Through my eyes – Three years of MEDICON
The train started to move. Through the window I saw a board that said, “MANGALORE”, moving away very slowly. A tingling feeling in my mind, a crushing pain in my heart and tears came out of my eyes. Don’t know why, I was dearly missing all of it. It was the day I was heading back home, after MEDICON in Mangalore. MEDICON will never be faint in my memories.
I had seen the Manipal version of the Bryan Adams “summer of ‘69”, song. It had featured a yellow bus. The day I arrived in Mangalore, I was very much excited, as I was sitting in the exact same bus from the song. From receiving us from the station, to the last seconds of post congress tour, MEDICON-2009 was so organized that I never felt lost, even if the place and the people were totally new to me. Accommodation, food, workshop, lectures, and the presentations, everything, was very much well regulated and maintained in professional way. Through the friendly behavior of organizing members and the volunteers, they made sure that I always felt at home. At each step, there was someone to ask “may I help you?” My biggest achievement was the opportunity to meet in person Dr. Vinay Kumar, and talk to him face to face. I was astonished! I didn’t know people could be so soft spoken and humble; Dr. Kumar is certainly one such person. His lecture on “The history of Robbin’s Pathology” amazed and inspired me. Dr. Fatema Jawad, The Chief Editor of JPMA, was my judge in my poster session; a beautiful lady with a very beautiful mind. Her encouraging words gave me spirit to continue my research in future. Conversations with Vasumathi ma’am, Kiran ma’am and the other guests were thought provoking and encouraging. The best gift I got from Medicon-2009 was a group of good friends, who in many ways changed my life in research afterwards. It was surprising to realize that everything that happened was put together and managed by just medical students. MEDICON at KMC, Mangalore is the best memory ever in my life. It was a trend setter.
For me, Coimbatore was a city of joy. MEDICON-10 being in a different college had a different atmosphere from the one in 2009. This too followed 09 as a conference organized by students. Organizing committee, students, volunteers and the attendees, everyone worked really hard to make the conference successful and productive. I was impressed with the judges and guests and their variety of interesting lectures. I loved the banquet night, especially the Bhartanatyam dance, which is synonymous to the Indian Culture. MEDICON 10 gave me another opportunity to meet fellow student researchers from every corner of India. I learnt more about research and made me think whether, in future, after graduation, I should take research as my career. It was the first time an INFORMER meeting was held and it was a grand success. I missed the post congress tour. However along with my friends we visited Ooty. It was a real enjoyable experience. MEDICON-10 was another successful conference.
Medicon 2011 was at Grant Medical College, Mumbai. It is a typical Government run college. Here too, the environment was totally different from the others. It was a long and difficult journey from Kolkata, my city and it was the first time I was in Mumbai. Initially I felt completely lost; huge city, thousands of roads, a large Medical College campus. I could not find any logos of MEDICON-11 or directions. After a bit of searching and asking around I eventually found the registration desk and registered myself. I was about to cry when I was allotted a room as accommodation. For the first time I felt sorry being at MEDICON. But the feeling vanished, when I saw that the volunteers and the organizing members, who were working tirelessly, to make our stay more comfortable. I slowly began to recognize the fact that my past MEDICON-memories were from Private Institutes. But this was a Government medical college, and the shortcomings were actually negligible. I realized how hard the Organizers were struggling to manage everything. From second day of the conference I was happy being at MEDICON again. I was honoured to be in one of the oldest medical college in India and the so called “Munna Bhai” lecture Hall. I attended the workshop, poster sessions, oral sessions, quiz and lectures and all arrangements. This MEDICON clearly showed me that organizing a medical conference and making it success is not at all simple. After the long scientific sessions, the banquet at the Gymkhana was a totally relaxing experience. The beautiful fashion show and the other events were very entertaining. My jaw dropped down when an English song turned into the Vandemataram and the beautiful models arranged themselves to make a national flag of India. Everyone danced to the music of the DJ. All together, MEDICON-11 was totally different from others, it was much more fun. In the end, I couldn’t even remember what was missing. I hope, if something was organized at my college, it could at least compare with MEDICON-11
Amongst all I have observed, experienced and learnt about research, I have no doubt that MEDICON has been one of the biggest contributors. I learnt about and corrected most of my mistakes at MEDICON. Medicon is quite unique in the fact that it understands the students mind and gets adapted to it. It moves from medical college to medical college, every year, so that each part of India enriches it with its culture. Comparing to the other conferences abroad, MEDICON is again better, in the variety of programme it offers, the fun which always accompanies it and of course it is easy on the pocket.
MEDICON is, was and will be the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of conferences. I feel so sorry that from the next year onwards I am no longer an undergraduate and will not be able to be present at future MEDICONs as a presenting participant. But I will never lose an opportunity to attend it.
I wish future MEDICONs the very best and hope it continues to keep up its unique ambience.
Dr. Ashok K Biswas
Midnapore Medical College & Hospital West Bengal