Dr. Ashfaque Ahmed's medical life in his own words :
During my MBBS, I used to live in joint family of 15 people. It was not possible for me to study during day or evening because of so many things happening around, so I used to sleep in evening from 5-11 pm and then start study at night. During my 5 years of medical college, there was not a single night when I slept, I used to study from 11 pm to 6 am in morning and continued this routine even during holidays. After full night study, I used to go to university and share all this knowledge with my group friends. In this way, I was keeping everyone stimulated and focused on studies. I was never worried in class lectures didn’t bother to write any lecture. I just tried to memorise what professors had taught. We had some great teachers who really made us what we are today.
At that time, reading and buying books was just a kind of obsession for me. I would often call bookshop if they have any new reference or textbook on XYZ topic. During my final year MBBS, “350 cases for MRCP PACES” was my bedside book. You can now imagine what was my mindset.
The biggest mistake medical students make these days is, they waste their golden university days. They don’t study thoroughly, don’t read reference books. They lie and cheat to themselves, their parents and their teachers. If you can’t study 5-6 hours continuously outside your university hours, then please don’t pursue Medicine. You will be an MBBS doctor but you will need much struggle to pass postgraduate exams.
If you use your university time properly, you will pass any postgraduate exams with just 2-3 months preparation. You will not be resigning from your jobs, not be sitting in libraries for years to study for FCPS. PLAB, USMLE etc. You will just book exam and pass it.
This picture is one of the beautiful memory from my graduation times. This is my bed room, my study room, my socialisation room, my leisure room. That’s what all I had, everything in just one room. That’s how I used to study, with books around all the time, not in shelf, not in cupboard. I didn’t have luxury of table and chair, computer was out of question.
Reading my story of graduation times, let me tell you how did this help me to prepare postgraduate exams in minimum time:
FCPS 1: 1 month preparation.
MRCP 1 and 2: Both 6 months preparation (with job).
IMM: 1 month preparation (with job).
MRCS 1: 4 months preparation (with job).
MRCS 2: 2 months preparation (with job).
MRCS 3: 2 months preparation (with job).
USMLE 1 and 2: Both in 6 months preparation (with job).
PLAB 1: Didn’t study at all, USMLE preparation helped.
Plab 2: 2 months preparation.
MRCP PACES: Few weeks preparation (with job).
MRCEM A, B, C: Few months preparation.
FRCEM: SAQ, OSCE, Viva, Critical appraisal: Few months preparation.
FEBEM A: Few days preparation (with job).
FEBEM B: Without any preparation (with job).
MRCPCH 1: Few days preparation (with job).
Cutting long story short, the thing I want to make clear to medical students is, success is not overnight phenomena but a name of continuous hard work and effort. Remember, in professional education, maximum thing which matters is none other than self-study. So, if you have joined this profession, then please utilise your time wisely so you could become good doctor as well as good human.