Another hectic day at work it was.
As I was sipping my coffee, my 10 year old came and said,”Such a stressful job you have! Why did you become a pathologist?”
That night I kept thinking ” Why did I end up becoming one?”
My parents were educators, and I grew up in the vicinity of a government college. “College colony” or “professors colony” it was called. All the brilliant kids, either became doctors or engineers. For girls, doctor was the preferred profession. I grew up with that dictum in mind.
I loved history, literature, geography and chemistry. A weird combination of subjects. Infact, I never wanted to give a second chance to MBBS entrance exam. I had plans of doing Bsc( Hons) in chemistry from Punjab University, Chandigarh. However, Almighty’s plans were different. I landed up in a medical college just in 1st attempt.
The 1st year was tough. Twice I thought of quitting, packing my bags and going back. Those were not the days like now. Who would go and say “That I cannot do it!” Second year was better. I liked microbiology and pathology. Final year was interesting but also made me realize it was not an easy path ahead.
Finally when all school friends were starting their first jobs, we picked books again for the MD entrance. At my rank, all I had was diplomas, which everyone said was an insecurity. So I landed up with MD Pathology at one of the prestigious institutes.
Residency was fun. I learnt to love cells, patterns, blues and pinks, the giant cells, the granulomas, the storiform and the plexiform patterns. The fun was short lived. Once you are out of pathology in a medical college, you realize that team work, the joy of a rare diagnosis, the triumph of having diagnosed a tumor timely exsists only in confines of big institutes.
Most of the hospitals, even the big corporates usually employ a single pathologist just to manage the technical staff, and to smoothen the glitches in administration. That’s what I have been doing sitting in a big corporate hospital since the last 5 years.
Does it give me satisfaction?
The answer is ” No”. Most of the time it is me trying to solve the administrative tangles.
Coming to UAE, has snitched away my joy of reporting Histopathology as well, because Indian degrees are considered inadequate to do so.
Siting in my 4 x 4 cubicle, writing up SOPs for basic chemistries I wonder “Am I even using 1% of the knowledge I had acquired !”
I am still looking for answers!!