At an age when people remember their unfulfilled dreams, a retired bank officer from Odisha went ahead and tried to fulfill his ambition to become a doctor.
Jay Kishore Pradhan, a 64-year-old retired bank official from Atabira in Odisha’s Bargarh district, enrolled in the Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR), a government-run medical college for the MBBS course after having cleared the NEET exam.
Pradhan, who retired as deputy director at the State Bank of India, said he wrote the NEET exam to fulfill his unfinished dream of becoming a doctor.
“I had appeared on the medical admission exam after my interim exam, but I could not solve it. later I continued my scientific studies. However, I always wanted to give medical entry another chance and started preparing in 2016 after my retirement from the bank, ”said Pradhan, who gained admission to the MBBS course with the disabled student quota.
Although 25 is the upper age limit for the NEET exam, a written petition to that effect filed prior to SC in 2018 helped Pradhan make another attempt at the medical entrance exam. As the case is sub-judice, NEET allowed all applicants over the age of 25 to be admitted based on the outcome of the case.
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Professor Lalit Meher, director of VIMSAR, said Pradhan is the oldest student to be admitted to the medical school. “It is one of the rare events in the history of medical education. He certainly set an example by gaining admission as a medical student at that age, ”Meher said.
After starting his job, Pradhan wanted to make another attempt at the MBBS entrance exam by quitting his job. “But we were five siblings and my family responsibilities didn’t allow me to leave my job at the time,” Pradhan said.
Father of twin daughters and a son, Pradhan wanted to try the exam again when his daughter was preparing for the medical entrance exam in 2016. “I was helping her with her preparation and wondered if I can teach her. why can’t I write the exam again. My wife Pratibha, who is a pharmacist, also encouraged me, “Pradhan said. One of his daughters is now a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) student while the other, also a BDS student, passed away on November 20. Pradhan’s son is studying at Std 10.
Pradhan doesn’t care about the high costs of medical education over the next decade. “I deposited Rs 30,000. Even though I know I can’t find a job, I try to help people by offering free treatment,” he said.