‘Second innings’: 64-year-old retired bank official in Odisha enrols in MBBS
At an age when people reminisce about their unfinished dreams, a retired bank official of Odisha has gone ahead and tried to achieve his ambition of becoming a doctor.
Jay Kishore Pradhan, a 64-year-old retired bank official from Atabira in Bargarh district of Odisha, enrolled into the Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR), a government-run medical college for MBBS course after clearing the NEET exam.
Pradhan, who retired as a deputy manager at the State Bank of India, said he wrote the NEET exam to achieve his unfinished dream of becoming a doctor.
“I had appeared in the medical entrance examination after my intermediate exam, but I failed to crack it. later I pursued my bachelors in science. However, I always wanted to give another shot at medical entrance and started preparing for in 2016 after my retirement from the bank,” said Pradhan, who got admission into MBBS course under physically challenged students quota.
Though 25 years is the upper age limit for NEET exam, a writ petition in this regard filed before SC in 2018 helped Pradhan take another shot at the medical entrance exam. As the case is sub-judice, NEET has allowed all candidates above the age of 25 to take admission subject to the outcome of the case.
VIMSAR director professor Lalit Meher said Pradhan is the oldest student to take admission into the medical college. “It is one of the rare events in the history of medical education. He has certainly set an example by getting admission as a medical student at such an age,” said Meher.
After he started his job, Pradhan wanted to take another shot at the MBBS entrance exam by quitting his job. “But we were five brothers and my family responsibilities didn’t allow me to quit the job at that time,” said Pradhan.
Father to twin daughters and a son, Pradhan wanted to take another shot at the exam when his daughter was preparing for her medical entrance exam in 2016. “I was helping her out in her preparation and asked myself if I can teach her why can’t I write the exam again. My wife Pratibha, who is a pharmacist, also encouraged me,” said Pradhan. One of his daughters is now a student of Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) while the other, also a BDS student, passed away on November 20. Pradhan’s son is now studying in Std 10.
Pradhan is not bothered about the high cost of medical education over the next decade. “I have deposited Rs 30,000. Though I know that I can’t get a job, I would try to help people by offering free treatment,” he said.