It’s the beginning of the end.
There’s an undeniable aura of finality that makes me view everything with a bittersweet lens. This month began with three exams, plastic surgery, neurology, and orthopedics. Then it was time for my last medical school rotation ever.
Endocrinology is one of three blocks with a merged end-rotation clinical exam. The other two were Gastroenterology and Nephrology. I really enjoyed the latter and I found the doctors to be some of the most well-rounded doctors I’ve seen.
Endocrinology was gruelling; unpunctual lecturers were a huge inconvenience, extending the day way beyond needed, yet they were extremely strict about our attendance. Despite the collective fatigue of daily attendance, there was a silver lining — I would be seeing my friends a lot more often in our last-ever rotation in medical school.
It’s been an interesting round overall. We saw some long-term patients who usually come in for round teachings and exams. They are prodded and questioned every year by students and for most, these clinical sessions are their source of income.
There’s always one or two cases that stick with me from every rotation. One of these is a patient we saw during the rounds who had Cushing’s disease. As soon as the doctor left the room, the patient demanded our attention and began to explain his condition, the signs to look for on his body, and what sort of questions we would be asked in the exam. We all quietly listened as he gave a quick summary. These patients really become the medical experts of their conditions.
Another is a patient whose story shocked me to my core. She was a middle-aged woman diagnosed with Addison’s disease. She told me it all began with an episode of gastroenteritis. She was unwell for a week and eventually, she went to the pharmacy to buy corticosteroid tablets. Feeling better, she continued taking them for almost a year until Ramadan came around. She collapsed on her first day of fasting and was rushed to hospital in an Addison’s crisis.
It’s truly heart-wrenching to hear of cases like this. Many of the patients I saw in A&E came in with a majority of preventable emergencies; often stemming from a lack of education about their conditions. The decree of Allah SWT is one thing, to not take your insulin until you’re in DKA is another.
A Path to Paradise
After the morning rounds, I’m off to the coworking space where I study. I have Internal Medicine and Surgery and I have to balance between the two. I find myself trying to remember how I got through Paediatrics and OB/GYN last year. The load is a lot heavier this time around, but it all works out eventually, that much I know.
Sometimes I think, “How easy would my life be if I weren’t in Medicine”? But that is waswasa of the shaytān. No one but Allah knows how my life would be. However, it’s always been my lifelong dream to become a doctor and Allah SWT has paved the way for me. I try to constantly renew my intentions and remind myself that this is a beautiful way to earn the pleasure of Allah and serve His creation. The importance of niyyah (intention) has been instilled in my mind since the first time I learnt the hadith:
“Verily actions are according to intentions, and every human being receives and obtains that which he has intended.”
Every little action, no matter how mundane, becomes an opportunity to gain reward if we shift our perspectives and become conscious of our intentions. At the end of the day, seeking knowledge is also a way to enter Jannah:
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Allah makes the way to Jannah easy for him who treads the path in search of knowledge.”
And last, but not least, Imam Shafi’ee (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
“I am not aware of anything, besides the knowledge of Halal and Haram (i.e. Islamic knowledge) nobler than the knowledge of Medicine.”
I reserve these reminders for the rainy days.
Day of the Exam
The clock is ticking away. It’s now just hours to my Internal Medicine clinical exam in the morning. 8 am to be precise. My energy has been waning this past week and I’m sitting here unable to mentally go through another OSCE checklist.
I’ve just finished my Quran class and that’s my accomplishment for the day. I’m in a race against time to complete my hifdh before graduation inshaAllah. It’s past midnight and although I would like to sleep, I haven’t “earned” that yet. I need these 30 marks. So I’ll stay awake and practice history-taking in Arabic or I’ll be having a mental translation lag tomorrow…
*Few hours later*
Alhamdulilah, the exam was a lot better than I had anticipated! All four stations went by very smoothly. The doctors were pleasant and frankly looked bored to see another student ramble on about their findings.
I started a GoFundMe in the last week of July and Alhamdulillah, this week I handed over the first batch of funds to the family we’ve been raising money for.
As it stands, we are £65 from our goal and donations come through every other day. I can’t help but make du’aa for each person who donated (or even shared) and I feel grateful that Allah allowed us to be a means to alleviate another Muslim’s troubles.
I’ve always been inspired by Ali Banat and his story, may Allah have mercy on him. I admire the person he was and the legacy he built while battling a debilitating disease. May Allah allow us to do the same and more one-day inshaAllah.
unplugging for a while
Lately, I’ve been reading a book on Digital Minimalism and it definitely needs its own blog post. Pretty much everyone I know, young and old is suffering from the overstimulation of social media. I myself it overwhelming at times; a simple scroll inundates my brain with a barrage of information, draining my mental energy.
So in an attempt to declutter my socials and my mental space, I deleted Instagram and Twitter (yes I still call it that, what on earth is X?) and unsubscribed from a multitude of emails I’m no longer interested in.
Although I’m back on now, albeit for a few minutes a day, the goal is to use social media with intention and a clear purpose. I’ll be sharing more on that soon, inshaAllah.
For now, finals are lurking around the corner, so I’m now in my serious studying mode. Kindly send prayers my way if you’re reading this.
Till the next one, so long friends!