“You don’t drown by falling in the water; you drown by staying there.”
(Edwin Louis Cole)
When in 2016 the merit of Medical Colleges in Lahore ended at 90.04% and the last Medical College in Punjab closed its list at 88.86%, finally some alarms went off in people’s mind and the question rose as to how far this hike would go?
The UHS folks came up with a solution this year. “Since making the merit fall has become a necessity and the students seem to manage to solve the paper no matter how difficult it is, how about we make an impossible paper?” So, they made a paper which 85% of students would fail to solve well. The rest of the students (15%) who managed to solve it can be divided into three categories:
- The ones who were truly geniuses, who had Allah with them, and controlled their nerves.
- The ones who were on drugs
- The ones who had connections with the Jinn and knew what was going to come in the exam.
What to do now:
So, what are the 95% students supposed to do now? If you’re one of them, by the time you reach the end of this article, you’ll have a clear concept of what you must do now.
Whether you’re planning to repeat MDCAT next year or not, you need to apply for another course. If you’re determined to repeat, then you need a “filler”.
The next MDCAT is 1 year from now and you need something productive to do during this time. Let’s face it, not all repeaters make it. I know a guy who gave the MDCAT for the 3rd time this year and didn’t make it. I’m not trying to make you lose hope but let’s prepare for the worst and then hope for the best. You need to join another field like DPT (Doctor of Physiotherapy), Pharm-D or BDS (Dentistry).
In case you score good in the next MDCAT, you leave this filler field and join MBBS. However, if God forbid you fail once again, then you can simply continue the filler field and make it your permanent profession. This will save you a year inevitably.
If you’re not repeating MDCAT next year then again, you must choose a field too.
Now comes the time to choose a field (or a filler, in case of the repeaters). Here, again, you have to make a decision: “medical or non-medical?” Do you want to stay in the medical fields, or are you interested in moving to other fields like languages and other sciences?
If you choose to remain in the medical profession, the best choices you have are:
- BDS (Dentistry). You will be given admission based on MDCAT and UHS handles the admissions. Dentistry is a highly paid profession and in this field, skill matters more than knowledge. It has merit lower than MBBS.
- The second priority is DPT (Doctor of Physiotherapy). DPT is a really well-paid profession and has great scope in Pakistan. King Edward Medical College, Allama Iqbal Medical College and almost all Universities, even Hajveri University has DPT. If you’re the kind of person who can work with his hands, then this field is for you. It’s suitable for guys as well as girls because Pakistani women prefer female physiotherapists. The competition in this field is increasing, but it’s less than that in Pharm-D. If you manage to go abroad then this field is really profitable. There is a percentage of MDCAT marks included in the aggregate for this course too, but it’s around 30%.
- If you’re interested in research work then you have Biotechnology. This field is really great because of increasing scope day by day and very limited competition. Presently only Punjab University offers biotechnology and there is no entry test for that. The merit last year was around 88% and it’s based entirely on Matric and F.Sc. So, if you have good marks in Matric and F.Sc., then go for this. Moreover, if you get a hit outside of Pakistan then this field is a goldmine.
- Pharm-D is fourth on the priority list and the reason is that the competition in this field has really increased. It’s still a popular choice, especially among repeaters as a filler.
- You can also opt for Veterinary and similar courses in UVAS which is a well-reputed Government Institute.
If you opt to leave the medical field, then you can opt for the following fields:
- You may go for B.Sc. in Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Here’s a cool thing, most of us underestimate the profession of teaching. Think about it, how many hospitals are there? How many jobs for Pharmacists, Physiotherapists, etc.? Limited, right? But how many students of Matric, F.Sc., etc.? Countless. This nation is always going to be scared of subjects like Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Mathematics. Teachers are always in business.You probably prepared MDCAT from an academy. How much did they charge from one student? How much do they earn? And how much do the teachers earn? My MDCAT Physics teacher posted this on Facebook when the MDCAT’17 session ended: “Is anyone selling a Honda City? I want to buy it.”
You get the point. If you take it to Ph.D., people are going to run after you. My biology teacher says:
’’ایک وقت تھا جب علم بڑی دولت تھی۔ اب علم میں بڑی دولت ہے۔‘‘
- You may also go for the languages i.e. B.A., M.A., M.Phil. and Ph.D. in English, Urdu or another language. Do you know that Pakistanis who know Urdu, English and Chinese also have well-paid jobs now because of the CPEC Project and the Chinese industrialists flooding into Pakistan? You can consider that an option as well.
- Another thing I would really recommend is getting some sort of a Bachelor’s Degree like B.A. or B.Sc. and then going for CSS. That is perhaps the highest paid government job you can get. An MBBS Doctor who serves his life, becomes a Professor and Head of Department at a good Government Hospital reaches pay scale 19 (Grade 19th) at the end of his career. A young guy who does CSS reaches Grade 20 or 21 easily and has elite protocol.
- A difficult but really rewarding career, for which you won’t have to waste a year, is CA or ACCA (Chartered Accountancy). CA takes around 7 years and ACCA takes around 4 years. The difference between them is that CA is a Pakistani degree and holds more value in Pakistan. ACCA is a British degree and holds more value in countries like England and Saudi Arabia. ACCA takes less time and is said to be relatively easier than CA. The best academy for ACCA is SKANS School of Accountancy which is platinum certified from the British Council. For CA you may choose between PAC and Rise Institute.
If you’re a guy, this is a really rewarding field. But know that you will have to work really really hard. However in the long run, it’s less study than MBBS because a Doctor studies to the day of his retirement (I know this by experience) while in CA/ACCA you study once and for all. If you’re a girl who just wants a degree for a good rishta then no need to put yourself into so much trouble if you’re not gonna work.
- If you’re willing to move to Business then you have a way but you’ll get admission the following year. You can give the SAT Exam (it’s in January) and seek admission to LUMS for Business studies. The SAT exam is taken 6 times a year and the next one is going to be held on December 2, 2017. Registration deadline is November 2, 2017.
- Some people decide to move to Engineering. The way to do that is to do Ad-Maths the next year in F.Sc. and give the Engineering Entry Tests (ECAT, GIKI, FAST, etc.).
You can also try to get into a private medical college if you have a strong financial background. But if you find that hard, then I wouldn’t recommend having a private MBBS degree because it doesn’t hold much value in Pakistan to be honest. However, with luck, anything is possible.
Life hasn’t ended guys. Your friends are still with you, your family is still with you and most importantly, your Allah is still with you. All the things that really matter are still with you. One test came and went away. You have a lot more in life. A lot more to life for.
There is always some younger person who thinks you are perfect. There is some work that will never be done if you don’t do it. There is someone who would miss you if you were gone. There is a place that you alone can fill. Don’t let setbacks stop you from becoming the person the world needs you to be.
Written by: Muhammad Rohan Hussain