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How I Dealt With A Subject I Hated.

By Pushkar Mahale.

If you think this article is just another “how-to’’ about studying then you're mistaken!

I'm writing this article to share my experience and narrate the events which changed my mind about Obstetrics and Gynecology in Final Year of my MBBS journey.
I never thought I'd be doing this at any point of time in my life. Thanks to my best friend, Sidney Palha I am able to share with you one of the best experiences in my medical life! I write this in the hope that my experience encourage those who are in a similar situation as I was, whilst motivating all those who may not be. Do share this with your friends and comment below. If you want to get notified about new posts click here. 

Let me start by telling you what my opinion about OBG used to be before my final year MBBS. From the time I was in my 3rd semester I hated this subject more than anything. I felt that reading Dutta and attending clinics is the most boring thing I ever did. I had an ‘I care a damn’ attitude about the subject!


Till 7th semester I was sailing through this subject like an un-anchored boat in calm waters. But as days went by, my incautious attitude towards OBG started to show, my attendance had hit an all time low, I knew my boat had started to sink! My situation was bad but luckily I somehow passed with grace marks; which I truly didn't deserve.

So, how did this attitude of mine turn around completely and how did I manage to like the subject and learn it; with so much of interest and enthusiasm that it became my favorite subject in final year? Well! Let me tell you.

It was the very first day of the posting.

Being the first day we all had eager minds and fresh lab coats. Everyone grouped outside the library at 10am sharp and, ready with our books (Dutta), we marched towards the OPD.

A typical scene ensues.

A consultant sitting nonchalantly, patients buzzing around her like bees to flower, and us entering boldly (final year after all, we've done this before)  but silently hoping to avoid a spontaneous viva (being the first day we didn't know much). Ma'am said to observe what she was doing and said she would take a short class after all the patients are done.

Recollecting those days while I read this makes me feel nostalgic; even though it was just a year ago! Either way, let me continue.

So, some of us stood, some sat on the bench while others discussed in groups. I was leaning by the wall holding the heavy Dutta in my hand and opened the topic ‘placenta previa’. As expected my mind said "this sucks". So I shut the book and started observing what Ma'am was doing.

I listened to what the patients’ complains and what she advised them.

As time passed, as usual, background conversations arose. "Did you know 46 people failed in obg last year?" Another one went like this, “Everything is in the hands of internals. So be good to them." Well, I was nodding and smiling when suddenly Ma'am pointed at me.

My heart stopped.

Did she think I said that? Did I say something that bothered her?

“You! Sit here." directing me towards the chair opposite her.   
“It's okay Ma’am, Thank you" I said, smiling, only realising my folly when she replied in a serious tone "Sit down! I want to discuss something". I took the seat obediently.


If the end game was to be in their ‘good-books’ I was off to a bad start.

On the stool next to me there was a middle aged lady, decently dressed, clutching her purse in one hand and files in another. Ma'am turned her attention towards her and asked her her complaints. ‘Mhainyachi palli chad zata’, she said. (She had menorrhagia). I was confused now as Ma'am turned a blind eye to me.

What did Ma'am want to ‘discuss’ with me?


Ma'am started asking her a detailed history and after each question she asked, she told me to reason out why she had asked it. I had no idea what some questions meant so most of the time she explained the answer herself. She wrote down the history on her case paper. While she got busy with that, I paused and looked around. My friends were staring at me with slight concern for me, but major concern that they'll be put in the hot seat next. I saw a few friends foraging the textbook trying to find answers like a medico before entering the examination hall. I thought it was over. Was it?

Suddenly, Ma'am looks up from her writing, and says calmly. “Go and examine the patient.’’

We direct her to the examination room. With Ma'am standing vigilantly I examined the patient to the best of my ability and tried to come to a diagnosis. I narrated all the positive findings to Ma'am. I felt like a detective examining a crime scene. As I made observations I tried to connect them with the others and also with all the knowledge I gained from theory lectures. I was both nervous as well as excited. I could feel the adrenaline rush through my body!

Next Ma'am examined the patient. She repeated all the key findings, explained to me the procedure and told me all the things I missed. I felt like Dr. Watson after Sherlock amazes him with the subtle clues he detects. I gathered all my knowledge of OBG and tried my best to make sense of everything. Finally we came to a diagnosis.

It was a case of fibroid uterus.


