Issues Faced Typically by a Dental Student and the General Societal Issues of a Doctor.
The question to an apple of elder’s eyes was, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and I, an innocent, ignorant child would promptly and confidently answer, “Doctor!”. Not to forget the “awwws” and “ooohhs” that followed afterwards.
So, since childhood I had this aim to get enrolled in the best Dental College of the town. I studied hard and I succeeded as well.
When I came across the topic, I realized how should I describe the life of a doctor, and I decided to start from the very basic.
During my intermediate, I focused really hard on my studies since I knew how it wasn’t a piece of cake to get into the medical/dental college. I enrolled in the aptitude test prep centre as well and after the exams even, my life wasn’t at rest. I had to keep studying to gain the maximum marks along with the percentage to get to my goal. Whereas, my engineering friends chilled after the papers.
And, the day arrives, I pass the test and get into my dream university! *Laurels and applause* and I felt like I was on cloud 9!
As I preferred and aspired dentistry over medicine, the very first thing I used to hear constantly was, “Ah! Dentistry is much easier, no comparison to medicine, you don’t have to do a great deal”. So, all the medicine personnel are specially invited to read this article and know how “easy” it has been. No offence here please!
As my 1st year started, I started pondering on all the non related, pre medical years I wasted, nothing was in congruence with what I were being taught. Anyways, I started getting the grasp of the subjects, and that did not make any sense. I faced immense trouble with the human anatomy. Three giant sized books to be covered in a year! And your pain grows even more when your “difficult course MBBS pursuers” start it in their 2nd year and have two years for it.
So yes, “easily”, we did that in one year only. And every year you face such problems. But you have to acclimatize since you yourself chose this career for yourself.
3rd year had two subjects that were to be specifically dealt by the MBBS teachers and I just cannot express in words how brutally we were looked down upon by them once they got to know we were the BDS students studying , allegedly , “their” subjects. They were as confused as us on to which topics should they teach us and to how much extent, as according to them, we were not supposed to be learning those. I mean then sign a petition asking PM&DC to exclude these subjects from our course? Or just read the table of specification set by them.
Before I go any further I’d like to state that I’ve always loved my field and I do not have any regrets. I pursued it and I got it, I’m utterly grateful.
But, having stated that, 3rd year really made me hate my field, I felt so diminutive in front of the MBBS teachers. I could see how we had no reverence in front of them. How we were always their last priority. It was clearly uncalled for.
3rd year over and I were overwhelmed to have all dental subjects for the year and no more medical subjects. And I don’t mean to hint that they were easy. It took quite a lot of endeavor to gain the knowledge and practice the clinical skills, after all, we deal with the human too, and who is able to perceive pain and wanting the doctor to relieve it, just like our honorable contraries.
Another issue that drags along, is the amount of money that needs to be invested. One can surely not become a dentist in the current time given the sky high academic fee. Dentistry sure is an expensive course with all its high priced instruments and material that is needed to be purchased every year. Not to forget tons of books!
So you graduate, and start your house job and your dream of being remunerated is so not catered to your expectations! You receive the least amount for your services rendered.
You complete your house job and start searching for the job and Hola! Welcome to the real world. Saturation, enticement, nepotism, no consideration to merit and struggle awaits. But not to lose hope and keep trying is the motto! Sooner or later you will fit in somewhere (well your good luck counts in too).
This fairly covers the academic problems of a dental student.
Discussing, how does this dignified profession affect your communal life.
Well, responsibilities and difficulties come with any profession you choose. The question is , at the given time, what do you fancy? A renowned business man would not wager his biggest deal for a family function. And a doctor won’t risk his patient’s ailment for a jamboree which he believes will happen again too.
The difference is, a doctor is dealing with human lives! And a patient is solely depending on him. That is itself the biggest credit bestowed.
Now, choosing this field, came with a free prize of jeopardizing social provisions. But at this stage, I really feel, why do we grumble about it? We ourselves chose it knowing all the odds. The contentment that is received after curing a patient is priceless that none of your family members would comprehend. You will constantly be nagged for not being social and remote. But it’s only you who knows that your profession is the perfect definition of “different” that requires many sacrifices.
You will be missing out on the most awaited of the festivities, your family picnic, your mother’s birthday party, or your son’s sports day. But, on occasions you will be able to attend them too!
It’s the people around you who need to understand and it’s also upon you how to strike the balance.
One of the reasons for not choosing MBBS was emergency calls and anytime visits. I grew up seeing my mother doing so, but I don’t remember her not accompanying us on picnics, yes we had to come early though because of her clinic schedule. She sometimes couldn’t make breakfast for me and my brother, for school as she would be working nights, but she would give us the money with the instructions on what to buy. Yes, she couldn’t help me with my daily homework but she was attentive of my grades and my activities. Yes, she couldn’t attend my sports day but she would be the first one to welcome me home!
Yet, I didn’t choose MBBS, why? Simply because I’m not as great as my mother. My mother struck a beautiful balance between her professional and personal life. So, in the end, it’s all about how you deal with your profession. If you are sincere to it, you will find a way. If you’re not, complaints will keep hovering you.
Handle only what you think you can, don’t over burden yourselves. See what you want. Money and fame or a levelheaded amount that can let you and your family lead a peaceful life.
After all, being a doctor is the noblest of the profession, why label it as being a tyrant social life spoiler!
I faced some issues, and there may be others in the outlook, but it still doesn’t make me complaint about it. And as they say all’s well that ends well right?
About the author:
Ayesha Hanif is a dental graduate of 2011 from Dow University Of Health Sciences, Pakistan. She wants to pursue a career in teaching at the dental college. Her areas of interest include oral medicine, oral surgery and operative Dentistry. She can be reached at: [email protected]
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