Things you should never say to medical students

Getting into medical school is celebrated across the globe. Overnight your life changes. People start taking you seriously and you tend to get more respect than the average college student. But these shenanigans are short lived. Soon after, we find out what people think of our chosen career path. Whether it’s your relatives or your friends, their comments can end up breaking our hearts into a million pieces, all in one shot.

Talking from experience, here are a few things one should never say to a medical student:

1. You look tired

Seriously? Do you not think I have a mirror to appreciate my dark circles?

But since you asked, I’ve been preparing for my anatomy tutorial for a week. And I have to ace it because an overconfident “Mr Know It All” competes with me and I can’t stand losing. Side note: I study better at night.

tired jet lag GIF by CBC

2. How much longer will you study (Kab tak parho gi)

I wish we had the answer to this question but sadly we don’t. Every med student is different but for the most part, we know what we signed up for, and the sooner we get to it the better we feel. The day we stop studying, we literally go blank. Books are to medical students what laptops are for tech students or paintbrushes to artists.

school studying GIF

3. Tum budhi hojao gi

Are we running a wedding quest? In all honesty, ‘doctor bahus’ aren’t too worried about getting rishtas. They know they’ll be in demand even when they’re 35. Desi aunties would do anything to get their lawaris sons married to a doctor. Also, in general, stop caring about when other people will get married. It really is none of your business.

4. What will you do after MBBS

If you really want to throw a med student off, go ahead and ask them this one. We barely have the capacity to figure out where our next meal will come from. Do I really need to worry about ‘after’ when I’m already having an existential crisis? (Wait, what will I do after MBBS…)

season 1 starz GIF by Blunt Talk

5. You have no social life

Trust me, med students have quite the roaring social life. If anything, we use the ‘I have to study’ card just to avoid gatherings that end up being worse than actual studying. We, bunk classes, go to all the festivals and despite our daily tests, we also pursue our hobbies. We just don’t talk about it.

6. Other majors are equally hard as medicine

Let me assure you, nothing is as complex as the human body. But to each their own. And comparing different fields in a bid to figure out which one is harder is an exercise in futility. Best to discourage it as you’ll only make yourself look silly.

7. Doctors don’t get paid well

This has to be one of the worst things you can say to a med student – that all their hard work holds no value. Two things for those who often dish this piece of wisdom: 1) best not say anything when you have nothing nice to say 2) medicine takes its sweet time before it rewards you well.

Broke No Money GIF

How To use Potted Plants At Home

Gardens have the power to add serendipity at home. However not everyone has the luxury of having a garden at home. For such homes the best thing to add some greenery, is to set up small green corners at home that serve the purpose of beautifying home while augmenting color at the same time.

I personally love the use of potted plants indoors to add some exquisiteness to home décor. They let you cultivate your creativity while expanding your green environment.    22391866ff4e0ff5f9cc6e20cc46f4c6--southern-living-magazine-spring-colors

It is easy to buy plants from a nursery and place them at places you desire but one needs to keep in mind a few pointers while doing so, in order to maintain the plant. Here are a few points on how to  make an effective use of potted plants at home:

  1. Make sure about drainage:   This is as vital for plant growth as sunlight. If the water has no drainage then as you water the plant the water gets soaked up in the soil leading to death of the roots. Pick pots that have a hole in them. A hole enough to manage water drainage. In case your pots lack holes then drill some holes beneath or on sides.   6a6944a65d48d947ed7508f86f57fcbc--flower-plants-potted-plants
  2. Evaluate light:   Always easy to place plants near the windows or in gallery so that the light is ample for the plants to grow. However some plants require less sunlight and can be kept indoors like money plant, cactus and etc. Always evaluate light and then place plants at places you want to.   bathroom-plants-on-shelves
  3. Fertilizers:   Potting soil lacks minerals. Since the soil in potted plants is less effective for growth hence it is always advisable to make use of fertilizers and mixes that help the plant grow well.   shoe-organizer-garden
  4. Make use of home containers:   It is always easy on the pocket to make use of potted plants at home to cultivate your garden. If you have a tough time buying pots then make use of home containers, paint them, decorate them however you want and settle them in gallery or wherever. You can also make use of old shoe holders, climbing plants and old bottles. Plant them whatever plant you desire and get your garden game on.   ivy-plants-against-white-backgroundtumblr_mo8wgi99Y31stf1zao1_500

 

Remember, maintaining a potted plant garden at home requires attention and hard work. However it is one appealing sight to eye.

