Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I am engaged to Psychiatry! #medtweeps #psychiatry

Surprised by the title of the post? Well, dont be startled..Choosing a medical specialty in India can be likened to an arranged Indian marriage. Recently i cracked two entrance examinations for getting into postgraduate medical education. During the process of choosing a specialty i found out some really interesting similarities between the process of choosing a career and an Indian marriage.


In India you just cant go and marry the girl you love, you will get ostracized. Although the scenario has changed at many places because of better education and awareness, it is still rampant. So, before you want to marry a girl, your parents should like her and agree. Not only that, all the close relatives must give a nod too. Its only after this that a happy arranged marriage takes place. 


Now, medical education...The only doctors that lay people respect here are surgeons and physicians(internal medicine). Or should i say people know only these two. Branches like biochemistry, physiology, pharmacology, pathology and few other para-clinical specialities are totally unheard of. People specializing in these branches are seen as lab technicians. And anesthetists, many people dont know there is a speciality like that. They stay behind masks in the operation theater and totally get unnoticed! Pathetic! So parents tend to force their children into either surgery or internal medicine. Because they want everyone to know that their son/ daughter has gone on to become a great doctor and not just a pathologist or a microbiologist. With the increasing competition in India for post-graduate education, this situation leads to lot of stress on young doctors.


And coming to the specialty i chose in first round of counseling, Psychiatry..The word itself raises many eyebrows! The moment you say i have chosen MD Psychiatry, people say 'Really?' 'Are you sure?' 'Why psychiatry?, Didn't you have any other branch?' 'Psychiatrists have the highest suicide rates!' 'You want to treat insane people all your life?'(Reminds me of the quote "No one is sane!" lols) 'Have you thought about the Countertransference?' (Countertransference is defined as redirection of a psychotherapist's feelings toward a client or, more generally, as a therapist's emotional entanglement with a client. It is the entire body of feelings that the therapist has toward the patient, and also includes cases where the therapist literally takes on the suffering of his/her patient.) The list of startled expressions and pityful statements goes on and on.. 



To me, Psychiatry gives the opportunity where one person reveals to another his or her innermost concerns, in hope of healing. It creates a relationship, where we earn our patients' trust, and are privileged to learn about fears and worries that our patients may not have shared—or ever will share—with another living soul!



So in India, you just cant choose a specialty because you love it. Parents and relatives should be proud to tell that you are specializing in something, you should choose such a specialty. The situation gets even complicated if one is already married or have a partner. And only after all this dreary process, you can be brave enough to choose a specialty that you love or just compromise with something that everyone else wants you to be!


(Is this the fate of doctors in other countries too?Please give opiniions in comments)


(P.S - I would have put the title of post as 'married to psychiatry'...but there is a second round of counseling, in which i may choose internal medicine which has been my first preferrence, second is for time being, I am engaged to psychiatry!)


Posted via web from Inquisitives' posterous


the cerebral assassin said...

first up hearty congrats.. great to see u take up tis speciality.. aftr partnering for all quizez wit a total whaco and dealing wit two bald crazy jack arses in ur internship u mus've considerable experience in tis field..

but u look like arguing on both ends of the moebius strip dude..

u sound passionate of tis sub yet subtly being infidel towards medicine..

dr.jekyll & mr.hyde act eh??

docspike said...

@dutta ha ha:) nice to see ur comment..i like both med and psych..i was just commenting on general opinion that public have towards various fields..

the cerebral assassin said...

f*#k the public opinion man..

all they do is talk talk & talk.. about god knows wat..

my personal view is u hav to do wat u want most..u have to follow ur heart.. ur passion for somethin mus not yield jus bcos a bunch of good fa nothin brass nuts quack & jitter..cos tats wat dey do no matter wat..

u shud seek ur own individuality.. ur own niche to carve for..don look up to some one.. be some one who is looked up to..

i have a fren here (m sure u too know him well enough) who thinks gettin a rank in PGET maks him superior to all lesser mortals..

all i said was, if 1000 ppl stand in a queue, it by no ruddy sense means tat t guy first in line is 1000 times better dan the last guy..all r standing for the same train.. no use feeling big u r among the foremost..

ultimately wat matters is how much u love wat u do.. u take up psych or med or watevr.. but take it up cos u WANT to.. not becos u HAVE to..

docspike said...

absolutely true buddy! and your fren will hopefully improve someday!:)

ಸೀತಾರಾಮ. ಕೆ. said...

Well said Ravi.
But as per my opinion you have to follow your passion whether it is -pathology, anastesia, microbio etc even people don't recongize these, -but still with your passion you can make make them to be recongized by society.
-However saichiatry is your love or arranged marriage?
But still your hard work & interest will lead any type of your marriage to a great success.
Hope you marry the one to whom you engaged.
But it is tragedy to opt for what is available in the present system but reason is that everybody is behind surgery & doctrine. Hence system is forced to "arrange marriage" with those girls who are the choice of none.

docspike said...

@Sitaram Thank you very much for your kind words of appreciation and advice..

sonal said...

amazing article.. one of my choices was psychiatry too..(i chose smthing else as my 1st choice was a surgical branch) but people dont understand that this branch isnt jst limited 2 treating so called"crazy persons"... and gals r not happily sent2 become psychiatrists..

congratulations for the seat in pg..... i ve faced several branch related queries/comments when i was choosing mine these days...
nice blog!!

docspike said...

thank you so much sonal! and you have a great blog too! keep writing....looking forward to reading more interesting articles in ur blog..

pranabchatterjee said...

Well, first up, congratulations on cracking the exams... and since I am also wrapping my head around these subjects I realize how huge a deal that actually is. Second, I must agree, a very well written post. Psychiatry does generate a lot of negative vibes, but then again, it remains one of the most intriguing subjects as well. Just passing by your awesome blog trying to clear a headache induced by Anatomy MCQ overdose!

Keep writing...


docspike said...

thanx Pranab...all the best to u too!

Arps said...

Interesting post, but to go against the trend in comments here, I'll say its more of using rationalization as a defense.

Not that I have anything against Psych. I've actually considered it as my branch of first choice for a while during med school. There was a period when I absolutely loved reading more about id,ego and the superego. But practically when I got to the wards, the situation was pretty different! Patients came at a time when it was difficult even talking to them, let alone delving into their insight! And the management, was well.. bad!! (I can say so for my center, at least!)

Okay.. enough with the negativity. I still hope you have a good time in psych! And make sure you treat those poor females, who are sent in by their family because of some 'Devi' or something like that, well! (they are given the worst rx here! its SAD!!)

Good luck!!!

docspike said...

When u say i have used rationalisation, do u mean that i have used this as a defense against ridicule from others? i was just showing my anguish on how few medical specialities are looked down upon..And i agree with u that this is going to be very challenging and a lot different from interesting textbook descriptions..i will work to best of my capacity to do some good! i really appreciate ur bold comment..

Arps said...

Nope.. meant more as rationalization for self (which is what I did for myself when I was considering psych as a specialty to apply for). Ridicule from others in easier to handle. But making yourself believe in something despite prejudices is something that is hard to conquer.
[Sorry, went a little overboard with the philosophical bit of it (more than I am used to actually!). ]
But then, frankly, I love the branch but I know am more of a patient already than a doctor here! :P --So maybe my comment was all based on personal experiences and ideas.

Nothing to bring you down!
Have fun in psych! :o)

docspike said... it...and dont worry, i dint take your comment in a wrong sense...thank you for your wishes!