Here i am sharing an interesting situation faced by an academic counselor.
The student has just completed his Pre University Course(12th class) and now he has to decide what further studies he can opt for. Well he has choices but he is not able to decide whether he should go for MBBS (medicine) or BDS (dental surgery). Student’s father was against MBBS, the mother for it and the was completely confused! The interesting aspect is that the father himself is a MBBS doctor but is strongly advocating against taking it up. He claims it is too much of commitment and drudgery and also that the actual earning starts very late and finally when it does start the profession consumes all leaving very little time for pursuing one’s other interests. The mother’s contention is that there are thousands of doctors who managed to pass the course even if the required amount of effort was very high and that they also went on to have a decent enough work-life balance. The father again came back saying that a MBBS doctor is nothing without specialisation and was like a jack of all trades while a Dentist can go on to become a Master of one particular aspect of the human body. He also claimed there would not be emergencies for a dental surgeon (which means he is not on a 24/7 call situation) and he could also set up a clinic with very little investment and start the earning cycle quickly. The mother was adamant that she wants to see her son as a doctor come what may. She said the ‘white coat’ meant a lot to which the father said that even a dental surgeon wears one! Interestingly the mother had discontinued her own MBBS after one year of study because the college she had joined shut down and she had no option but to stop. So there may have been some unfulfilled desires lurking there and she wanted them realised through the son. The dilly-dallying went back and forth and finally it was decided that the kid would take the opinion of another uncle who was also a doctor and then decide. Man! he looked completely confused and I pity him and the thousands of others who go through this. As far as the destination was concerned they all agreed it was alright to send the kid to a good University in the USA as against paying 40-50 lakhs of donation and getting him into a second rung Medical or Dental College in India. There wasn’t much disagreement about that especially as the family is well off and affordability is not a factor. Plus they had enough relatives in the USA to support the kid if needed. If I had to take a stand I would have gone with the father. I think he made a lot of sense and I could see the frustration he had endured being in the medical profession, first as a student and then as a practicing Physician. He claims he had to dramatically contrive and manage situations to be able to enjoy his life and felt his son should not go through the same thing. He also was emphasising on the importance of physical exercise and having a wide range of interests to keep one’s life ‘happening every second’ as he put it. Overall he made a lot of sense and I walked away with a lot of respect for him. I could see that his experience was what was making him talk while the mother was being more emotional and sentimental. There will be a lot of you out there with the same dilemma – MBBS or BDS? Hopefully this story will give you a small pointer. Because as a complete outsider I could see both points of view but finally I think what the father said made a lot of sense. Best of luck.