Making the Right Career Choice..

This sudden loss of faith is new to me. I think this past one week did it!

I’ve been busy. And annoyed that I am by the incompetence of the word ‘busy’, I think they must develop a new term that signifies a far greater level of busyness that can drive people towards killer psychosis! And if such a word does exist and I don’t know about it yet, I’m totally failing my GRE test, due this December.

God! As the final days of my graduate studies came to an end, I ended up with 3 project reviews – all theoretical, with lots of marks at stake. One may think designing a project in theory is easier than an actual wet lab project, you’re so wrong man! It poses different kind of problems: first, the subject of nanobiotechnology was absolutely new to me. Second, how do I know the expected results or parameters that may affect the system, without actually doing it? Anyway, as I successfully nailed that coffin yesterday, I finished all the reviews before the end of time. Next, 2 assignments and 2 project reports – minimum 15 pages! And among all the chaos, there were still the trivial chores that needed some attention.

Sleeping at 3 in the night, waking up at 6 in the morning and running to profs after that, was all I did this last one week. And in months, I had the dream last night. It was a recollection/reconstruction of last summer, when I worked as a surgical intern in the Neurological Diseases department at one of the top hospitals in Kolkata. I don’t remember, but the dream had something to do with that.

If there is any regret that I have regarding my choice of career, it’ll be my choice of choosing medical research over medical practice. But at that time, I didn’t have much exposure to be able to decide that all by myself. So I chose a life of medical research over actual practice. I think, I might’ve chosen surgery otherwise.

'Sorry ma'am, I'm still poking your insides. Go back to sleep!'

Would I have made a good surgeon?

Objectivity, oh I rule those grounds! I remember how excited I was to see the scalp being cut open, the cranium being drilled through to reach the squishy little pink-coloured brain. How big the tumor was, that looked like the inards of an oyster. How apt Beethoven sounded inside the OT, and how it was not even halfway, and 3 containers of blood was already drained out of the patient with new supplies. I had scrubbed up, and was intensely watched the entire 7 hour procedure as I had followed the case since the very day, the 32-years old female was diagnosed of brain tumor.

Well, the actual procedure hardly took an hour, it was the drilling-in and stitching-out that took most of the time. By that time, I had it all in my head. How the anesthesia worked, how the health-monitors worked and how the surgeons worked without disturbing the brain. Speaking of disturbing the brain, there was a moment in the surgery, when the brain stem was slightly pressed. The heart-rate and BP shot up to horrific levels, and everybody waited in tense attention, staring at the monitors for a about 2 minutes waiting for it all to come down. And after it did come down to normalcy, the anesthesiologist had joked to me ‘That was your lucky moment, son!’

My objectivity was also tested when I observed the surgery on a 5 year old kid, and an elderly patient whose quality of life after the successful surgery was questionable to some extent.

I loved those two months, and loved the hospital. Well it was a different story that I was getting special treatment among all other interns (and that ‘we hate you’ look from the resident doctors) as I had managed to impress the HOD of the neurological diseases department with my try-outs in diagnosis. He had remarked ‘You'd have been a bad-ass doctor, boy’ and as everyone told me it was a positive thing to say, that remark was inscribed in my head forever. That will perhaps need a craniotomy to get it out!

Okay, yes I was bragging and I occasionally love it..


Anyway, so I’m looking forward for my project dissertation work in IIT Bombay to change my mind about it! I’ve always loved teaching and doing that little thing called poking the insides of dead lizards or frogs and see ‘what is there!’ Hence, my equal inclination towards research is leavened. And I’ve always enjoyed a bit of nerdy discussions among peers. Those discussions, sometimes totally, promote me oath-bound for research work.

Okay then, enough being a megalomaniac. Time to say, tata! And have a safe, happy Diwali people!


  1. I guess I am the stalker type reader(first one to comment I suppose), I read to do an information recon quite often on your blog since I am alien to all the non IT terms yet all, fall in my spectrum of magnanimous vocab.

    Wishing you best luck for your GRE in December. I give my IELTS for permanent residence in Australia. I couldn't still sum up as to why you call yourself a megalomaniac.

    1. Its the fourth-from last paragraph where people will recognize the megalomaniac in me! Haha.. And I wish I had more stalkers like you Joshi!