The Resignation



A year ago, I had cleared my post graduation. Added two more letters to my surname. The joy was doubled as I was officially beginning to share my life with my belle. I was stubborn, wanting to stand on two feet before bringing her into my life. So I fervently looked for a job opening. Unfortunate to not continue in my parent institute, I had to resort to plan B. Plan B was anything other than plan A. Joining a private scan center was a choice many of my seniors and professors questioned. Being a trainee is one thing, knowing I was always under the safe arm of the institution rendered a self belief that shielded me from the outer world. But coming here changed my approach and perspective.

It was a path I had to tread carefully being no doubt a dubious choice considering continued training was imperative to cement up the laden foundation. I moved on, I had to challenge myself.

doctor-cartoonI walked into a department, a far cry from the magnanimity and luxury of a tertiary care. Space between false doors were limiting. Number of faculty in each modality the bare necessity. I met two of my colleagues, who were already working independently. The MRI machine was the same I worked with, so I had a sense of comfort. The CT machine was one that I read about as I studied CT physics – A single slice machine.

I was sluggish with the ultrasounds as I started work, apparently the machine I sat on my first day was ‘the smaller one’ – the older generation machine to do the bulk of the routine scans, incapable of doppler and detailed scans. The average count on that machine prior to my arrival was 50 scan in 6-7 hours. I barely crunched 28 that day. I was exhausted. I had to make decisions. I had to do it on my own. All of a sudden all the confidence that I came with from my three years of training seem to spiral down.

69f5c519fbc392cfbcf7c9f15f282826I reached fifteen minutes earlier the next day. I tried to lift my speed. Soon I was back to the standard average case count. I was happy. Then I started challenging myself to do more, 50 became 55, 60. Then the typical wave of confidence built me up and threw me over the acceptable normal limits. I became nonchalant, I started pulling off errors thanks to my newly driven scanning speeds. It brought me back to being more sensitive with the workload and managing time appropriately.

The relentless night calls, reporting umpteen bike accidents and injuries, has made me oblivious to sleepless nights.

Working with a single slice CT was like cutting three limbs of mine and giving me just one to do everything. I felt handicapped. I felt like I was in the shoes of a generation way behind. I had to adjust. The outer world of physicians are still unaware of the advancement in technology, yet crippled by lack of finances to provision it in the peripheral healthcare. Protracting certain findings, improvising to new methods of diagnosis was a different experience all together, figuring out which artefacts were relevant.

443f9cd6d8b2c0fbcb58b0992e819084Exploring the world of 3D/4D fetal imaging – becoming a window for the mother to the baby, being a part of the journey of life is something I will always cherish. Documenting the moments of family loss are the most cringing moments ever.

It is always the team that makes the work enjoyable. I have been fortunate to have a very good rapport with the techs, nursing faculty, the management team. For the bulk of my stay we had a team of 3 radiologists (Priyank and Prasad), which made work roll by as smooth as ever. Special mention to Mary chechi without whose black tea/coffee I wouldn’t have survived day in day out!

As I googled formats to prepare my first resignation letter, I am very thankful to the management for keeping faith in me and availing my services. To serve humanity, makes life worth living.

The Next Chapter

Light showers, lovely breeze, twilight as the sun sets in. As I breathe in the fresh air, the mood is set to reflect. 24 hours ago, the news came in. 2 years had passed by. The journey was tough, depressing, disappointing and marred with failures; something I was unaccustomed to.

I was not the average kid. Being born left handed, the added burden of ‘left handed people are “smart” ‘ has persisted all throughout my last 25 years [here to stay!]. The ability to toy with arithmetic was in the lineage and no surprise Math turned out to be my favorite subject. Being ‘good at studies’ meant taking Science and Math in XI and XII; which is effectively the license to write both Medical and Engineering Entrance exams.

My III std. answer to my Class Teacher’s query: “What would you like to become Varun?” was “Pilot”. The irony though was I am shit scared of heights and could never sit through take off and landing without squeezing the hell out of the arm rests and calling all the Hindu Gods I could name!

Things changed as I hit XI and XII. Probably all the hoo haa of being in the top 10 in school plus the lack of any particular ambition in life lead to the usual thought process “There is no reason to not like either Medicine or Engg; Let’s write both and take whichever that happens!

My incidental admission to Manipal for Medicine was a boon in many ways. The place did a lot to let me develop as a person and the profession is tailor made for anyone who is glad to help someone out. The addition of “Dr.” in front of the name was a moment of great honor and pride. But the realization that this was just the beginning of a journey of a lifetime tends to hit you hard.

Immediately after graduation, the next short term target is Post Graduation. In the case of girls, of course, marriage tends to come more often than not in the way or ahead of it.

I have hardly ever failed in any exam of significance. But success was something that was agonizingly difficult to taste when it came to qualifying for post graduation entrance exams. The equation is simple -> Just too many people competing for a handful of seats.. aka the terrible rat race rerun in difficulty mode!

The last 12 months have been terrible, to say the least. I did not celebrate when I turned 25; there was no reason to for a year that went totally unregistered. But here I am now, a week away from restoring order to life, eager to move on, eager to brush away all the failures and disappointments. It’s time to smell success, cherish the moment a thankful patient smiles and do my part.

P.S: All my friends whom I have not contacted for a while, my heartfelt apologies. At times, it just felt right to shut myself out 🙂