A Motivational Story for all doctors or students undergraduate.
Introduction in Dr Naila Ashfaque's own words
It’s been a long time I wanted to share the story of my postgraduate medical journey with all of you but due to busy professional and family life I couldn’t write it earlier,
Today I would like to take this opportunity to share my post-graduate medical journey with all of you especially females.
I am a graduate of Baqai Medical University
My journey is a journey of every middle-class female who dreams to do something big and extraordinary in her life, to turn my dream into reality I followed these simple rules and suggest you do the same.
1) Must not waste time during your undergraduate, you must study very very hard so that you can save time afterward because as soon as you graduate your clock will start, there will be immense pressure on you from all side especially from parents to get marry and start life, so long you are in medical college you have a protected shield, everyone is happy to support you for studies. So utilize this time as best you can, read from textbooks, reference books, avoid review books as much you can, Study almost every day for 4/5 hours no matter what.
2) Soon after graduation starts your house job, don’t delay it at all unless you are getting married or there is a strong reason not to do it, always do a house job in medicine and surgery 6-6 months as that's GMC acceptable pattern. House job should not stop you from studying, make sure whatever patients you see you study well on it plus continue with your home study routine as you were doing in medical school.
A continuous journey of struggles
3) FCPS 1, try to do FCPS1 as a backup plan which I did one month after my house job, here your previous hard work will count, if you have studied well before than FCPS 1 can be done with 2-3 months prep. ( remember this was not my goal this was my back up plan)
4) Don’t delay your marriages, my FCPS 1 result was announced on the day of my engagement, so never ever turn down suitable proposals, trust me your degrees and training will eventually be done if you are determinant, career breaks are very common here in west so don’t worry about it.
Make 10 years plan
5 years for family and kids and 5 years for postgraduate training and exams, grab what comes first don’t turn down any blessing of Allah.
5) After marriage we had to do a lot of struggle,
me and my Husband Dr. Ash both were FCPS postgraduate trainee at DUHS, our salary was 6200 PKr which we didn’t use to get for 3-6 months, we used to Travel by Bus ( W-11) and P3,
To fulfill our dreams we started teaching medical students at home, which made our life a little easier.
After 36 hours post-call we both used to teach medical students at our home and then At night we used to do our own study.
6) During our post-graduate residency training we used to study for USMLE and teach medical students, despite such hard work we couldn’t save enough to pay for USMLE for both of us, here my husband uncle stepped in Abdul Rasheed Sorathia he gave us full freedom, he said: “book whatever exam you wish to book, book all in one go... do what you like I will pay the fee for both of you ..... “
Here comes the turning point in our life...
now we were not worried about finances.
we just had to study ... study and Study...
Uncle Rasheed ( My father in law) booked USMLES 1-2 Ck CSA for both of us ...
And we both did step 1 in three months step 2 in 3 months, with a score of 98/99 we did this with our full-time post-graduate training at DUHS.
8 ) IELTS PLAB 1-2.
Because of the USA's complicated visa issues, we decided to do PLAB. We joined AEO Australian IELTS preps Center in Clifton, on the pre-call day we both used to go to AEO on the bike ( 1979 bike) I still love bikes, what a memory.
9) We both passed IELTS than what... PLAB 1 was just a piece of cake for us, because of vast USMLE and FCPS 1knowledge we didn’t have to study anything for PLAB1, we just walked through PLAB 1 then did PLAB2, during this time I traveled to the USA for USMLE step 2 CS which I passed, did attachment in the USA,
Note: During my USMLE step 3 exam I was 8month pregnant.
Here I completed MY GMC and USMLE (the year 2009 )
Because my husband got a nice job in the UK I preferred UK over the USA
I got a job in the same hospital where my husband worked, we both worked at the Same hospital in Wales, ( Nevil Hall hospital), the same hospital in SouthEnd Same job title same department, St Thomas Hospital London Same hospital same department.
10) MRCEM, ( Member Royal College Of EM)
This was not easy, I had to work so hard, as I had a kid, a full-time job, and household commitments, By Grace of God, I passed Part A and B, at the time of MRCEM C OSCE I had twin boys, I used to sit in the kitchen with my books, laying kids in rocking chair with my mum, my mum and husband played a key role here, My husband fully prepared me for this exam and I passed,
Now I Was MBBS, MD USA, MRCEM, with 3 kids
11 ) MRCP, so sorry to tell you that during the above period I passed MRCP 1 and 2 both in one go, I studied for both of these exams during my maternity.
12 ) MRCP PACES, this was a big exam for me, because of maternity and kids commitments I couldn’t attempt it earlier, so I was about to time out, I attended PASS PACES course, again this time I had my 4th child, I had to ask help from my mum again to look after kids, she again came to rescue me and again my husband ( Dr. Ash) spent days and nights to help me prepare for this toughest OSCE exam and Alhumdulliah I passed MRCP paces in 2018.
Now I was MBBS, PLAB GMC, MD USA, MRCEM, MRCP with 4 kids,
Now I have been offered a consultant Emergency Medicine post which I will be starting soon.
A strong message for all girls
Girls you all can achieve this, being a girl is no less than a blessing, every one is ready to help you, all you have to do is just ask for help, be Submissive, don’t be arrogant, be strong but don’t show your strength unless needed, use the strength of your dad, your brother, your husband, and all family members,
If a girl standing by the road with flat tire 100 people will come forward to help so try and use this help, whereas poor man has to change his own tire,
Must avoid social crap, be nice with everyone, don’t end up in unnecessary arguments. Arguments will push people away from you, don't try to be an Allien... means don’t do anything against the norm, you will burn out your self, I was from Punjabi family, I was married in Memon family, there was a big cultural difference yet I managed by observing and smiling.
Remember 2 people you will need by your side.
1) Your Mother
2) Your Husband ( if you are married )
1) Your mother is the only person who can look after your kids better than you in your absence so must always have a good relationship with her, be nice to her, it will be your mother who will come and rescue you during times of pregnancy, maternities and child cares. I m lucky I have a strong Mother.
2) Your husband is the person who can make the impossible into possible, be nice with him, love him respect him agree with his plans, established a good bonding and then he will stand by your side, make sure you love and respect his family same as you respect yours.
I had few career gaps but I never left my books, your kids and family commitments may stop you from going to work but trust me no one can stop you from studying, even if you are at home you must study, keep your bond strong with medical books and forums. Keep attempting exams one day you will get through.
And last but not the least, Always give something back to your people, to your family and others,
Despite my academic and job commitments I always supported my own and my in-law families wherever needed.
Out of 6 billion people on earth you have only 10-20 friends and family members around you who can do something for you so love and respect everyone for sure you will need their help.