Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Of reservation, proving yourself and deserving things

"Hello IkaN,

First of all I'd like to tell you how amazing your blog is and how glad I am to have found it.

I am in first year at a government medical college. But I don't deserve to be there. I have reservation (Yes, THAT hated word). I am also well aware that I probably took this seat from someone who scored more than me. The feeling of being less first hit me in the first month of college, when I saw a lot of people speaking out against reservation. 

I wanted to be a doctor. But not like this. The self loathing got so much so that I considered dropping out but I couldn't ask my parents to pay the bond just because I got exactly what I wanted just not in the way I wanted. Nobody in college is as such discriminating towards me but I know they feel a bit differently if they knew how I got here. 

It hinders my studies. I don't feel the same amount of interest in becoming a doctor as I did before. My parents want me to study well, even get a post graduate degree but I can't bear the thought of living all my life in the shadow of reservation.  

I don't want to sound ungrateful for the opportunity I have been given. Being a doctor is a prestige few people get and I know I'm lucky to have got it. I just wish it would have been differently. Which is why I wanted to apply for USMLE.. At least there, things would be fair. If I got something I would know it was because I deserved it. But then I wonder if I couldn't even get an undergraduate seat by myself how would I manage a post graduate one especially one in America ?

I'm not poor but neither am I rich. I don't know how much the exam fees and the books required to study for the exam cost but I'm pretty sure it is not cheap. And if after giving the exam I fail, what would I do?

I really hope you reply but I would understand if you can't because of time constraints or because you don't want to. Thank you for your time either ways."

- Sent through email. 

Hey! Thank you so much! :)

Congratulations on being a part of medical school!

Well, whether you deserve it or not, you are here. The only thing you can do now is be your best! 

You know, in the long run, if you become an amazing doctor, help people around you, it doesn't matter if you came from reservation or not. Show yourself that even though you got in through reservation, it was worth it since you changed so many lives. You are going to change so many lives. It's important for you to not feel bad about how you came here, because you want to focus on where you are going.

Oh no dear, you are not ungrateful. It's very normal to feel that way.

Even if you do USMLE, there will always be something that can bring you down if you don't have the right mental attitude. You will hear yourself saying things like - Maybe I got through because of luck, maybe because I'm rich, maybe because I had influence, maybe because of my friends. The list is endless. I talk all about it on my post on self doubt and low self esteem here.

It is up to you to decide whether you deserve something or not. No one else.

You know, nothing is impossible. Genuinely working hard is key. If you are a good person, at the end of the day, the universe pays you back. Everything else falls into place.

I probably come from the "I'm not poor but I'm not rich" zone too. I haven't gotten into residency yet but I have come very far from where I was. I am on a bunch of loans, saving every penny to live my dream. It will pay off and someday, I will sponsor the education of a kid who needs it :)

Anyway, the process is very costly. Around 20 lakhs, I assume. How I started was by taking a climbing the first step, even though I could not see the end of the staircase. I decided to give the USMLE step 1 exam, see my score, reassess my financial situation and take it from there. If my score isn't good enough or if I can't afford it, there is always PG CET in India as my back up. Step 1 exam costs around 80k and I could afford that so I took a leap of faith.

I scored well and I took it forward. You should do that too. I will help you in every way I can.

All the very best for all your future endeavors! Don't let where you come from stop you from where you are going.



  1. I agree with what IkaN said, the only thing you can do now is be your best.
    That's your gift back to your 'fate'.
    Strictly speaking, nobody deserves anything anyway- most patients don't deserve the illnesses they have, most people didn't do anything to inherit amazing things; but the management is the same yet- be your best.

    1. So true. Most patients don't deserve the illnesses they have.

  2. Dear Mailer,
    Whatever the circumstances were, finally now you are here, so make the most of it. Get rid of your guilt, and think that, you will make the most of it so that the seat didn't go to waste. Do it so well that, it doesn't make any change on the final outcome.

    Good luck! Keep it up!


  3. okay, so when you said reservation, it just tells quite specifically what part of asia do you belong, lol. But that's not important. Okay, yes you didn't deserve it (the bitter truth) but yet you got her. fate. You think you didn't deserve it, but don't you think by being the best right now, you can show yourself and to whoever you want to, that you totally deserved it.

    what year are you in? I'm a final year student and can totally help you to not make the same mistakes I did. Ive failed 3 times in 5 years and I'm not ashamed, because i learnt from my mistakes. You gotta own and accept it. Yes I didn't deserve to fail, but owing to the system we live in I did. If i would have pitied myself into thinking I don't deserve it, I wouldnt be finishing with the same people I started with, ALhamdulillah. IF you need help please feel free to contact me, or ask Ikan for my email adress! I would love to help you.


    1. You should share your story and what you learnt on Medicowesome. I would love to publish it for others to read.

  4. I am the mailer of the above post. My first year marks were declared yesterday. I didn't do that well since I spent most of first year in sort of a depressive state. But at least the last few weeks before university exams, I somehow decided to study and pay attention irrespective of how I was feeling. I got 66% , not great but I still feel happy I at least managed to get first class marks. I wanted to thank you since your message helped a lot.

    I am still undecided about USMLE but I will at least be paying more attention in class and try to do better next year.

    Thank you once again.

    1. It's a good score. I'm glad I helped you.

      Be the best you can be, no matter which exam you give or where you end up. Bloom where you are planted.

      You're most welcome.


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