Off the edge Education

Look beyond

My daughter is preparing for the USMLE for PG in medicine in the U.S. She has become stressed and wonders if she will clear the exams. She also does not know whether to choose a MD in Community Medicine or Psychology. How can we help her? – Harikaa

Dear Harikaa,

Candidates being stressed out, worried and anxious prior to the USMLE is common. However, please watch her closely and get her assessed or evaluated immediately if she is not eating or sleeping well, experiencing mood-swings, exhibiting lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem, becoming crabby and irritable, not being able to concentrate and study at all. She will benefit from meeting an encouraging counsellor and start ‘talk-therapy’ to stay calm and rebuild her confidence. The professional will also be able to help her discern what course her heart is in during their various conversations.

I will be appearing for JEE next year but find that I'm either falling asleep over my books or tend to day dream. It has been my dream to pursue Biotech Engineering at IIT. But I am unable to deal with this. – Ananmol

Dear Ananmol,

First, REST well and make sure that you have no sleep deficit. Then, gear up for a dream that you have nurtured. There is no pressure but, since you have wanted this, how badly do you want it? What are the sacrifices that you are willing to make? Discipline, consistency, regularity are non-negotiable. Set a realistic time-table with enough rest, exercise and study time. Or, sign up to some classes if you believe that is something that will kick in the seriousness for you.

I am in the first year of the MBBS. I want to do my PG in the U.S. But I have been hearing that the USMLE is hard and that the NEET PG is easier. Is that true? – Ritika

Dear Ritika,

Both need hard work, sincerity, a lot of preparation, discipline and studying! Introspect and identify where you see the blocks in your prep for the USMLE. Can a mentor or regular curriculum classes and structure help? Make a plan and break it down and work towards small short-term goals first. You have a long time ahead of you and, across the next four years, you can certainly make this happen. NEET PG can also be plan B or vice-versa.

I am a 21-year-old B.Sc. Chemistry student. I am confused about what I should do next. I have no interest in teaching or research or in the civil services. I want to do a professional course that will provide me with a job. I am interested in working in the medical field (but not as a doctor). – Minakshi

Dear Minakshi,

Some of the hottest healthcare careers for Chemistry majors are available in both direct care and laboratory settings. You could look at becoming a Biomedical Chemist, a Medical lab scientist, an Industrial Hygienist or Toxicologist, a Physician’s Assistant or even a Veterinarian. There are specialisations and Master’s programmes for each depending on what you decide.

Disclaimer: This column provides advice and suggestions and is not a substitute for long-term therapy. Some issues may need medical intervention.

The writer is a practising counsellor and a trainer. Send your questions to with the subject line ‘Off the edge’.

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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 8:59:22 PM |

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