Anatomy Guru | Nothing Left Undissected


Musings of an Indian Anatomist.

February 16, 2011 · 7 min read · 1352 words

Good morning to all my readers (actually there are none!).

Nobody listens to an anatomist in this country. Whatever. I am not bothered. Well, let us start like this. Its 4.00 am. For me, the night is still young, but a good morning sounds like more civilized and socially acceptable.

"The civilized world must fight ignorance and ignorance, unfortunately, is so much socially acceptable."

This is a death trap. The more you try to set yourself free, the more you get entangled. Eventually, you give up. Look at me. I have all the time in this world to write crap. You must be thinking. Probably this guy is a writer or some hotshot literary wiz. Sorry. None of the above. I'm writing because I've nothing else to do. But why write? There are so many other things to do."Like??". You name it, and I must have done it more than a hundred times. In fact, I'm thinking of climbing Mount Everest. So that's the state of affairs here.

I live in a society where everything is time-bound. There is a deadline for everything. You have to be in a Med school by the time you are seventeen; you have to be out of the med school by the time you are 23; you have to be done with your specialization by the time you are 27 and in the meanwhile you have to get married as well. You miss out on one and the society is ready to disown you. Ah! Did I forget something. Money. However, you need to earn it as well. Not just earn but earn a lot. Not for yourself but for brothers, sisters, parents, wife, girlfriend (if you manage to have one) and so many other people you do not even know. Thankfully there is no threshold for the amount of money you earn as long as it is more than your peers. I can talk for hours on this. Let us save it for later. My frustration has already started showing. I've not even started. I hope my laptop (although I prefer to call it a notebook!) survives for another couple of hours.

So everything worked fine till I joined Med School. I was seventeen, and I did great. That's what everybody thought. Somehow I managed to cross the 23 years hurdle as well. Life was good. I almost on the verge of becoming a so-called eligible bachelor when this great idea originated in my mind. I still remember. Summers, it was. The tropical climate can change your life. It was so damn hot and humid, and I was sweating like a pig. I was so mighty pissed off. Those were times when Med School graduates grind their asses, preparing for postgraduate entrance exams. I was one of them.

Anatomy is a subject I could never really understand. In our times it was taught for one and a half years at a stretch. Despite that, the only thing I remembered about the subject was the name of a muscle called Biceps. Not because I was a good student, but because that was the only question they asked me during the practical exams. Later I came to know that it was supposed to be an easy question.funny, huh! So like they say, history repeats itself, I have stuck with this question of biceps again, and that was when this novel cerebral breakthrough of pursuing a post-graduation in anatomy happened.

The civilized world must fight ignorance. That's what I thought when I was rejected for being an anatomist.Rejection.Very bad for a self-made egoistic alpha male and that too when rejected by some undeserving member of the opposite sex. I tell you an interesting story. I call it a story, but in fact, it's just an incident. Well, I'm an anatomist in one of the premier institutes of the country and earn an excellent annual package. So one beautiful day, my professor was giving me lectures (they get paid for this!) on discipline and sincerity and on dedicating your life to the study of human anatomy. Suddenly I snapped. Asked her."How about me marrying your daughter if I show enough dedication?".She was polite."Had you got a good rank in the postgraduate entrance exams, I could have thought about it."She said. I was stupefied — a moment of pure bliss. The society makes assumptions. Corollaries: All anatomists are bad students, bad students become anatomists, toppers do not want to learn anatomy, toppers know everything about anatomy, and that's why they are not here, if you secure a good rank then there is no need to learn anatomy. Is it the money? I asked her. I earn well. In fact, people are paying me to visiting them once a year (although its all in black!). Thanks to the Medical Council of India for making our lives easy. She did not have an answer.Whatever.A penny earned is a penny earned. What on earth is an eligible bachelor going to save for if he is not considered eligible?

I'm very proud to announce that my pay to work ratio is probably the highest in the country although I'm officially unemployed. It was the same when I was employed a couple of months back. Just imagine working (actually not working) for just two hours per day, five days a week. Research is not my cup of tea; at least not in a place where people use Photoshop to edit slides and present them at national and international conferences (long live! the Photoshop team for making research so easy). Sometimes I fail to understand why the government wastes a doctor by allowing him to pursue anatomy when there is an acute scarcity of doctors in the country. Doctors are eccentric people (thanks to medical school). But at least the government is supposed to act smart. It has the most intelligent (pun intended) breed of IAS officers holding its reins.

Its been six years. Six long years. I know everything about biceps now. In fact, it took me less than six minutes to learn about it. Topographical anatomy is well established. Histology is the same. Life has come to a standstill. The same things over and over again. Teaching has become like emptying your bowels every morning.I think of myself as the best medical teacher on this planet and in the universe. Delusional, you might think. Without valid student feedback, what am I supposed to think! In fact, nobody wants to listen to them. They classify medical teachers into three categories: Boring, not so dull and exciting. I happen to be in the third category probably because I talk bad about the other two in front of them. They are happy as long as I tell them all the "important" questions — my obituaries to medical education.

Its 8.00 am in the morning. Good morning again. Four hours is a long to time to write this little. Not my fault.Not creative any more. Vocabulary and grammar have taken a backseat, and Google is probably not efficient enough to provide me with a platform where i can write and express myself in my mother tongue( guessed it wrong.its, not Hindi).

Now I'm at the heights of my frustration. Probably a lot of you might be jealous at the kind of money I'm minting (let's not talk about figures here!) but nobody understands better than me that getting paid for not working at all is the most difficult work to do! I spend most of my time finding out inaccuracies in Gray's Anatomy. In fact, I've found out many. I'll soon write a post on that too. Probably Susan Standring (the current editor of Gray's Anatomy) is not aware of dangerous potentials of the earning but unemployed (employment=work!) Indian anatomist.

I feel light now — kind of fresh. Let's get to work. What is the anatomical basis for prescribing chemotherapy to patients of Stage 3 testicular tumors?

Ha.Ha. An anatomist never gives up! Awaiting social acceptance. Till then, ignorance is bliss. Have a good day!

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