(This post was originally published on 27th December 2016. It was added to my blog by taking permission from the writer. Thank you, Dr. Aman Nannuan, for allowing me to add your post to this blog)
Hi everyone! Hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas and Boxing Day.
This post is a few days overdue, and quite long, but please bear with me. I’m hoping it’ll provide those trying to make a decision regarding an academy with a clearer picture.
I took Plab 2 on 7th December and passed, with God’s grace. I’d definitely say I owe this success to Common stations Academy.
Dr Hamed Salehi’s guidance to you starts way before the actual course, when he talks to you and guides you about the batch and exam dates most suitable for your schedule. And of course, during the actual course, you benefit from his tireless efforts and all the hard work that he’s put into the course material, which he updates regularly, and into the classes. There’s never a dull moment during any of his classes, the way he involves every single person, even the most shy and quiet ones will be encouraged to participate (and there’s no escaping, as he remembers every single person by their name, but you will thank him for it, at the end). He stays back after class each day, to answer any questions and clear doubts. Even after the course is over, you’re told that you are welcome to discuss any further doubts you have, and I personally took this offer up on many occasions, after classes of the subsequent batch would be over, I’d be ready with my questions, but he never said no. No matter how long it takes.
Dr Elmira Yaghmaei teaches you all the examination stations and she is a master at every one of them. Not just that, she will guide you with the other stations equally well, if you need her to. She knows everyone’s strength and weaknesses and will always encourage you accordingly. She is beautiful inside and out and her enthusiasm will make everything seem much less daunting.
I took one 9-station mock and two full mocks at the academy and the feedback I got was invaluable. You can feel yourself getting better with each mock. Dr Elmira painstakingly explains everything you did right or wrong during the mock and how to refine your approach for the exam.
Another doctor who taught us and also gave crucial feedback during mocks were Dr Anu, who is such a great and sweet person, missed not having her around towards the end of our practice. Dr Olayinka Famurewa too was very helpful and motivating, so was Dr Suchana Dhital Bhatta.
Not only the teachers, but everyone in the administrative team is so helpful as well.. Dr Ahmed painstakingly helped us wherever he could, including matters concerning the accommodation (I stayed at the one provided by the academy) and always made every effort he could to make sure all the students were comfortable. So does Hamed, another very affectionate and cheerful person, who looks after everyone, from the students to Dr Hamed, always with a smile. I saw him brave Renal Colic, day after day, while still carrying out his duties efficiently.
Also, a very important part of the journey, the amazing people you meet and bonds you form while at the academy. I was lucky to have met and made great friends and study partners during my time there, especially Salih Salim, Zainab Ahsan and Chizube Iloabachie and everyone in the little study group we had, which was an incredible support system.
It’s a challenging, uphill path, but everyone at common stations helps push you towards it. I miss them all, it was a beautiful time spent in the company of brilliant mentors and peers.
I’d like for all our colleagues, who’re doing the course or planning to do so in the future, to remember how demanding their jobs in their home countries were, medicine has never been a ‘walk in the park’. Please remember that this is going to be no exception and you will have to put in a lot of hard work, and crazy hours.. But that shouldn’t be a problem for doctors, right? Also, when you start to get tired of working hard or writing, or any of it really, remember that you’re doing it for yourself and your future, but everyone at the academy will be working much, much harder than any of you are and for you, for all our sakes. Our batch was one of the most challenging ones for Dr Hamed, Dr Elmira and everyone else because of the change in pattern, it was possible to see from their faces how tired they were, but that never affected the quality of teaching or their feedback or their dedication. They were still there for their students, a hundred percent.
Thank you to everyone for making this possible.