Historic: First-ever Mizoram-trained doctors hope to improve state’s public health
Students of the first ZMC batch

Mizoram witnessed history-making on April 12, but there is a good chance you may not have heard about it.

The result of the first batch of MBBS students from Mizoram’s lone medical college, Zoram Medical College, was declared on Wednesday, April 12, with a pass percentage of 71%. The Zoram Medical College (ZMC), previously known as Mizoram Institute of Medical Education & Research, was established on August 7, 2018. 95 students attempted the exam, of which 68 cleared the exams. 

EastMojo spoke to the toppers of the first MBBS batch, who expressed their eagerness to give back to Mizoram and cater to its lack of medical manpower. 

The value of this batch could be higher or timed better. Mizoram residents remember well that during the Covid-19 pandemic, Zoram Medical College was the lone designated hospital to cater to Mizoram’s population of 1,091,014 as per the 2011 census. Its 34-bed ICU was constantly operating at 100% occupancy and ZMC officials had reported a severe staff shortage. Reports show the extreme shortage of doctors, especially in South Mizoram, where in some areas the patient-to-doctor ratio is one doctor for every 50,000 people. 

Lalrempuii Hmar, who got the first rank with honours in Obs Gynae and Pediatrics, told EastMojo, “Throughout my years in MBBS, there were times that I gave up. But all of the hard work I put in from the first year helped me in some way. As someone born and raised in Mizoram, I think we must help our state in the best way we can. If I get good results in my PG entrance, I will choose a field most needed by Mizoram. If possible, I would like to pursue my career in Mizoram.” 

First Ranker Lalrempuii Hmar

“According to data, Mizoram lacks (doctor) numbers to cater to its population. Our faculty at ZMC have tried their best to cater to this need through our college. So we hope to see an improvement in the future, and we hope to be as much of a blessing as possible,” she added.  

Explaining why she chose the Zoram Medical College despite having options to study in other parts of the country, she told EastMojo, “I chose Mizoram mostly because it was closer to home and I felt that it was a way that I could contribute to Mizoram and I wanted to be a part of the first batch of ZMC. It is a great privilege to study MBBS in our home state and being a part of the first batch that our teachers have moulded is another blessing. Also, by studying in Mizoram, we could communicate freely with the patients in our mother tongue.”

Lalrempuii, whose father and mother are doctors too, was inspired early. She was in the sixth grade when she started aspiring to become a doctor. To reach the top, she studied for almost 15 hours a day. “In medical college, we are basically studying from 8 am till 4 pm. We have classes and practicals, during which our teachers constantly teach and guide us. After college, we go return to the hostels and start studying after dinner again immediately. We study as much as we can, and during exams, we study for 12 to 15 hours a day if possible since we don’t have classes.” 

While Lalrempuii was inspired by her parents, the second ranker, F Vanlalchhuanpuia, was inspired by the lack of doctors in his family, “There are many factors which played a role in making me interested in being a doctor. The first factor I can say is my family background. There are not many doctors in our family circle, and that is the reason why I decided to become a doctor in the first place. My parents are also very supportive of this situation. They are also helping me in a lot of ways.”

F Vanlalchhuanpuia

It was not just the lack of doctors in his family but also the doctor shortage in the state that touched Chhuanpuia’s heart and inspired him to reach his goal, “When I see a lot of patients in Mizoram suffering from different diseases, I notice there are not enough doctors in Mizoram. I had thought that I could be of help in some way by becoming a doctor and God has given me an opportunity through ZMC in this way. My goal is to serve the lord and the people and the people include all patients in our state. If it is possible, outside of the state can also be included. But my priority right now is to be of good service to God and the patients of Mizoram,” he said. He plans to pursue a PG in Medicine. 

Commenting on the infrastructure, Chhuanpuia expressed that while he is satisfied, there is a lack of facilities for extra-curricular activities. “I am satisfied with the present infrastructure and the facilities. I am more than satisfied, to be honest, as it is the state’s first medical college. Things can be difficult in some ways, sure, but when we entered the first year I still remember that the teachers were very dedicated and the facilities also improved to more than our expectations. By the time we reached the final year, the facilities kept on improving. New buildings were established and the faculties were also improving in number and quality. The library is also very good. Other facilities such as the hospital rooms and the operations theatres and all the study materials are also very satisfactory for us. I think it will be good if we have a gym for the students along with some playground such as basketball and football. We don’t have any indoor or outdoor facilities as of yet, but we have a small gym in the hostel room and the other sports facilities have not been established yet,” he added.  

With no facilities for sports, Chhuanpuia and his friends had to travel around two kilometres to play futsal or swim in nearby facilities. 

The third ranker, Ruth Lalrinawmi, hopes to do her Post Graduate studies in a foreign country, however, like her peers, she is intent on returning to Mizoram and serving the locals. “I wish to do my further studies in a foreign country. I might attempt the United States Medical Licensing Examination or opt for NEET PG if I get into my desired subject which is surgery. If I study in a foreign country, I might work there for a little while. But, I will return to Mizoram. There is a strong feeling in me that my country still needs me. I have always had a dream to start an old age home. As we are a growing society and it is highly needed in places like the States, I think Mizoram will need it too.” 

Ruth Lalrinawmi

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On the infrastructure available at the college, she told EastMojo, “When we were students we did not have enough classrooms, however, now there are new buildings and the juniors have sufficient classrooms. However, we do not have an auditorium and infrastructure for extracurricular activities.”

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