Doctors : Don’t care about your hand writing ? You Should

A quintessential art of communication is a well-written note. A decent note is one that is self-explanatory as you read. However, to read, you need to understand what is written, and decent handwriting is vital. Unfortunately, neat handwriting is something tough to find, especially when the writer is a doctor.

Image result for doctors dont care about your hand writing you should

While doctors may be the smartest students in their class with gold medals around their necks, immaculate in appearance, polite in speech, and humble in etiquette, they sadly lose it on one aspect of life — good handwriting!

It is a known fact that when you think faster than you speak, you stammer, and your writing gets messy.

But in some professions, like medicine, you don’t have the choice of being slow, and specifically thinking slowly.

A doctor is trained for four years in a residency program to develop reflexes that quickly fire red alert signs in the brain when they see a patient with an altered level of consciousness or fever. He has no power over himself to slow down in times of emergency. Instead, he acts faster to save a life. In this process, the one thing that mirrors his mental process is his handwriting, which at times looks like an abstract art piece.

I have always been notorious for my writing. Someone who has a passion for art but is miserable with the pen is how I have always seen myself.

I may not have the art under my belt, but what I do have is my clinical skill.

At work, I prefer being organized and focused … a mind preoccupied with the patient and their plans. I don’t realize how much the phenomenon of thinking faster than speaking and writing has on my daily doings.

On a sunny Wednesday, the last day of my rotation as a resident on the floor who sees consults. I was overworked and tired with caffeine in one hand to keep my neurons functioning and a stack of papers in the other.

There’s the chaos of greeting patients to thoroughly examining them head to toe, being overly cautious not to miss any finding that would change the treatment strategy. I rewrote my notes, and while doing so, it struck my mind how I missed the old review of medications.

I rushed back to the patient, grabbed her file, and started noting down her previous medications. The attendant stood next to me, amazed at what I thought was my speed; however, she broke my proud moment and uttered, “Doctor, do you understand what you write ?”

I paused, glanced back at my writing, and laughed. “I don’t,” I replied and re-wrote this time in a slow legible way.

In medicine, a simple rule applies to all calamities: If you didn’t document it, it didn’t happen. Hence writing notes is extensive in this field compared to any other. Plus, constant scribbling against the paper makes the small muscles of the hand overworked.

Many times, the small discrepancies made on prescription paper could be bad news for the patient.

The way my patient questioned me about my written notes made me realize how important it is to pause and not rush things, even though I may be doing my job well. I am amazed that people around me will not remember me at how quickly and informed I am working or their treatment, but how I talked, walked, and wrote rather than what I wrote.

It is from then on wards when in a hurry, I practice the pause, especially when I have someone standing next to me who is inspecting how I work.

Natasha Khalid is a physician in Pakistan.

Impact of Sports Anthems

With sports season in full swing, Pakistani musicians recount some of the greatest sports anthems in history and what makes them timeless.

