Monday, March 24, 2014

Open letter to the 'matched' and 'unmatched'

Dear friends,

A bunch of you ‘matched’, and heartiest congratulations to you for the same. I am sure it would be one of the most rewarding experience and feeling, for your sheer dedication and determination has culminated in this moment of great joy. Now you are doctors in the prestigious American medicine system. I am also sure that along with you, your success is a feeling of great happiness for your family, your friends, your teachers and those who know you.

It needs to be emphasized at this point, not because you are unaware but owing to it being of utmost importance that your vocation is unlike any other vocation. The most precious thing of this earth, life and its related manifestations, is in your hands, under your care and supervision. It is in that light that people will view you as god-like in many circumstances. Your responsibilities shall naturally be manifold.

Before you look at it just as another white-coat-ceremony speech, or a rambling by a not-so-important-subject’s teacher, I wish to tell you of how privileged you really are. Not many have the power that you do or will have in your role as a doctor in the US. Your access to best of knowledge, facilities, and training will not only make you an effective professional but also will subject you to the risk of arrogance, superiority or such vices. A balanced personal life, true relaxation, and introspection shall keep you rooted.

Your stint in Manipal, India, a short two years for many and a long four years for some, brought you in contact with a school KMCIC and its members. You might view your experience here bitter or sweet or both, but you will probably not deny that a part of your education has been in a not-so-developed country. With your meteoric rise in years to come, you could be instrumental in knowledge sharing and participating in activities that could make change in lives of the less fortunate here.

For those who have not matched yet, I intend to tell you that definitions of success are not as narrow as it appears. Not for a moment should the thought settle in you that there is anything lacking in you. The demands of a system, makes you follow certain norms, and it often requires passing exams and scoring well, but it in no way undermines your talent. Trying to live others’ lives is one thing that plagues all of us. If one can break free of that competition, which we have been deeply imbibed with, our lives shall be more relaxed, freer. And in that freedom shall you achieve your potential.

It must be a difficult time, with friends progressing ahead. It is not a moment for shoulders to drop, it is an occasion to give them due credit for hard work, congratulate them and moving ahead. Inability to crack an exam or score well, does not reflect on your intelligence or knowledge. It is perhaps to do with your interest, dedication and diligence. One probably needs to look at medicine in a different light, with a renewed interest. One probably needs to prioritize and be meticulous. One probably needs to be as industrious as the vocation demands. Along with all of the above keep sanity by indulging in activities that bring the necessary balance in your lives.

May you not see this as a mere letter of advice. Despite your discrediting thoughts if any, your teachers, love them or hate them, wish the best for you. It is nothing more rewarding than the people you have taught do well and be happy. It is beyond the degrees and the qualifications you obtain. There is goodness pervasive of everything mundane and small.

To all of you, always remember how special each of you are.

All the best for all your endeavors.

Best Regards

Sambit Dash

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