UKZN Student Publishes Book on Adventures While at Medical School
A final-year Medical student with a passion for medical writing has published his first book titled The Great Medical Student Odyssey - Tales and Adventures in Medical School.
The 194-page book by Mr Ashiq Pramchand of UKZN’s Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, describes some of the amazing adventures and harsh realities experienced by Medical students in South Africa.
Pramchand (23) matriculated from Crawford College La Lucia scooping distinctions for all his subjects which ranked him third in KwaZulu-Natal among students from independent schools that year.
Inspired by his parents, who are both in the medical profession, the adventurous Pramchand joined UKZN’s Medical School and developed a passion for medical writing while serving as a research placement at the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and the KwaZulu-Natal Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (KRISP) laboratories. His passion for writing resulted in him having articles published in the Pulse magazine and the Harvard Medical Student Review Journal, among others.
As one of the top Medical students at UKZN, Pramchand has been instrumental, together with his twin brother, Ishq, in the creation of a student organisation on campus that aims to improve the speaking and writing skills of healthcare professionals through lectures and study resources. The club, BROCA, also produces a student magazine, called the BROCA Times.
Pramchand has played an active role in the SA Medical Students Association (SAMSA) branch at UKZN for five years, serving as vice-president, treasurer and research director. Through SAMSA, he formed a partnership with an NGO Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes for disadvantaged rural communities. While working in rural Umgababa, Pramchand got involved in helping provide education on tuberculosis as well as arranging free HIV testing for community members.
A keen pianist and a student of Northern and Southern Kung Fu styles at the Chinese Martial Arts and Health Centre in Durban, Pramchand manages a small technology company called ZavourIT which creates Apps to help South Africans find solutions to unemployment.
An avid sportsman, he has completed the Midmar Mile twice and represented KwaZulu-Natal at the South African Table Tennis Championships in Bloemfontein.
In his spare time he enjoys playing tennis, practising swordsmanship, meeting friends, watching good movies, playing video games, exercising, writing, travelling, learning new languages and reading. He is also a television presenter and voice actor for a local show African Essence, which raises awareness about important human interest stories in South Africa.
Said Pramchand: ‘Medical students will spend thousands of hours at bedsides and in operating theatres. Blood will be drawn, tutorials will be attended and friendships forged in wards. You will see patient gowns, devastated and relieved reflections, tubes and IV lines. In this crucible, where life is renewed and taken away, we witness most beautiful and crushing moments. These places are autoclaves for the soul, where pressure, high patient caseloads and low resources purify us, force us to abandon or challenge our vices to help others. These experiences are life changing and profound. In my anecdotes, I try to capture the profoundness…the clinical years are where the real adventure begins.’
Pramchand’s book is available on Amazon and in bookstores.
Words: MaryAnn Francis