Boy from Mumbai middle class tops in MBBS, receives gold medal

By Heena Fatima

At the recent convocation ceremony held by Maharashtra University of Health Sciences (MUHS), Nashik (Maharashtra), Aakif Reshamwala received a gold medal for topping in general medicine of MBBS final exams. Since he graduated from the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Medical College, Kalwa in Thane district, the college too celebrated the achievement of this young doctor.

This is the first time in the 30 years history of the college that a student has topped in general medicine in MBBS final exams. The Thane Municipal Corporation joined the celebrations as it announced Reshamwala’s achievement on its website. And the boy’s Mumbai Central neighbourhood has hailed him as their mini-celebrity. He has not stopped getting congratulatory calls and messages since the results came in last month.

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Dr Rakesh Barot, Dean, Rajiv Gandhi Medical College, is all praise for Aakif and says he has seen the boy working hard consistently. “He did well at the internal exams conducted by the college and we are glad that he did so well in general medicine and received a gold medal for this,” said Dr Barot.

He grew up in the middle class neighbourhood of Mumbai Central and had got 98.98% at NEET (UG) while for the HSC (12th) his score was 80% and for SSC (10th) 92%. When boys his age in the locality killed time at chaikhanas and on playing pub gee and other games on mobile phones, Aakif burnt the proverbial midnight oil. Barring one hour or so daily for the games, he concentrated mostly on his studies. “Having a father who is a doctor (surgeon Dr Mohammed Arif Reshamwala) and homemaker mother (Nazima) who was very concerned about my studies, I hardly had any time for useless things. They kept me motivated during my studies both before clearing the NEET exam in the MBBS.  They were very strict and did not allow me to loiter around aimlessly in bad company.” says Aakif, 28.

His sister is a BDS and younger brother is studying business management.

His surgeon father Dr Arif said that the young man has been quite diligent and serious in his studies. “Aakif never flinches from putting in hard work. He has been interested in medicine. I am surgeon but I will not ask him to change his decision to do PG in Internal  Medicine. He has excelled in this subject because he likes it,” said his father.

Since the convocation this past week, he has been getting congratulatory calls and messages from friends and relatives. So, what is key to excelling at entrance and subsequent medical exams? “Smart studies. Students should know how to study so that they can digest maximum information in minimum time. It is not just how many hours you put in, but how much you absorb and understand. Rote learning doesn’t help,” says Dr Aakif who aims to do MD.

“I want to specialise in general medicine. I want to live amidst my people and serve them,” he says.

General Secretary of the iconic sea-facing over a century-old Islam Gymkhana and family friend of the Reshamwala, Dr Suhel Farooqui, too appreciated the achievement of Aakif and said that he felt “proud of his achievement.”

Till he began an internship at the Rajiv Gandhi Medical College and Hospital at Kalwa and took residence near the hospital, he would commute for three hours daily between home and Kalwa.

He wants to do Post-Graduation in Internal Medicine. “I may go abroad for higher studies but want to work with my own people,” he says.

Sharing Aakif’s excellence in extracurricular activities, Dr Barot said, “He was academic secretary and research head, Students Council for 21-22. Besides, he was organising secretary of National level medical conference: Zenith, 2022.”

He was the winner of the medical symposium at the national level. He also excelled in sports (carom) and participated in inter College football competitions.

The adulation to this all-rounder young doctor is well deserved.

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