On a cold February night as I opened the book of my most dreaded subject, anatomy, it hit me like a truck that this was not even close to the best of my nightmares.
The plummet from being a hero to clear AIPMT to the real struggle with anatomy was magnanimous. But this turned out to be a blessing in disguise for me. I pushed myself beyond my limits and poured every ounce of my hard work into it, the nights I spent honing my knowledge and skills opened gates to a completely new realm and direction. Coming out of it made me truly realize that a diamond is indeed a rock shining through the toughest of the times.
I think doctors live and work closest to the boundaries of life and death. Sufferings were a dime a dozen during hospital postings, but I felt the triumph of technology for the first time when I saw someone back on his feet crushing spinal nerve compression diagnosed through a simple MRI. The notion of ‘popular science’ doesn’t even come close to describing this achievement.
During long discussions in med school when everyone talked about specialties, I always found myself to be explicitly odd. I wanted to touch every aspect of a patient suffering. Paraphrasing Sydney Sontag from ‘Illness as a metaphor’, it’s not the patient but the suffering of the patient that degrades.
Radiodiagnosis gives you a cutting edge. There is a sea of possibilities for a radiologist when no one from other specialty seems to see any. That is the exact sweet spot where I want to have a knack for.
The grueling pre-medical preparation made me transform into a fanatic individual focussed on delivering value and endeavor my target to the highest possible manner. I could put myself into this intellectually challenging domain because of this aforementioned non- diminishing quality. In the world of monotonous medicine, a radiologist comes across more challenging cases in a day than any other specialist sees in a week or even in a month. The diversity of this field is so addictive and enchanting that you can be an as efficient radiologist in your 60’s as you were in 30’s with experience as icing on the cake.
Wrapping up my thoughts on the subject, I would like to put forth a question that very often crosses my mind – COULD YOU STAKE YOUR SELF-WORTH AND REPUTATION ON ONE SINGLE DECISION?
To make things simpler. Yes!! I am the one who can be as decisive and efficient as the situation demands no matter times pressures or the high stakes I’m involved in. This, for me, defines a radiologist more than any job description.