Sakhi's Laghukatha

My First Biochemistry Practical Exam!

Posted on: June 24, 2008

It was the first term examinations and the last subject (biochemistry) was left. I had worked very hard but was still worried. [This was my usual before any exam! 🙂 ]

It was the practical exam and viva-voce was on. At last my turn came! A lot of questions were asked and I did pretty well (I guess!). My professor was very happy with my answers, but wanted to check my knowledge further. (ab uski kya zarurat thi?)

“If you answer this one last question, I will give you extra marks over what I have already decided,” he said.

“Okay” I replied. (As if I had a choice!)

“What is the colour of the urine in Alcaptonuria?”

“Urine is of normal colour, but turns brown on standing,” I answered confidently. (The answer was right!)

But he was not satisfied, so he went on…

(Do you realize, initially, he had said he would ask only one more question?)

“Whom do you want to stand, urine or patient?”

“Patient,” the answer came automatically. (I swear, I didn’t think and answer!)

And your guess is correct, the answer was wrong… hopelessly wrong as it had nothing to do with my medical knowledge. It was a simple English language goof up!

My professor just smiled, patted me and asked me to read and understand the subject and not just mug up!

I was beet root red from embarrassment… but the damage was done! 😦

P.S. I did my schooling from a local language till 12th standard so was very bad at English then. Later, I cleared not only MBBS but also did MD with flying colours. Recently, I have cleared Cambridge University English examination with Grade A.

37 Responses to "My First Biochemistry Practical Exam!"

LOL. Don’t remind me of these vivas. I am so glad that the phase has passed. 🙂

Whatever said; now we can laugh at them ; but then they were terror 😀


Hai na? Now I feel, how dumbfounded our fear was! 🙂 But, back then, I used to cry before every exam and my parents were really tired of it (as I always got good marks after so much of crying :D)

Now those memories put a smile on my face. 🙂


Interesting. That goof up probably happened because english is not your first language so don’t worry. anyway with the kind of stuff medical students need to learn, a certain amount of mugging is necessary I think. and if one mugs at times the brain stops thinking, even if one hsa understood the subject!


This reminds me that my children forget to flush the toilet.



Arey this was a long time back… and I have developed my skills enough to think in English now..

And medical students don’t have to mug a little… 🙂 they have to slog like anything. If i go on telling you about the life of a medico here, you will run away for sure! 🙂


@ Robert

hun? … what man? 😛


hehehehe…. hota hai 😛

//Later, I cleared not only MBBS but also did MD with flying colours. Recently, I have cleared Cambridge University English examination with Grade A.//

Wow !! Congrats !!!


Sakhi, its cause of the standing urine. My children never flush the toilet and sometimes Ill walk up to use it and its just GROSS!!! Cause theres 3 of them who dont flush…And it gets to be like urine jello in there.

X^P yuck!


@Saks – My english is still bad! So tell me, are we discussing the color of the urine here? 😀 😛

@Canopenner – Big Time YUCK!!! 😛


Ohhh i used to hear so many horror stories of medical vivas from Didi. especially Anatomy. They had this sir who was a terror in whole college and especially first year students. Medical vivas r so tough that even guys used to cry and some examiners were so sadist!!! And when i found out Didi n all used to study 18 hrs a day I decided one doctor in family was enough. I did Engineering 😀


@ Adarsh

😛 🙂

Thanks buddy!

@ robert yuck yuck yuck 😛

@RJ What do YOU think, are we really discussing urine here? 😛

@ Reema

Good that you did engineering. I will never want my daughter to slog the way we did. :X

My record of studying is 24 hrs straight for patho exams… man was it tough! we had all sorts of weirdo profs but now if i think its seems okay!


hahaha!! Very funny!! “Patient!” is seems! hehehe… i wish i were your examiner… I’d have embarrassed you further! 😀


Very funny niks 😛 😛

am i relieved that you were not my examiner! phbt…. 😛


itni hasi aa rahi hai ! lol ! patient!!!

in my vivas i am so tensed,i answer stupidly n spend the next ten minutes justifying my answer !


