Medicine

Valedictorian.


Happy New Year Readers!

Last year, as you know, I was completing my internship (house job) at a private hospital in Karachi. It was one hell of a hectic year, but it finally ended on the 31st of December. I am currently embracing the glorious freedom that comes with it ending.

It was a wonderful and terrible year and I have dozens of anecdotes to share from it which I’ll do over the next few months, now that I finally have time. This post, however, is to share a special thing that happened towards the end. There is a graduating ceremony for post-graduates who are completing any program at my hospital, a fancy affair where awards etc are presented. For the 2015 PGME graduation ceremony, I was selected to give the graduating intern valedictorian speech.

It was quite an honor to be selected. Moreover, as someone who used to struggle with both stage fright and social anxiety, it was quite a big deal for me to give the speech without, you know, botching it up too badly. Hence my sharing it here, with you guys.

You can view the speech above. The recording isn’t super clear (until I get my hands on the official recording) so I’m attaching a transcript of the speech at the bottom.

Now that my freedom is absolute, I will be sharing a lot more stuff with you guys and posting a lot more frequently. Here’s to a new year of love, life, and writing.

See you guys soon!

Transcript:

Respected chief guest, president, board of trustees, Dean, associate Dean, faculty, fellows, residents, interns, ladies and gentlemen.  Asslamualaikum and good evening

Let me begin by saying it has been one heck of a year. I knew when I started I’d have to sign over my body and soul with the contract, but I didn’t know things would be this hectic. I am not married, but my mother says that she has already done my rukhsati, and sent me off to AKUH, my susraal.

Like a susraal, nothing is quite the same here. I exchanged my comfortable bed at home for the on call room creaky bunks. Evenings with friends were replaced by evenings with the beeping pager, which is indestructible by the way, and resistant to mrsa, tears, blood and other bodily fluids. I exchanged mama’s meals for tasteless cafeteria food, and conversations with patient counselling.

I have learned a lot this year, as a junior doctor. Quite possibly the most important thing I learned was this: house job mein, jahan khana milay, khalo, jahan bistar milay sojao. This was a motto I embodied my whole year, and I’m sure my colleagues did too.

Jokes aside, I have learned a lot this year. From surgery I learned the power of teamwork, and quick action, that the difference between life and death can be seconds. From medicine I have learned that the devil is in the details, that even the smallest things can impact a patients life.  From pediatrics I learned that children are little angels…that get very sick very quick. And from psychiatry I learned to be compassionate, because we are all a little bit crazy.

Because we have learned so much this year, I want to thank my teachers tonight, who have ensured our evolution into the confident capable doctors we are today. When I think about how we were last year, clueless and confused. and how far we’ve come, I’m struck by the difference.  By teachers, I mean our esteemed faculty, who are radiant and a little distant, like the sun. thank you for shining on us.

But along with the faculty I also want to thank our senior residents and even senior staff, all of whom have taught us something or the other this past year. I have been inspired by these hardworking and truly capable men and women, and it has been an honour to work alongside them.

My final note is for my fellow interns. Comrades, we have eaten together, slept together….in the innocent sense, cried and laughed and most of all, worked worked worked together. It has been a great opportunity and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you all for being here.

We are all young doctors, and we carry a responsibility on our shoulders of patient’s lives that is often difficult to cope with. But I know, personally, that it has been a year of learning, and a year of growth for all of us. We have gotten better at carrying that burden, and this is a credit to the institution we have been trained by as well as the AKU leadership and the generosity of His Highness. I speak for all of us when I say that I hope we manage to fulfil the expectations people have gained from us, as well as the dreams we have evolved over the past 365 days. I also sincerely hope that, from this point on, we use our training and our learning, to make a better change in the world.  Thank you all for listening.

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3 thoughts on “Valedictorian.

  1. Congratulations! I wish a year from now I’ll be able to say the same. Right now all I feel is a pile of dumb poop who knows no medicine at all. All the best for the future!

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