Dear doctors, be kind to each other.

Dharmaraj Karthikesan's Blog

I met a young doctor who used to work under me recently. I had just completed my night rounds in the hospital and I was leaving for home.

And then I saw him. He was unkempt, exhausted and appeared famished. Worst of all, he looked like a man who has totally given up on being a doctor. He appeared hesitant when I asked him what was wrong, but I could not just leave him there.

After much persuasion and insistence on my part he agreed to join me for a late supper. While he ravaged through his first proper meal of the day, he finally opened up. He has started working for the past week in a new speciality. Though the hours are longer, it was not an issue. He was well aware of the sacrifices he was expected to make.

However, the degradation, humiliation and constant harassment have finally taken…

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Playing with future

“My daughter will become a doctor. Won’t you sweetheart?”

“Yes, Daddy!” replied the six year old Sarah, ever ready to please her dad.

10 years later

“I talked to someone who’s in med school and he said that you have to pass a test to get in. And it’s extremely difficult.”

“You’ll do it. I’m going to be so proud when you become a doctor.”

11 years later

“I’m freaking out dad! This test is unlike any other. It isn’t just the studying that’s difficult, it’s the pressure too. Some girls lost it when they couldn’t get admission.”

“Hey, hey. Don’t worry. You won’t be one of those girls. You’ve always done great. Just continue with the hard work. And you know what! None of my friends’ children are doctors.”

12 years later

“I can’t do it dad. I can’t pass the test! I’m at breaking point and, if I continue, I will break!”

“You can and you will do it! We’ve been talking about this since you weren’t even born.”

Few days later

“I’m sorry sweetheart. I’m so sorry! I don’t want a doctor, I want you.”

There was no reply.

A fight back

“Hand it over!”. Zia looked over his shoulder to see two guys pointing guns at him. “Hand over the phone or I’ll shoot!”

He knew he should give up the phone. He had heard plenty of stories of people getting killed by snatchers. In fact, just last week one of his friends had been robbed in a similar fashion.

“Are you going to hand it over or not?”

He glanced at his phone. His father had given it as a gift for performing well in class. Even though he couldn’t afford to buy an expensive phone, he had given it to him as a way of showing his pride and appreciation.

“What do you want more: your life or that phone?”

He knew his father would just be glad to see his son; he wouldn’t care about that phone. But how could he give it up, knowing that his father had worked extra hours to pay for it! That phone belonged to him and no one had the right to take it from him.

“Last chance! Give it up”

His resolve hardened.



He wanted to be stealthy. It wouldn’t do if she woke up and screamed. Thankfully, he had the place carpeted last year so his footsteps were muffled. The stairs made a creaking sound as he stepped on the first step and he cursed himself silently. He had to be more careful if he wanted to see the light of day.

He continued to climb, more slowly and carefully this time. He was at the bedroom door now. It was slightly ajar and a dim light was coming through the room. He considered putting some oil on the hinges to prevent the door from making any noise. But decided against it. He had seen enough detective shows to know it wasn’t safe to leave any clue behind.

He pushed the door. It didn’t make any sound and he sighed in relief. He stepped into the room and saw her slight frame asleep. The lamp on her bedside table was on and there was a book on her chest. She must have fallen asleep reading, he thought. He came closer and could make out the title of the book. The subtle art of controlling men . Well, well, well. She still hadn’t given up her twisted ways .

He smiled and took his revenge.

USMLE: yes or no?

A simple question of yes and no, and yet it has bothered me since I first found about USMLE which was a long time ago, probably in my first year of med school. One would’ve thought that 5 years of med school would guarantee me a good job, but no. Life truly sucks for those in the white coats. I’m in my third year now and I don’t even know how I managed to come this far! Taking USMLE would increase my chances of becoming a better doctor because American residency programs are one of the best in the world.

But-why is there always a but?-on the other hand I would have to study beyond belief. It wouldn’t have been difficult only if I had eidetic memory. Every waking and sleeping moment of my life would be dedicated to getting one thing done. And even after I have cleared all exams there might be a chance of my not getting into a good residency program in a state where I have acquaintances. Is it worth the effort?

7 Books/Series That Are One Of The Best In Their Genre

Being a bookworm I’ve read a lot of books that were not quite upto my expectations while there were others which blew my mind with their awesomeness. Below are the books I would rate 7 stars, if that were an option, in the order I read them regardless of whether I like them now or not. The list is not complete, of course, because I’ll continue adding more as I read more.

1. Harry Potter-I’m a Potterhead for 10 years now. It was the first novel I ever read and has occupied an irreplaceable place in my heart bookshelf.


2. Zlata’s Diary-The first war-based true story I ever read and it changed my perspective. I realized that things I take for granted like food and water might not be readily available one day. I salute Zlata’s bravery and maturity at such a tender age.


3. A Walk To Remember-I love books which make me cry and this book was one of the first that made me cry like a baby. I don’t usually read romance because its predictable but this one was my first Nicholas Sparks novel and I loved every bit of it.


4. A Thousand Splendid Suns-This is the most tragic story with a happy ending I’ve ever read . Khalid Hosseini has shown the injustice war brings with itself and  how cruel the world is and if given the chance there are millions of sadistics out there who would reveal themselves. The pile up of tragedies might be too much for you so beware when you start reading this one.


5. Gone With The Wind-I don’t love any novel more than Scarlett’s story and nor do I hate any more than it. It made me want to scream when I was finished. Margaret Mitchell knows how to stir up a heart, throw it in the air and make the emotions scatter all everywhere.


6. Book Thief-This isn’t just another historical novel. Well, it is but it is also the story of survival. The book thief endures unimaginable losses but lives.

7. Game Of Thrones-It should be given a “I’ll-make-you-love-me-and-then-rip-out-your-heart-when-you-least-expect-it-but-you-still-won’t-let-go-of-me” award. It’s one of the greatest stories ever written without a doubt. This is what I wanted to do each time he killed off someone I loved, which was all the time by the way: