either started earning a livelihood or have gone for higher studies. A medico losing of track of near and dear ones due to professional commitments is quite common.

You have always worked hard to achieve academic excellence in high school making your teachers and parents proud. And now after medical school, it’s quite natural to face the often repeated question - “What speciality are you going to pursue?” Its daunting, especially for those who come from economically humble backgrounds.

The road ahead is one of a dilemma. To start a general practice, take up a job of a resident or opt for specialist training. Most of us would have tried one or many these option before settling. Only a govt job makes all of the three possible.

Most would have taken up a job as a resident to buy time or taste money for the first time. The average monthly salary for young medical graduate is INR 30,000/- and INR 10,000/- for a Dental Graduate. The aura of graduate school life fades away slowly. Uncertainty stares at you. Panic strikes and confusion reigns.

A few would have determined to go abroad for higher studies and settle, an expensive uncertain affair anyway. Some of the practical ones start general practice as a safe bet. A truth that most would agree is that very few by choice try not to pursue higher speciality training.

Internship, the hands on learning period of one full year in medicine, is a memorable eye opener. It’s the best and exciting time of a graduate. A minuscule percentage crack the tough postgraduate entrance examinations immediately after internship, that too unlikely in the area their favourite speciality.

Each year, for every four fresh graduates passing out, there is only one post graduate seat vacancy. Studying hard for years, eventually only one in 1 in 5 will make it. Most make it only after a gap of 1-4 years.

But then, there is always that special someone, who has inspired us in one or another higher specialities.

Coming Next…..The passion of specialist training!