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Pursuing Medicine in Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities

Submitted by on September 11, 2013 – 7:10 PM

tumblr_m839jxwimG1qmsda8o1_500We live in Pakistani Society. This is a very complicated term or perhaps this society is formed by a variety of highly-opinionated people. When it comes to science, they regard it as highly prestigious. And, definitely it should be regarded in a highly reputable manner because saving someone’s life is one of the greatest achievements that one can obtain.

But to attain this level, there are challenges and hurdles to subdue. Students who want to pursue the Medical field should get high scores in Intermediate and CIE exams to enter a reputable Medical school. This is the beginning of challenges. High scores, conceptual studies, hectic schedule, giving studies the foremost priority are the challenges for a Medical student.

Studying hard doesn’t really matter, but studying smart does. Attention to detail is required. Stress will sometimes haunt you, frighten you, will make you forget your sleep pattern. The challenge is to complete the bulk of study within a short span of time.

For students, getting admission into a reputable Medical school is a difficult task too. In Pakistan, we have Government sector Universities which are reputable and cost a bit less than Private sector Universities. Comparing with Medical Schools that are situated abroad, these Universities cost much less. Money is also a hurdle in pursuing a Medical degree.

According to Pakistan Medical and Dental Council (PMDC), there are 38 Medical Universities in Public Sector and 52 in Private Sector which makes it a total of 90 Medical Universities in Pakistan. The number of Medical schools in Pakistan as compared to the ever increasing demand for top quality medical education is insufficient. Definitely this gives students a tough competition in entry exam. Approximately an average of 4000 people in urban population apply for 300-500 vacant seats in a Medical school.

This is a hard-bitten competition. Of course, there is immense workload on medical students and practising physicians. Mesmerizing yourself with lots of medical knowledge and having an attitude of empathy towards patients will eventually help one to become a good doctor. Also, important is learning how to respond to patients’ queries, documenting medical history and interviewing patients.

Developing doctor-patient relationship is one of the challenges faced by Medical students. Medical students after completing five years of undergraduate education either apply for Post-graduation in Pakistan or go abroad. The latter applies for USMLE or PLAB. Of course there is no shortcut in succeeding in medical field without bucket-loads of study and hard work.

In today’s time, Pakistan is facing many problems. Many people leaving Pakistan for good include medical students too. Getting a dream job is difficult anywhere in the world. Simply taking up a common notion that leaving Pakistan can make you earn a lot of money in a short time is nothing but a big delusion.

Some medical students go through training programs and electives and apply for residency abroad. These provide learning experience and enhance their practising skills in international environment. There is great cultural diversity abroad. Students increase their cultural understanding which helps them in their career no matter where they will practise afterwards.

They also develop a knack for being inventive and creative in terms of understanding patients’ perception. So, in the end it can be said medical is a diverse field. This is a period of globalization, new methodologies and technologies are available. It’s high time to make perfect use of new techniques to overcome the challenges in the Medical field.

About the Author: Butool Fatima is  a student of 2nd year MBBS at Sindh Medical College, Pakistan. She can be reached at [email protected]

About this article: This article is competing for the JPMS International Medical Writing Contest 2013

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