Chalo meine tumhara din banaa diya, hai na! 🙂

But tell u one thing, if i think of my exams now also, i get cold feet.. They were terror. 🙂

Kisi ko sajhaa karni ho to usko medical school mein bhej dena chahiye! (of course, padhne ke liye! 😛 )


wow cambridge? congrats.
These are the questions asked for ur viva, yuck ! 😀


Thanks… 🙂

This question is just the tip of the iceberg 🙂 😛


So you are a doctor, huh … Coool ..

My mom-dad are doctors(Gynecologist) too and they both are honarary associate professors at L.G. Hospital .. You might be knowing them..

from where did you pursue your MBBS??..NHL or BJ??..and MD in which branch??

By the way, I hv updated my blogroll and your new blog at wordpress have been added there ..!!


yeah i am… 🙂 but now I am not attached witht he govt. medical college.. am in corporate sector.

And thanks for the honour! 🙂


From what I observed in my class, I found out that those who did their schooling in non-English medium schools generally performed better in academics and sports than those from English medium schools.


Wow am so stunned by your credetials…wow!!! Too good…….cheers!


🙂 Thanks


@ Raj

Is it so? this is a news, but a good one! 🙂 Probably thats coz we know we don’t have a choice but to work hard to compete with the others if we want to succeed. Hard work pays off! don’t know, that might be the reason. what say?


@Sakhi: I did my graduation in biochemistry. I can tell you even that involved lot of mugging. I hated it, it was not my calling.

And the goof-up you wrote about, it can be made by anyone with good English.

Sometimes, for some people, nervousness and carelessness too do that.


thanks poonam to put me at ease… but now when i look back, it seems so silly! 🙂


cambridge? Are you still studying dear??? this reminded me of my vivas……….


No, my studies got over a loooooooooooooong time back! 🙂 but had an opportunity to go for the English exams and i took it just for the sake of it! And as u know, did preety well! 🙂

Vivas are real terror… i prefer theory exams anytime compare to vivas! 🙂


I have not done any detailed analysis, ofcourse, but it was what I observed. In our batch of 100, there were about 20 students from non-English medium schools (mostly Tamil and a few Telugu). And almost all 20 of them were in the top 50!

I guess your reasoning is correct as you work hard to succeed. Also, our teachers were very helpful. They made sure that there were no language problems by explaining difficult concepts in English and Tamil.


Yeah that might be the case… And now i can proudly say i know so many languages! 🙂 so thats the best part. 🙂

but, i tell u, it was tough in the initial phase.. When i could complete a few pages of a book my roomies used to complete the whole chapter.. but that was only in the first few months. Afterwards i did extremely well.


I think that your professor was right. He understood that you just memorized the fact without analysing it. The urine should stand for a while since it must be oxidize in order to change color. What is more, sometimes the cause of visiting the doctor is because the parents realize that the diaper of the baby (who can not be stand!)has turned black after a while.
So, congratulations for your grades, and learn from the mistake. Be sure that you understand everything that you are studying.


Dear Biochemist…

Yes i did understood form my mistakes, but what i have narrated here is an incidence which took place long back when i was doing my first MBBS. This was mistake of a 17 year old who had not learned English as a forst language and was appearing for the first full english exams…
many seasons have passed since!

But thanks for the advice! 🙂


Thanks for your answer!
I have also a bunch of incidents when I began to teach in English…

I recall asking a question with a very logical answer and then encouraging the students to think about it to find the answer…I saw some kind of smiles, that I did not understand, until I realized that instead of saying: “Think! Think!”…I was using a very spanish accent and I was saying :Sin! Sin!


😀 😀 happens with everybody i guess! 😛


This is an interesting and funny variant


Oh..that is really funny…but that is natural because there will be lotz going on in our mind at that time.
Our anatomy lecturer made some gals to go to library to recheck their answers and asked them to show him what did they refer. Uff!!!! I pity those gals.


applause for PS 🙂


[…] My First Biochemistry Practical Exam! […]


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