After that moment I felt very different. A sudden wave of interest and enthusiasm spread across my mind and I felt the whole process of history, examination and diagnosis was real fun.

We were back to the consultant’s desk, I had that smile that one gets when they have done something for the first time, successfully! My friends started asking me about what happened and why am I smiling so much. I told them that I diagnosed (with Ma'am’s guidance of course) a case. It was all hurrah for a while, but it was not over yet.

"How will you manage this patient?"

I was very nervous and did not know what to say.

"Remove the fibroid, Ma'am" I uttered.


Ma’am smiled and said, "Go back and read!"
Well! That OPD was done for me with few abbreviations which ma'am wrote at the end of case paper. It went like this, ‘TAH with BSO’.

I didn't have any idea what that was!

Returning back to the library my mind was filled with lot of questions and the experience of doing a complete examination for the first time. The impact of those three hours in OPD was so much that I was eager to read about the case and how to manage it.


That evening in the reading room I went through the  whole topic of fibroid uterus in detail, correlating it with what took place in the OPD i.e. the patient presentation, history taking, examination and management. After that, I had a fair idea about the topic and was pleased with this method of learning, knowing that I will not easily forget what I have learnt.

From the above incident I understood how I can make my mind work willingly towards OBG without making it too stressful for me to study. I followed the same trail for the  rest of my posting.

I would read about a topic and made sure I took history, examination and correlated my findings with the actual diagnoses. For theory, I started reading the important topics one day prior and connected all the dots the next day during theory lecture.

By the end of the posting I found myself starting to like the subject as much as I liked medicine. For me it became a topic of discussion, at any time of the day, without any hesitation.

I learnt the following lesson, that no matter how much you hate something, if you can't get around it and have no other way then to go through it, then you can change your outlook towards it.

Learn to love it.

Give it a try, look at it from a different perspective, ponder about and understand it. Doing so will add value to something seemingly meaningless.

Well, this was one good thing that happened to me in MBBS and I'm fortunate that in a busy OPD, with restless patients and busy doctors, Ma'am took the time to help me learn, igniting in my mind a spark of interest that didn't die out easily. My aimless boat finally picked up speed, and more importantly, direction!

So my ultimate advice to all would be to keep an open mind. Wait for your chance to conquer the mountain ahead. In the midst of difficulty, there lies opportunity, and when life opens the door slightly, grab that opportunity!

If you don't like something change it, if you can't change it then change your attitude.

There is always scope for improvement at anything that's hard!

I had put in a lot of hard work over 2 and a half months. Would my hard work really pay off on the day of the viva? I was anxious.

To be continued...


Comments

  1. You shared your experience in such a garnished manner. Buttery smooth. Motivational to say the very least about how the subject you hate could become the subject you love just because of interest taken by 'Madam'! True to the point. A little bit of guidance and interest can make mountains move. Hats off to your shared experience and hope to see the 'to be continued' part in the 'so very near ' future!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pushkar Mahale19 May 2019 at 06:37

      Thank you so much for the review. It is such a pleasure to help others who are in a situation I was in. Yes, stay tuned for the next part. All the very best to you!

      Delete
  2. Thanks pushkar.. very nicely expressed ... Shall follow ..

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    Replies
    1. Pushkar Mahale19 May 2019 at 07:21

      Welcome. Yes, do follow by clicking on ‘to be continued’

      Delete
  3. Well said by you... Very much inspired....

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    Replies
    1. Pushkar Mahale19 May 2019 at 07:23

      Thank you very much. I shared this experience to inspire others and to let them know that it can be done. Glad to read your comment.

      Delete
  4. Well said..i strongly believe it...in the midst of difficulties there is opportunity...

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    Replies
    1. Pushkar Mahale30 May 2019 at 11:10

      Thank you so much, and yes, we all should believe in the same.

      Delete
  5. Class motivation... Looking forward for more tips.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Do check out the other articles and share them with your friends :)

      Delete
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  7. I used to do 2 things when I was doing my MD degree first measure is don't simply stress your mind by a thought making those subjects stuff, Second measure is to try to learn less and set a goal off passing with only 70 % of marks in that subject and prepare accordingly to it and try to understand the topics very clearly and confidently. Well, if anyone is looking for top-rated medical college with the best campus life you can join all saints university SVG. The student facilities are one of the core components of the medical profession. The Caribbean International Medical University provides the student with all campus facilities as its campus structure 40,000 square feet of space.

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