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‘Just go on for one more hour’ – mantra for NEET aspirants, advices high-scorer and Apeejay alumnus

Aman Jawwad, an alumnus of Apeejay School, Faridabad has cracked NEET PG 2022 entrance examinations. In an interview, he talks about his preparation strategy, undergraduate years, Covid-19 duties, and more.

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A dedicated scholar, Aman Jawwad credits his teachers at Apeejay School, Faridabad for his success in NEET UG as well as PG examinations. Aman’s inclination towards Biology was shaped in school. And so, his preparation strategy for medical entrance exams was to strike a balance between school lessons and extra study material. In an interview, he shares:

The medical entrances are highly competitive. So, what are the current trends in the exam?  

For students wanting to pursue medicine, a tough entrance exam lies ahead. It is one of the toughest in the world. I recall while giving my NEET UG papers that around 10-12 lakh students appeared for it. Out of the total, 95% must have compromised on their choice of college depending on their All-India Rank. In fact, as the years are passing by, the cut-off for these papers is increasing drastically. This year, even if a student is scoring around 600 marks in NEET UG, they still don’t make the cut for getting into a good government college in Delhi.

What were your scores in NEET?

I appeared for the NEET UG papers in 2016 and cracked the exams with an All-India Rank of 158. I secured 611 marks. After the first counselling session, I opted for King George’s Medical University in Lucknow. However, during the Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University (IPU) counselling, I chose Vardhman Mahavir Medical College – Safdarjang Hospital in New Delhi. I completed my final year MBBS in 2021 and I started my internship in the month of May. This year, I appeared for the NEET PG examinations in which I qualified with an All-India Rank of 368.

Given your rank in NEET-PG, did you get your choice of course?

Yes. I want to opt for a course in General Surgery at Vardhman Mahavir Medical College – Safdarjang Hospital in New Delhi. The same course is offered at many different colleges which are also open to me.

How were your MBBS years at college?

The experience of a medical college is very enriching and unique. That is when one really understands crucial subjects such as Physiology, Bio-Chemistry, and Anatomy, etc. In the first year, a student is taught pre-clinical subjects. In the second year, students are trained for para-clinical and clinical rotation in hospitals. Third year onwards, clinical subjects are taken up and by the final year, four major clinical subjects and five minor ones are taught to students.

Once a student has completed all of this, s/he is eligible to become an intern at a hospital for a period of 12 months. During this time, they are posted to different departments such as Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Medicine, Surgery, just to name a few.

Off the different fields mentioned, which one piqued your interest?

I feel most inclined towards General Surgery in my college. In the initial years, medical students aren’t taught super specialties – there are many. I am still learning. As of now, I have been exposed to General Surgery rotations in hospitals which include major and minor procedures.

Could you give us a sneak-peak into a doctor’s life?

For an intern, the working hours are variable. They depend upon the department they are posted in. A typical day in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology vertical would have a 9 am to 7.30 pm shift. And interns would be required to do a day/night shift. In other departments, the working hours could be relatively lesser, i.e. 9 am to 4 pm. During postings at rural health training centers, doctors do two 24-hour duties in 20 days, also.

A medical graduate has to put in a lot of hours initially in order to learn and develop their skills. It is a matter of life and death and so, doctors cannot afford to make mistakes. As far as resident doctors and consultants are concerned, the working hours are slightly relaxed due to their experience in the medical profession.   

Were you part of Covid-19 duties in the pandemic? How was the experience?

During the first wave of Covid-19, I was a final-year student. At that time, we were all sent home. But in 2021, I was interning in the peak of the Second Wave. I was posted in the department of Medicine, and every other day, I would see patients losing their life. Given the massive shortages of medicines and ventilators in hospitals, many could not survive. Nonetheless, as the Covid-19 vaccination drive commenced, the situation improved for patients and doctors. I would say that as citizens we have fought Covid-19 bravely.

Any case during Covid-19 that had a mental impact on you?

Yes. I recall a child-patient who suffered from chronic kidney disease. I was assigned to take his daily samples at the hospital. For three days, I regularly took the sample. But on the fourth day, when I went to do so, the sample didn’t come. That was peak Covid-19 time, and many surgeries were delayed – his dialysis was one of them. On day 4, his pulse started dipping and there was nothing we could do. This case has stuck with me.

For medical aspirants, your tips?

Keep going! Nobody has got it easy to get to the top. The hard work that you put in today, will reap benefits in the future. So, stay focused and dedicated. One line that drives me; it was said to me by one of my mentors – ‘Just focus on the next one hour’ and eventually it will happen. I swear by this rule. Once you study for an hour, in the next one hour you will have a sense of accomplishment. And that will drive you to do more.

We are still witnessing a rise in Covid-19 cases in India. So, your message to citizens?   

It is only with our combined efforts we will emerge a healthy and disease-free society. Please maintain a bit of caution. Make it a point to follow the guidelines given by the Government and take your vaccinations on time. 

Mrini Devnani is a Senior Correspondent and Marketing Coordinator at Newsroom. She covers student achievements, interviews and contributions for the website. She was a former Correspondent covering Edutech for the India Today Group, and has passion for Social Media and Digital Marketing. You can reach her at [email protected]

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