Read this disclaimer before reading this blog.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Trapped in a Lucid Dream

Note to subscribers: Sorry for all the irrelevant question papers I posted. That was just a way of saving them, and gaining some organic hits.

So, it was pharmacology paper-2 today, and I think I had the longest night in my whole life today. Slept from 2:30 to 5 AM, and that's all. (I know, it's not new for some people out there. My friends had slept everywhere from 45 minutes to 5 hours)

Anyhow, such intense sleep deprivation gave me the amazing chance of experiencing an awesome lucid dream. And read till the end, there's a surprise. So, here's how it goes.

At 2:30 I set my alarm to 6 o'clock, and decided I'll wake up at 5 o'clock. (I don't like waking up to alarm. So, I keep the alarm tuned for a later time which I must absolutely get up at, and instruct my body to wake me up before that. I somehow end up waking between 5 & 6)

And then, I was home all of a sudden. Talking to my dad, watching TV, etc. Suddenly I realize I was dreaming. And here's what made it different - I couldn't wake up! I tried pinching myself, but I just couldn't open my eyes. Like I was stuck. I tried ringing my phone up, so that I'd be woken by the ringtone. But alas! Connectivity trouble inside the dream :P
So, I wrote down about this amazing lucid dream, and without wasting time, went on top of my house and jumped down.

And then I woke up! :D I studied for a while, and went to write the examination.

And then, I actually woke up in my bed, at around 3:30. Still having a long time before 5 o'clock, I went back to sleep.

So, it was a lucid dream within a normal dream. The first one at my home was the second level dream, because it was really hard to come out of it. I felt like it took half an hour for me to come out of it. And the second one was the first level dream. Inception. Mind f***ed.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

1st year 1st internal Anatomy Physiology Biochemistry Theory paper 2013

Biochemistry paper

Anatomy paper

Physiology paper Courtesy - my roommate

What Doctors Don't Get to Study in Medical School by BM Hegde

Disclaimer: I realize that I could be putting myself in great academic danger by publishing this post while studying medicine in the same state of the honoured author. But whoever decides to influence my very open professors and make me fail in my exams, also please read this response by nirmukta to one of his articles, to realize that I'm not the only person who feels like there's stone in the rice, waiting to be bitten.

Ah! What an interesting title and how easy a way to grab the attention of a medical student tired of reading pharmacology.

Within minutes of starting to read this book, I could smell honest but blind religiosity.

With all due respect to the degrees the author possesses, this book isn't worth buying. But you should definitely read it once, to understand the workings of a conspiracy theorist's mind.

If you read with a truly open mind, you will be able to ignore the blatant errors of facts or practicality and focus on the drive home message, which is "this world is so bad, let us build a newer world"

I'll go with a chapter by chapter review for the sake of not sounding rude.

Preface, introduction, forward: Apparently modern medicine is a lie and we should be imparting a more holistic treatment to people.

Chapter 2: Born again science
Scientific mumbo jumbo and a display of erroneous understanding of statistics. Uses the word "non-linear" again and again to suggest that the human body cannot be explained mechanistically. Finally invokes analogies from physics to suggest that modern medicine is flat earth and ayurveda is quantum leap.

Chapter 3: Man and his problems
Uses evolution to suggest that since modern medicine is recent, we should go back to ayurveda

Chapter 4: human body's intelligence
Uses physiology to suggest that sex workers won't catch AIDS, that eating mud is good for health, that treating diseases is bad.
[Can't say I don't agree to this. I totally hate taking medicine for cold, fever, diarrhoea, etc. But I so am afraid of sinusitis, otitis media, dysentery, etc]

Chapter 5: Social Health Promotion
This is the first useful chapter in this book. The author rightly identifies that diseases need a social cure, and goes on to propose an arguably practical solution: Let villages have a club where they discuss everything relevant to them and find solutions all by themselves without outside intervention.
The author also adds ten commandments for a healthy discussion. But I have no idea if the author thinks that all the villagers are going to read his commandments and follow them. And I'm not sure if he's aware of something called "Panchayati Raj system"

Chapter 6: Healthcare reaching the unreached
Here the author introduces us to his own classification of diseases according to which only 10% of diseases are the ones that need treatment. Rest of them could do with changes in the lifestyle.
I'm alright with this as long as the author lets me know where he got that "10%" statistic from.

Further there are 18 commandments for India laid out starting from "comprehensive development of villages" and ending at "economic empowerment of masses".
This is where I started understanding the problem with this book. It is well meant. It is sincerely written. But it says things that we all know.

Chapter 7: Power of Prayer
More ideas about how everyone should be tolerant, how there should be tranquillity.

Chapter 8: The quiet art of medicine
Must read if you are a medical student. In this chapter, the author gives us the actual wisdom he has accumulated as a fine doctor. He talks about sympathy, imperturbability, and "aequanimitas", and how medicine should not be made a business, about learning, never stopping learning, about loving your alma mater, about knowing alternate medical practices, etc. If this chapter was the whole book, I'd whole heartedly have asked you to read this book.

Chapter 9: The fine art of living
This one too. The author pours out all his wisdom living life, and is a fine lesson in work ethics.

Chapter 10: Doctor's dilemma
A small chapter bashing modern medicine again.

Chapter 11: Joys and Sorrows
Some oft-repeated stress management tips.

Chapter 12: Deschooling Medical education in India
Here's where I actually understood that not much of research has been put into writing this book. Why? Because of Lord Macaulay urban legend being the basis of this chapter. (Also because I find a lot of proofreading mistakes, like too many exaggeration marks!)

As far as I've understood from their vision 2015, MCI is trying hard to reform the medical education scenario in India. The author is putting forth his ideas based on Western system, which is also good. Maybe, the MCI should read this chapter.

Chapter 13: Science and Scientism
This is where the author explicitly falls into the trap of not understanding what science is and what Scientism is. By putting forth a few useless paragraphs that talks about life on Mars, about validity of Big Bang theory, about Einstein plagiarizing from his wife, about quantum mechanics the author has taken away all my trust. And then he mentions that RCTs are unreliable. And then he confuses the potential for statistics to be abused with statistics being fake.

And I don't want to read the rest of the book and waste my beautiful evening.

Friday, December 13, 2013

MAA Utsav 13

Unfortunately I won't be attending it this year. Nevertheless, here is the event schedule

If We Could Start From the End

"In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on your first day. You work for 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities, you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap, larger quarters every day and then Voila! You finish off as an orgasm!" ~Woody Allen
In my next year I want to spend time backwards. I start off with an exam and get that out of the way. Then I study hard and understand the entire syllabus. After that, I go to the wards and see the patients. And have discussions with my friends about various ailments. And then end the year with "honeymoon" term.


In retrospect, it's so very stupid that we have our exams at the very end. As if the examination is the end. It is supposed to be just the means to the end. And for that, it's best kept somewhere towards the middle of the year. First half, you need to have lessons, lectures and learning. Then you will have exam. And then you go to the patients.

Well, don't read the above paragraph.

What I essentially feel now is that quintessential wonder. "Why can't I study 3 months before exams the way I study 3 days before exams?"

There is no answer. Anyhow. Learning is a very nice habit. Going back to it.