A stadium full of hundreds and thousands of fans. Sports teams play. Painted faces, screaming chants, teary eyes, deafening noise and overwhelming emotions. If there’s anything that enhances the already electric atmosphere in any sports event, it’s music.
Stadium or sports anthems bring out that raw emotion out of people and are played to motivate the teams and rally the fans. Imagine the immortality of Queen’s 1977 song ‘We are the Champions’. More than 40 years later, it still riles up a crowd of any magnitude, thanks to its catchy hook and melody, and inspiring lyrics.
Go to any American baseball game and you will hear ‘Take me out to the ball game’ (1908), a classic that has lived on for over a century.
The Final Countdown by Europe has the melody to lift spirits instantly, whereas Gerry and the Pacemakers immortalized composer Richard Rodgers’ 1945 hit ‘You will never walk alone’ when Liverpool F.C started the tradition of playing it at football clubs.
spectators-singing-along-with-the-band
Similarly, The Cup of life by Ricky Martin and Waka Waka by Shakira are other such examples that did well on the charts and gripped the world’s pulse.
Essentially, sports anthems become iconic because they connect to the people’s one emotion that unifies everyone from communities to cities to entire nations. For example, recent domestic league matches have shown how each participating Pakistani city has its own theme song. An even better example would be Jazba Junoon by the great rock band Junoon.
SooperJunoon -Ali & Salman rocking the stage
According to filmmaker and Chand Tara Orchestra guitarist Babar sheikh, “A sports song should be such that it gets the adrenaline rush going inside you when you hear it! To make that impact on the audience it has to have the right hook and melody”.
He recounts that his earliest memory of sports songs is a recollection of songs by an 80s rock band called Survivor. “They did songs for the film Rocky. Rocky 4 was the absolute epitome of everything American. Songs like Burning Heart and Eye of the Tiger were so strong. Burning Heart is one of the first songs that I associate with sport, that is boxing.” Since Sheikh is also a football fan, he associates heavy metal and rock n’ roll music with the sport.
SooperJunoon - crowd at the concert
He recalls the 1992 World Cup anthem ‘Who rules the world’ as a memorable stadium song. “That was a great song and that world cup is unforgettable in the eyes and minds of Pakistanis because we won it.”
He further shared that songs like ‘We are the Champions’ by Queen, nationalistic songs by the famous Vital Signs, Call and Junoon have a raw mix of emotions, hence they resonated with the crowds and became a major reason for their success.
“Nowadays campaigns take over music and the lyrics are based on a creative brief rather than sentiments. These tailor-made songs lack the essence of what real sports music should be like. That’s what waters down the emotionality and accentuation of a song,” he says, adding how the recent domestic cricket league songs haven’t matched up to the bar.
While recent local cricket league songs may not have been etched into our memories yet, there is one that has remained popular for over 20 years: Jazba Junoon.
The song has the tune to get you moving and lyrics to lift spirits in time of need. Not only that but it is also close to the hearts of many Pakistanis, owing to the country’s loss in the 1996 world cup, and how the song subsequently helped them keep their never-give-up attitude alive.
SooperJunoon - Ali Azmat performing
Junoon’s front man Ali Azmat, who crooned the song and took it to a whole other level, says, “There hasn’t been much after Jazba Junoon. It obviously brought the nation to the point that after losing the match, the idea was to tell them it’s not the end. The message resonated with the masses.’ Hence, the song was a hit and decades later, is still the Pakistani anthem for cricket.
Azmat also echoes Sheikh’s sentiments, saying, “The main thing is the melody. No matter what you do, if the melody isn’t good, it doesn’t work. The rest, including the lyrics, is secondary.”
campus-cricket-player-celebrates-victory
No doubt music is an imperative part of Pakistani culture and cricket the most popular sport. Hence anything pertaining to it is made with a lot of thought process and hard work by the musicians especially when it is for something as serious as the World Cup.
Asad Ahmed from rock band Karavan stresses on the fact that lyrics and rhythm are essential for any kind of music to make it a timeless classic.
He also remembered Jazba Junoon as one of the songs that bring out the patriotism. “Songs like Hum Hain Pakistani by Vital Signs and Jazba Junoon by Junoon will forever be associated with Pakistani Cricket and August 14 as a reminder of our allegiance to this land we call home… Pakistan!”
While most musicians are fans of the old classics, Ali Hamza from the band Noori feels that the one track in all Pakistani music that has always helped him stay calm and going during the game season is “Saya-e-Khuda-e-Zuljalal” by Noori and the evergreen “We will Rock you” by Queen.
He explains, “Anthems are about easy-to-remember melody and lyrics. It is when they really drive the body and emotions that is when they shine in the sporting arena”.

