I Gave In To My Parents’ Wishes To Become A Doctor; 20 Yrs Later, I’m Finally Doing What I Want

I couldn't follow my love of literature as a young student, and took up medicine as I was expected to. But now, after so many years, I am doing it.

I couldn’t follow my love of literature as a young student, and took up medicine as I was expected to. But now, after so many years, I am doing it.

I grew up in a family that valued education and stressed that we be very serious about our school, classes, and later our career. I studied very hard for my 12th grade because I aspired to become a doctor, and needed marks above 90% to get admission in a government medical college. 

There were a few private institutes but my father had told me that he could not afford private education; which was true, and if I wished to go into Medicine, I better study. 

I was also very much into reading fiction and all types of books. English literature was my favourite subject. All my extended family knew about my love for literature.

A wish to do English Literature

When the marks for 12th came, they were above 90%, and the merit list for medical colleges was yet to come. The Dental admissions would fill up first and so I secured my Dental admission, and waited for the medical merit list. 

On one of those days, when I was sitting with my father, mother, and my aunts and uncles, I just had a thought and said, “I like literature also, why not think about going for a BA and an MA in English?”

Everyone thought that I was out of my mind to even think of giving up a seat in the Medical college; I realized this from their expressions of horror. So I very dutifully took admission in a Medical college when the merit list was displayed. 

I wish I had the option of a minor…

I think that if the curriculum in India would allow students to take up a minor subject from other stream, I would have chosen English Literature; but unfortunately, it is not so. 

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In Medical college, I got busy with my curriculum and English literature took a back seat. I finished my post graduation in Ophthalmology and practised for another 20 years. 

Listening to my heart, finally!

My daughter has now grown up and left for university, and I have some time at hand. There was that question doing the rounds in my head about what I should do with my evening time. 

I could start an evening clinic and be completely immersed in practice both morning and evening. But now was the time to listen to my heart and I did just that. We have a limited life and just as limited hours in a day. I decided to write for 4 hours everyday. I got involved in reading, writing, and literature with absolutely no regrets about my choice, while continuing my morning practice.

That, I can say has been one of my most unapologetic decisions. 

Image source: shutterstock

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