Government Medical College Chandigarh Old Students Association





There were no cadavers, no anatomy museum with specimens, and no dissection tables (the department of Anatomy was initially housed on the third floor of the Prayas Building). Then the dissection tables came. Each group would sit around the table, our ‘Cunningham’s’ open in front of us. And we would talk and gossip, though only in whispers, always afraid Dr Jaswinder Kaur (then head of anatomy, more famous as just ‘JK’) might come into the D-hall any time. She would enter the D-hall through one door, and by the time she had passed and exited through the other door, at least a quarter of the class had been thrown out on some pretext or the other (she would make two or three of such rounds during a typical three hour dissection period). For the first few weeks, we mulled over the skull, trying to memorize all the foramina and their contents. Around a month after the college had started, we got four brain specimens from PGI. We would spend the next four months pondering over the gyri and sulci and all the pathways that went through the brain (I am not sure if that ‘toxic’ exposure to the brain had something to do with at least three of my classmates subsequently choosing neurology as a career (Harvinder Taneja, Kavita Mohindra and Preeti Sahota), but my grey matter is still white about ‘the neuron’!).

In late January 2002, GMC received its first few cadavers. That is when dissection started with earnest. Gradually, we moved from Gray’s anatomy (believe it or not, that is what we read for the first month) to Cunningham and then finally discovered and graduated to Chaurasia and Inder Bir Singh (we had no seniors to guide us through the nuances of medical school, so we had to learn most things the hard way!). Besides Dr Jaswinder Kaur, there were Dr Patnaik Gopichand (currently in GMC Amritsar) and Dr Kanchan Kapoor (she has been here since the inception of GMC Chandigarh). Puneet Tuli was ‘the dissector’ of our batch; he could spend hours at end in the D-hall and would be a guest of honor and visiting dissector at most other tables where no one had the expertise or the motivation to use a scalpel (he is currently doing MCh plastic surgery at PGIMER Chandigarh). At the end of the year, we cleared our exams and moved on to the second prof, most of us hoped that would be the end of anatomy for us. But anatomy still tags along with me to this day, irrespective of what specialty I am in. And at times, I wish I could do it all over again (minus the stages and the sub-stages of course!). 

Navneet Majhail

(Class of ’91)




Website created and maintained by Navneet Majhail ('91 Batch)