It was July 17th 2013, I reported to Government Medical College Calicut. I had qualified for doing my MD in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation. The qualifying exam was the first official NEET Exam in India. I still remember going all the way to Mumbai, to write my exam. Mumbai is one hotsy totsy place, I must say!!

Opinions..

Well, I enquired about the scope of this field, & well this is what I heard...

"It's a boring speciality, only hemiplegic & paraplegic patients will be treated, by you.."( said a close friend, who was faced with opting for this speciality)

"It's a dry speciality, the only advantage being that it's not hectic.."( said a senior of mine)

"It's a wonderful speciality, & it's really satisfying..."( said a senior who was practising in the UK, after specialising in P.M & R)

Ok, so the opinions didn't coincide, & so I thought I'll join for the course & decide for myself based on my personal experience( I definitely didn't mind working for one more year to get a PG seat)..

First Day...

On 1st of August I reported for my first day of my PG course. After accepting my joining order, the Head of the Department, briefed all the new PGs about the department & how it functions. There were two units, with OPs on alternating days. The non OP days were days where ward rounds were taken in detail. The department also had special clinics, operating under it:-

1.) A Lifestyle disorder clinic

2.) Special child clinic

3.) Musculoskeletal USG

4.) Electrodiagnostics clinic

5.) Sports Medicine clinic

After sitting through the OP, till 1 pm, I had a quick lunch. Then I strolled through the ward, to see the kinda cases admitted. To my surprise there were all kinds of cases. Cases of spinal cord injury, hemiplegia, nerve injuries, cerebral palsy, post traumatic stiffness, parkinsonism, & more. I heard from my senior PGs, that in many cases, Quadriplegics were rehabiltated enough to walk, & be independent in life. The whole image of a patient with paralysed hands & feet, eventually shedding his bedridden life, & walking towards a better life got entrenched in my mind. I decided then & there that my future was beckoning me, & this was the way to go....

Lazy beginnings...

Well to begin with, I was not accustomed to reporting for duty at 8:15 am, & also had put on a lot of weight. So I let laziness conquer my spirit, & took things easy. The only hardwork I did in the first 5 months was an exercise regime called 'High Intensity Interval Training'(HIIT). This let me lose weight, & also made me tired. Though I was not working to my full capacity, I loved the fact that this was one of the best Medical specialities out there. I was organisedly harassed by senior doctors, so though I didn't trust too many people, I still enjoyed the days going by...

Labour of love...

Eventually I got into the groove, & started working harder. I worked for longer hours, took more cases, attended to the OPD for longer hours. Thanks to the HIIT regime, I had lost excess wait & was much fitter, & more energetic. I loved the work I was doing, & hoped to amass more knowledge by working longer hours. My first presentation went smoothly, & was well received. I attended my first conference, presented my first paper. Everyday was more beautiful, & rewarding. I kept attending more conferences, & participating in educational programs by other departments as well( when my PG course ended, I had attended nearly 18 conferences!!). I learned how to rehabilitate all kindsa patients; how to prescribe orthotic devices; how to assess amputees, with new found zeal!! Well besides the academic work, I also participated in the college functions. After a gap of nearly 9 years, I got a chance to sing Oasis', Travis' & Bryan Adams' songs on stage. I loved that feeling, & judging by the reaction of the audience, they had a pretty good time too..(I eventually performed songs by Rammstein & John Denver in the coming years..)..I never felt this alive in all my life, & loved every single day of my PG life..

I became an official Physiatrist...

I passed the theory exams ( though I didn't score as much as I expected ) & also the practicals. On September 7th 2016, I convocated as an official Physiatrist. My soul was buoying up with hope & joy. The immense joy permaeted every corner of my existence, & lingered on for weeks to come...

The bottom line...

I'm a Physiatrist, & know that I can make a big difference in the lives of patients. I do know that being organisedly harassed, things could be turned against me, but hope will keep things going....

"Hope is a good thing, maybe the best thing & a good thing never dies.."-Stephen King...

 


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