Young doctors in the country are in a dilemma as they have to juggle between covid duties and preparing for the PG entrance exams to institutions of national importance. AIIMS has announced that INI-CET (Institute of National importance combined entrance test ) will be held on June 16. A group of students has now approached the Supreme Court to postpone this exam for a month.
After the government had announced that to boost the availability of medical personnel to fight covid, NEET PG entrance exams will be held only after August 31 and they will be given a month’s notice, many doctors went back to covid duty.
Dr Raghav is a PG Aspirant and it’s been a dream for him to enter into one of these institutes. After the government’s decision, he started working at the covid ward of a hospital in Bangalore. Dr Raghav said,” At the hospital, we spend around 12 to 13 hours, and for hours we will be in PPE kits. Once the shifts are over we don’t even have the energy to eat then how can we prepare for the exam.”
The doctors feel that it is an injustice to the patients to leave them at a time like this but at the same time, they are concerned about their future.
“We have to give at least notice of 15 days’ and inform the hospital that we have to leave. It will be very tough to leave the job. It will be an injustice to leave the job at this time without any notice. We cannot either leave the job or we cannot study, that is what is happening with everyone who is preparing all over India,” Dr Raghav said.
About 80,000 students are attending the INICET which is the entrance exam for PG seats in AIIMS, JIPMER, PGI Chandigarh, and NIMHANS.
At present Dr Divya Prakash makes house visits at Jamshedpur in Jharkhand for covid patients who are unable to bear the huge expense of private hospitals or even get a bed in a hospital. He served in a covid hospital during the first wave, resigned when it was over to prepare for higher studies.
Dr Divya Prakash said, “INICET never declared that they will give one-month prior notice or any tentative day as such. But when we were told to come back and join the duty and serve the county, it was pretty obvious at that time, because the NEET- PG is getting delayed. We are almost the same number of students who will be taking the same exam. So, it’s pretty obvious that we thought that if we join duty, we supposed that we will get this one-month notice.”
Students have written to AIIMS and the health ministry requesting to give them one month’s notice for their exams. They have been caught in a dilemma of leaving the patients at a time when they are needed the most and preparing for the entrance exam that has a bearing on their future.
Most of these front-line workers are staying away from family in the fear that they might infect their loved ones.
Dr Divya Prakash said, “To bounce back to studies from this condition is very difficult, covid has a toll on us. We are mentally and physically exhausted. INICET is a very difficult exam and it is a dream for most of us aspiring doctors to get into AIIMS, JIPMER, PGI.”
Dr Divya Prakash added that they require at least 30 days prior notice to hand over patients to other doctors and bounce back to studies and revise. “We should be given a fair chance, it means a lot to us, it has the potential to shape our future and serve the country better in the future,” Dr. Divya Prakash said.
They will be able to write the exam only in their original choice of centres which means they will have to travel to different places amidst the pandemic in a short notice. Even now these young doctors hope that they will get a fair chance.