Prachi, 22, originally from India, moved over to the UK with her family for her Dad’s job when she was 6. She was living in Surrey for the most part of her education, with a quick spell back to India before year 8, but from then on England was her permanent address. Prachi moved to Brighton after her A-levels to study medicine at the Brighton and Sussex medical school, she’s now in her 4th year doing her MBBS degree. Why medicine? “You know some people grow up knowing exactly what they want to do, they always know what direction they’re going in, I was that kind of person. I always knew I wanted to be a doctor.” Prachi believes that her interest in science has been inherited from her parents, who have both followed a career path in science, more specifically in veterinary. “I feel very lucky to have been accepted into the university, I don’t think everyone is fortunate enough to do exactly what they dream of doing.”
What part of medicine does Prachi hope to specialise in after her MBBS degree? “I haven’t had to decided yet, I’m not completely sure. After the 5 or 6 year course, you do 2 years of being a junior doctor, working in a hospital and after then is when you have to know your chosen speciality. But I quite like cardiology and surgery. There’s a lot more things that I’m excluding rather than including.” Prachi hopes that throughout the next few years, before she has to make her decision, she’ll just bump into the speciality that she enjoys the most, like it will be a gut feeling. “I don’t think I’ve had that yet, so hopefully it will just feel obvious when I do.”
As someone that feels safe with the feeling of direction and sense of knowing what the end result of all her efforts will be, Prachi looks forward to figuring out what she wants to specialise in. “In the first 2 years of medical school I was just like, what’s the end game? And now that I’m coming to the end, I can see that I need to be applying for internships and doing this and that, so I like having something to work towards.” As everyone who dreams of going to med school, for a long time, throughout your secondary education, the biggest question is, am I going to get accepted? And wants that goal is reached, it’s good, because then you can relax (NOT REALLY) but then you think, okay, what am I doing now?”
What about the enormous work load, what keeps you going when you’re over worked and tired?
“Having the knowledge to be able to answer patients, talk them through their condition or their treatment. Being able to put their mind at ease or just simply make them understand what’s happening. It’s such a small thing on my part, but it means so much to them and they’re so appreciative which is really an amazing feeling. That’s why I like to have as much knowledge as possible. And the only way you’re going to have that to offer them is by coming back from your lectures or from being on the ward/clinic and getting out your textbook and just learning as much as you can. There’s no point on being on the ward if you don’t know what you’re talking about or how to answer peoples questions”
So what can Prachi tell us about the culture of where she’s from in India? “I love the food, the traditions, the ‘big family’ aspect of it. There are a plentiful amount of festivals in India, so for example Diwali – festival of lights and Holi – festival of colours. It’s all about celebration, getting together with your family, having loads of great food and a great time. You exchange gifts and you’re surrounded by music, colour and lights, it’s just the best!” It sounds like the English version of this could be Christmas, a time shared with family and having enormous amounts of fine food and giving presents. “It’s the same concept, just in a different culture.” Prachi goes back to India during holidays “so I get to have the best of both worlds, which is really nice”.
Are you religious? “I’d say I’m more spiritual rather than religious. I do believe that their is a superior force but I also think that religions can be very divisive. I believe that what’s important is the perception of humans regardless of skin colour or gender. I think religions were created with the intent to make people ‘better’ and to bring forth ‘good values’ but somewhere along the lines that’s all got a bit distorted.” Prachi also added that we can be born into religions but as we grow up we start to figure things out for ourselves, and that’s the kind of compromise that she has come to.
Is there anything you specifically like about England? “The people are lovely, they’re honest and fair generally. Everyone does what they want to do and they’re dedicated to it. And in superficial terms, I really like the environment, the info-structure. I feel like things get done easier here too.” So it’s more difficult to follow you’re own path living in India then? “A little bit, but what I love about India is the familiarity and feeling of home. I feel connected to it in a weird way, like I’m emotionally attached to it. I would still probably always defend my country, even though I can see from an objective point of view, they’re are short comings, I still love it regardless of the differences or the disadvantages. It’s just inherent I think, it can’t be taught.”
“I love having two counties that I belong to. But you’re always on a plane.”
Must make it difficult to decide where to live!
GOOD DEED: Prachi recently signed up to the Anthony Nolan register for bone-marrow donations! She’s waiting on the arrival of her kit to send off her DNA so she can be tested and then put on the official registry. ISN’T IT REALLY PAINFUL? The only time I’ve heard of bone-marrow donation is when I watched the film ‘Seven Pounds’ starring Will Smith, and he looked like he was huuuuuuuurting! “There are two ways of doing it, either you just give some blood or you can give some of your bone-marrow from your hip bone, and that is painful! But it’s not like it used to be before.” Prachi is very eager to take part in organ donation and believes this is the first step towards that goal. “I think it’s important to give back, we’re limited on what we can give financially but every little helps (says Tesco). So anything you can do, at least one good deed a day I think is what I like to go by.”