The Seven Ages of Life in Medical School

in Medcetera by

I know this sounds extremely corny but today marks the end of a 7 year long association with my medical school. I got done with my housejob yesterday and did not apply for an extension because I wanted to take a year off and try to steer my career in a different direction. At this stage, it is a huge decision for me because, frankly, I am notsure what the future holds for me, and I am treading new ground here. I have never been in this position before. How I handle myself now will therefore be as much a testimony of my character as anything else.

So anyways. I decided to write a short ditty outlining my sojourn in medical school, a la Shakespeare’s Seven Ages of a Man. Consider this to be the “…woeful ballad/ Made to his mistress’ eyebrow”. I may not have been appreciative of the people running the place, but Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata has always had a special place in my heart. And now its time to say goodbye!

Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata

The first age, of untouched innocence,
As we softly trod into the hallowed halls,
The awe, the wonder, the effervescence
Of pride as I crossed the carmine walls.

The second, knowing the body, dissecting the dead,
The sense of terror, the excitement,
An unsaid freedom, the growing up,
Discovering life, the sweet hours spent.

The third, finding love, a reckless rebellion,
Drunk on life, oh, the ecstasy,
To walk the path, less often trod,
And forgetting the world ‘round me!

The fourth, when illusions smashed to bits,
When love was lost, bruised, broken hearts.
The world seemed to fade into nothingness,
As life and love were torn apart…

With the resurrection, the fifth age came,
Like a phoenix, to rise from the dead,
Burying the past, forgetting the pain,
Renewed resolve, moving on, ahead.

With the sixth came an adrenaline rush.
Learning the tricks of the trade,
Taking tentative, baby steps
Following the trail, from the bench to the bed.

And then the seventh, age of tearful adieu,
Leaving home and hearth, the world to face,
With memories, moments, etched on my heart,
To cherish in life’s cruel race.

Skeptic Oslerphile, Scientist at the Indian Council of Medical Research, National Institute of Cholera and Enteric Diseases. Interests include: Emerging Infections, Public Health, Antimicrobial Resistance, One Health and Zoonoses, Diarrheal Diseases, Medical Education, Medical History, Open Access, Healthcare Social Media and Health2.0. Opinions are my own!


  1. so true and so nicely drafted 🙂 I am officially your fan pranab da ,right from class 5 when i used to listen to your debates n speeches in awe and even today i find myself being bowled out by your versatile skills…..anywaz.. all the best for your career as a medical professional….am sure, though, that u would become a sure handed doc 🙂 🙂

    Last,but not least.i didn’t get this “7 years stuff in medical school “….i guess mbbs is a 5 year course, rite!!! ?

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