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Doing the Impossible

Ammar Anwar

1st Year M.B.B.S

I read once on this blog, that the first sub-stage, the first stage and first professional exams all seem to be pretty tough, but in reality they are not as bad as we make them out in our minds to be. This is pretty much true, because before the first sub-stage of lower limb, I was having periodic heart attacks because my mind was perceiving the sub-stage not as another run-of-the-mill anatomy viva test but more as an “MCAT” type test, which was obviously very far from the truth.

I remember the first sub-stage day, when I woke up early, around 5AM, revised everything once again, then took a bath and shaved and wore my best clothes and pearly white lab coat with the made-in-Anarkali name-tag on top. I could not let go of the BD, because I felt like that day was the most important test of my life. And I skipped the first two lectures of that day in order to revise everything once again, which did not prove to be very beneficial for me, because we got the news that whoever does not attend Dr. M’s Histology lecture would be debarred from the "FIRST" sub-stage. It was extremely shocking because after cramming BD for the entire last month, I was in no mood to get debarred from the (supposedly) “most important” test of my life. I got ready in a rush and ran to the Old Auditorium where the situation was more chaotic and worse than I had previously imagined. It seemed as if we were going to actually be debarred from the first ever Anatomy sub-stage. It felt like the end of the world.

After facing a lot of weirdness and chaos, we finally made it to the Viva. I had no idea what the viva was going to be like and what kind of questions were going to be asked. But all thanks to Allah, I survived the very intimidating first sub-stage with average marks (“less than I hoped for”, said the little theeta inside me).

Come third sub-stage and we were quite used to that “Oh-it’s-another-substage-it-doesn’t-even-matter-anymore” feeling. The people who got a little bit too used to that feeling failed the sub-stage (and some of them made to Humans of KEMU for doing that, for which even the toppers wished they’d failed the sub-stage). Khair, after all of the fuss created about the substage, we got used to the regular vivas of Anatomy.

But then came the first stage.

We had no idea what it was going to be like but one thing was pretty evident- it was going to be pretty difficult. Words like “spotting” and “written” made my heart ache, but at the same time I had a feeling that I would also pass that like all the previous horrors of the sub-stages.

The preparation was at its peak and I had crammed every little clinical box from BD. The higher level theetas had crammed KLM clinicals and some khwaar-tareen theetas had also stuffed their unbelievably huge brains with Last’s Anatomy. But the first test of the Stage was the spotting. It was quite frankly the worst position I had ever been in my life, because I had not paid attention during dissection AT ALL and I was extremely afraid of screwing up the spotting somehow, due to my incredibly bad preparation.

And when the spotting day came, all of my worst fears came true. I managed to skip at least 2 to 3 things at every spotting table (almost) and the buzzer periods seemed to shorten every turn. I had the best preparation of thigh spotting, but I managed to somehow screw that up, too, due to untimely panic attacks.

The written test was quite easy and I managed to nail every single question.

But the real monster, the stage viva was still left to be beheaded. I went with full preparation, but all my confidence just shattered when I saw my roll number against Dr. N's name in the viva allotment notice. Dr. N was feared amongst the firstulas (as well as the seniors) and for a pretty good reason, too; she had failed 7 out of 10 students in the second sub-stage.

With a heavily beating heart and sweaty forehead, I went to Dr. N’s office, appeared in the viva and got three “excellents” from her and had seemingly nailed the viva. It was a blessing from Almighty Allah, but not the only one. When the stage result came out, I saw that I had 68 marks and I thanked Allah, for I had finally tackled the undefeatable monster of the first stage Viva; I had seemingly done the impossible. But so had the other 300 students who had nearly the same marks as me and a lot of theetas had more marks than me, but that didn’t matter anymore- I had passed the first stage with flying colors, Alhamdulillah, and it was a priceless feeling to have passed from Dr. N with such a score.

P.S. Any indications of narcissism are purely coincidental.


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