Chronicle’s of a resident’s life

I love working as a resident physician, but I truly detest taking exams. However, life seems to only give you more of what you fear, so I recently found myself responsible for my residency program’s weekly clinical grand rounds — an exercise in which I would present a real live patient and be judged by my faculty and colleagues on my clinical acumen and physical exam skills. Passing would be a quiet victory; failing, on the other hand, would be a public humiliation.

My anxiety kicked in hard as the time for the presentation drew closer. As I rehearsed and revised just before the moment of truth, I was stricken with a revelation — I hadn’t cut my fingernails.

Alas, my personal grooming had become another casualty of my daily workload and brewing burnout. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t have been a concern, but here, my long fingernails would make percussion during the physical exam almost impossible. I would end up scratching, scarring, and bruising the patient’s poor abdomen with my taps earning a brutal shaming from my attendings in the process.

“Damn, I need a nail cutter, or I’ll fail,” I muttered under my breath, perhaps a little too loud. Cold beads of panicked sweat sprouted on my brow. At that moment, a general surgeon named Dr. S. who was seated in front of me in the lecture hall, turned to face me.

“Give me your nails — I will bite them down,” she deadpanned.

My reverie of impending doom broke. “Uh, what?!”

Placidly, she repeated. “We don’t have a nail cutter. Let me bite them off for you.”

A pregnant pause of consideration ended with an eruption of laughter, as the absurdity of the situation hit me. And just like that, my fear and anxiety dissipated, thanks to a well-timed dose of humor. I calmed down, and the presentation went smoothly — a testament to the power of a minor positive affirmation and the collegiality that so many of us residents depend on daily. I think back on this minor episode often when it feels like I’m just trying to keep my head above water.

And now, I keep my nails nice and trimmed.

Big Nails on examination Day

I love working as a resident physician, but I truly detest taking exams. However, life seems to only give you more of what you fear, so I recently found myself responsible for my residency program’s weekly clinical grand rounds — an exercise in which I would present a real live patient and be judged by my faculty and colleagues on my clinical acumen and physical exam skills. Passing would be a quiet victory; failing, on the other hand, would be a public humiliation.

My anxiety kicked in hard as the time for the presentation drew closer. As I rehearsed and revised just before the moment of truth, I was stricken with a revelation — I hadn’t cut my fingernails.

Alas, my personal grooming had become another casualty of my daily workload and brewing burnout. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t have been a concern, but here, my long fingernails would make percussion during the physical exam almost impossible. I would end up scratching, scarring, and bruising the patient’s poor abdomen with my taps earning a brutal shaming from my attendings in the process.

“Damn, I need a nail cutter, or I’ll fail,” I muttered under my breath, perhaps a little too loud. Cold beads of panicked sweat sprouted on my brow. At that moment, a general surgeon named Dr. S. who was seated in front of me in the lecture hall, turned to face me.

“Give me your nails — I will bite them down,” she deadpanned.

My reverie of impending doom broke. “Uh, what?!”

Placidly, she repeated. “We don’t have a nail cutter. Let me bite them off for you.”

A pregnant pause of consideration ended with an eruption of laughter, as the absurdity of the situation hit me. And just like that, my fear and anxiety dissipated, thanks to a well-timed dose of humor. I calmed down, and the presentation went smoothly — a testament to the power of a minor positive affirmation and the collegiality that so many of us residents depend on daily. I think back on this minor episode often when it feels like I’m just trying to keep my head above water.

And now, I keep my nails nice and trimmed.

