Scheduled for my Medical License Interview with the Ministry of Health, Kuwait tomorrow. Having been already a part of the system, I just need to document my new experience with the officials. Looking forward to getting one set of paperwork through in that manner.
Next two weeks are crucial to my process of settling down in Kuwait as I rack up the furniture at home and setup things. Still awaiting my first paycheck and for the identity card that will be required for me to do all my work in Kuwait.
The cold wave seems to have returned this week with nights seeing again single digit temperatures. Perks of being in Jahra – you get the maximal experience of the weather mood swings!
I received the break up scores of my performance in the FRCR Part A Winter 2018 exam today by email. Amazed how delayed the breakdown email has come. What I did notice though was that my performance was consistent in all modules except being borderline in two of them. So expecting to jump the line in the repeat exam in June.
This provides the much needed impetus and motivation to strive forward again. The drawback though is having performed fairly consistently in all the modules, means when I prepare I have to go hard at all the modules yet again. No pain, no gain!!
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.
I 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.
I 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.
Exploring 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.
2 new PCs were wheeled into our reporting room. They had been ordered to be installed in the new ultrasound rooms. Along with it, the mail to the department also came in. The bundle was all heading to our Boss. The mail on the top of the bundle caught my attention.. IRIA..28th.. Manipal.. Karnataka… MANIPAL!!
It was an invitation for the boss for the forthcoming state chapter radiology conference. I had no second thoughts.. immediately I googled iria manipal on my phone .. looked up the dates. Next day noon, I’d already posted the registration form.
Manipal RD department was organizing the state IRIA chapter after over a decade and in all ways this seemed the perfect place to debut my first CME. I looked for convenient train timings and found none. So eventually I opted for the Durgamba (since it had a pick up from Edapally). RedBus.in was the agent which let me do the booking within my room itself.
The humidity was terrible, the heat killing and the uncomfortable 2+2 seats ensured I kept stirring my sleep up. I woke up when the bus reached Mangalore (0530). The road to Manipal was in the middle of being expanded into a 4 laner when I left 2 years ago. A lot more trees had disappeared, enough area was cleared for the road widening.. the road looked barren on either side. I used to love driving my 800 under the shades of the n number of trees decorating the highway.. not anymore..
I reached manipal and freshened up quick and decided to walk to Valley view. Things had not changed along the Parkala road up to Valley view. The signals installed at the junctions seemed to flicker the yellow.. glad to know at least that is on.. (of no use though)
I still feel Valley view looks odd with the metal detector at it’s entrance. Walked right through, then headed straight up to Chaithya Hall. The registration panel had some familiar faces – I recall them as first years who had just joined whilst I did my elective internship at Radiology in ’09. GE did a good job with the conference bag. Very hand and convenient indeed!
The inaugural function was invigorating. Pro chancellor Dr. Ballal, always inspirational, and I was happy to hear another energetic talk from him. He kickstarted events. Dr. Ramdas Pai, presiding over the function meant the Manipal representation of the conference was complete. My first experience with VRK Rao sir was whilst in his cabin when we were allotted randomly to different postings. A brilliant visionary, one whom I categorize along with my current Boss, every speaker who had turned up had some sort of learning curve in their careers under him. Maybe one day I may get an opportunity to learn something from him.
The fact that the president of IRIA, Dr. Harsh Mahajan made it to the conference and the 250 odd delegates attending the conference is a testament to how successful the endeavor was.
The mood in the Chaithya hall created by the excellent service of KMC’s audio visual team meant there were no glitches. The photography was a bit annoying with all the flashes each time a new speaker came on though.
Time rolled on quickly. Some spoke well, few had funny accents. Some topics were too familiar whilst some speakers showcased their unique repertoire of cases.
I skipped the evening banquet gala at Malpe. I opted instead for a walk in campus, and to catch up with a few friends. I had my camera on. I decided to snap a few. But as I walked I was traveling through time rolling back the memory reel. Some changes seemed welcome, some seemed to leave no trace of my times in the town. I returned my camera back into my bag. I somehow did not want to document the change that was happening. Change is inevitable, especially in an evergrowing educational capital like Manipal, but maybe I just did not want to contaminate my college days with the changes around.
Rather than ranting about what all changed, I craved for the sweet buns and ginger tea from Pangala (my breakfast on sunday); hot dog and tuna sandwich from Snack shack (dinner), the drive to Dishes for a manipal shawarma, the KFC burger from Prax (dinner), the grilled chicken from Hot spots, the football evening at Jono’s Niks paradise, the 2 hour daily shift of football with my friends.
The academic feast made sure I did not get too carried away by the memories, but nevertheless, I left the town with mixed emotions, a part of me still misses the place, a part of me doesn’t welcome the change, a part of me craves to return here in the future, if only time would stand still..