What I learned from ” The Five People You Meet In Heaven “

Five people you will meet in heaven by Mitch Albom is an engaging story that includes fictional characters , magical realism . life lessons and perspective.  I won’t give away details of the story or summary . You can read it or watch it . Whatever suits you . But here are a few  thought-provoking lessons  that I  would love to share :

rubbyyypier

1.In heaven, it becomes clear that the monsters of childhood aren’t the real villains. People who seem powerful are often victims themselves, and roles of victim-perpetrator can be reversed, even without malice. Even the innocent actions of children can have unintended consequences.

2.Sometimes, things aren’t as bad as they seem, as the unknown alternatives would have been worse.

3.Perception of reality is often misleading.

4.Everyone is capable of falling short, and everyone deserves forgiveness. Pain causes people to hurt others.

5.Redemption is not granted by others, but found through sorrow, regret, and attempts to make things right.

6.Memory is not a sad thing, as memory is another kind of continuation of life

7 . All Human lives are interconnected, and there is often a positive meaning even in seemingly random or negative events .

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9 Popular Outdoor Fitness Sports

Karachi in the past couple of years has given birth to an industry related to health and fitness. People have become very conscious about what they eat and how the look. However, staying fit does not denote that you need to spend thousands to keep in shape, rather it means to just do some activity that makes you sweat.
Here are a few outdoor fitness spots in Karachi:
1. AUNTY PARK: Located in Block-2 Clifton, it is one such place that caters to women jogging, doing yoga while men do both along with some exercises.
2. HILL PARK: This place is known for many recreational outdoor activities with beautiful mornings and evenings. People come to walk, jog or just enjoy the beauty of sunsets and sunrises the hill has to offer. Sports like cycling, skating, & cricket are also practiced since Hill Park has different grounds for these respective sports.
3. SEA VIEW: One can always find people practicing all sorts of sports on the streets of sea view. Let it be cycling, running, jogging or walk. People come here from all parts of the city and indulge in whatever sport they fancy.
4. BEACHES: Let it be the French beach or sand spit, yoga on the beaches of Karachi is the new detox and many people love it.
Dhanak Aijaz practices acro-yoga on the beach
Dhanak Aijaz practices acro-yoga on the beach
5. FRERE HALL: The park outside the building is flooded with people from various parts of the city for not just sports but also art classes, yoga or photography. After all, this place is considered as the crown jewels of Karachi for a reason that it caters to everyone for almost everything.
6. THE NATIONAL COACHING CENTER (PAKISTAN SPORTS BOARD) : Located opposite National stadium, this place is famed for all sorts of sports people can practice like cricket, basketball, volleyball and etc. Early morning and late evening the ground is full of people walking, jogging, exercising or just hanging out.
7. SAFARI PARK: This place requires a minimally priced ticket for entry and offers good scenery and walking track that goes up the hill. Mornings and evenings are occupied with people from all walks of life indulging in outdoor activities such as; jogging, walking, sprinting, cycling and other exercises.
8. AKU SPORTS REHABILITATION CENTER: Aga Khan University Hospital has a huge sports ground and a sports center next to it. The ground is used by many people to walk, jog and also hosts various outdoor fitness boot camps for members and non-members as well.
9. THE STREETS: The fear of getting mugged is always high while walking down the streets of Karachi. However there are a few places that are fairly safe for a morning workout. Few famous spots consists of streets phase 8 DHA which well-known marathon runner Adnan Gandhi used for his marathon training. The roads of KDA officers society , a beautiful stretch with a terrific view which people living there and adjoining areas come to walk, jog , cycle or just exercise and this has been happening since the early ‘90s. The stretch from sea view to burns road is the latest cyclists’ haven.
Nouman, Adnan & Usman running on the streets of Karachi
Nouman, Adnan & Usman running on the streets of Karachi
These are a couple of places that are open to all and prove the fact that to stay fit one does not require money but rather the muscles to get going and practice what suits them. Hence, fitness is for everyone and can be done anywhere.
However, if you feel that your mornings are way too busy for a fitness regime and post work you are drained then having a can of Red Bull can help you beat that post work laziness.