Author Topic: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's  (Read 3057 times)

Offline vivek1972

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New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« on: November 13, 2018, 09:59:19 PM »
The Tale of an Indian Physician in the United Kingdom of the 1980’s

















« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 02:51:23 AM by Mark T »

Offline Mark T

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2018, 02:51:06 AM »
Hi vivek1972

I have modified your post because of the site's zero tolerance policy for spam. I won't allow anyone to create an account and use their first post as advertising space.

If you are interested in being a participant member of MWC, then please go to the Welcome board and introduce yourself, and read the posting guidelines provided for the various boards. After that, you can participate on the forum by offering and receiving critiques at an approximate ratio of 3 -1, respectively, working your way up to Jr. Member, where you will then be able to provide details of your book or website in your signature line.

This is a give-and-take community of writers, with some intrinsic depth of talent and experience represented here. It's a good resource - who knows, someone might mention to you that the correct pluralization is 1980s.

Mark

 

Offline vivek1972

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2018, 06:55:05 AM »
Hi Mark
Sorry for flouting the normes which I did so in the enthusiasm of a first time author. Will abide by them . Have posted an introduction outlining my reading and writing interest
Thanks

Offline Mark T

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2018, 11:53:38 AM »

Hi Vivek

Thanks for understanding, and your introduction. Congratulations on the publication of your book and welcome to MWC. Have a browse around and settle in. Please let me or hillwalker3000 know if you have any questions, we are here to help. Regards, Mark.

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2018, 07:54:34 PM »

This is a give-and-take community of writers, with some intrinsic depth of talent and experience represented here. It's a good resource - who knows, someone might mention to you that the correct pluralization is 1980s.

Mark


Mark, your comment interests  me because  I was taught in school to write it 1980's.
Example: I was born in the 1980's.

Just to make sure age hadn't robbed me of memory:

Today, I asked two ladies, who were born 26 years apart (the oldest 71 and the youngest 45) to write a sentence using what each were taught in school to help me answer "which is correct 1980s or 1980's.

This is what they wrote:

[71 year old]
I was born in the 1980's when murder and robberies had taken over the world.   

[45 year old]
I was born in the 1980's.

Searching the internet I found both   1980s and 1980's are still in use today.   

1980s or 1980's

"We are in a circle of fire," he wrote in the 1980's. (AmE,newspaper)

Four asteroids found in space in the 1980s are called John, George, Ringo and Paul after the Beatles. (BrE, newspaper) https://blogg.lnu.se/english-language-blog/blog/magnus/in-the-1980s-or-the-1980s/

The “misery index” was created as a simple measure of the well-being of the general populous by economist Arthur Okun in the 1960’s by simply adding the unemployment rate on top of the inflation rate. The 1970’s coined the term “stagflation” which was a condition where the economy stagnates in spite of rampant inflation.

Although starting badly, the 1980’s was a time of falling inflation and an improving misery index.
https://inflationdata.com/articles/inflation-cpi-consumer-price-index-1980-1989/

The form without the apostrophe (1980s) is considerably more frequent than the form with the apostrophe (1980’s), and the use of the apostrophe is declining.

 Many believe that the use of the apostrophe is dying out, but if they were to go back in time and claim that using the apostrophe is wrong then many 1950's-era prescriptivist linguists would be highly upset.            jt


Offline Gyppo

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2018, 05:02:38 AM »
Regarding the absence or presence of the apostrophe.  Sometimes it's a question of a magazine's 'House Style'.

I grew up using it in phrases like the 1950's, but although I often still add it instinctively I now usually take it back out when editing my own work before submission.  (I freely admit that I sometimes add an apostrophe in the wrong place when in full flow, so this is one of the things on my mental checklist when editing.  I also have a handful of other 'standard errors' which persist, so they're in that list as well.)
 
For me this is a largely practical choice because many magazines now print it without, and the closer your submission is to what the publisher wants the more chance there is of being accepted.  (If they receive two pieces of otherwise equal merit and suitability for their publication they will choose the one which is easiest to produce.  Publishing is a business, not a free critique and editing service.  Don't fool yourself into thinking otherwise.)

I suspect many schools no longer successfully teach apostrophes properly and children learn they can 'get away' with just leaving them out.

This is to some extent correct in that any reader who doesn't know their purpose may find them annoying and confusing.  But a reader who does know their value will be even more infuriated by a misplaced apostrophe which can completely change the meaning of a whole sentence.

There is, for example, a world of difference between Polly's hat, which indicates the hat belongs to Polly, and Pollys hat, where the lack of an apostrophe suggests a collection of girls called Polly and makes the sentence into nonsense when there is only one of her.
 
I fear there is a tendency in modern publishing to see all punctuation as the 'irritating and mysterious bits between words'.  Or as a 'stylistic choice', which is even worse.

Gyppo
My website is currently having a holiday, but will return like the $6,000,000 man.  Bigger, stronger, etc.

In the meantime, why not take pity on a starving author and visit my book sales page at http://stores.lulu.com/gyppo1

Offline Mark T

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2018, 02:56:46 PM »

It's the Eighties, not the Eighty's. Simple pluralization if one uses the words.
Apostrophes are used in two cases - to denote the possessive e.g. cat's whiskers, and to replace a missing letter or letters in the case of contractions e.g. It's the cat's whiskers.
In the case of plural possessive, the apostrophe is generally used after the s plural e.g. Moderators' Corner. A minority will vouchsafe for Moderators's.
Which of the above applies to 1980's?     

Offline vivek1972

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2018, 06:47:39 PM »
I will take note of the discussion with regards to 1980's or 1980s. Never thought about it while coming up with the title.
Thanks

Offline Mark T

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2018, 07:05:57 AM »

What is the title, precisely? Would you care to post an excerpt for review at some point?

Offline vivek1972

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2018, 07:28:46 AM »
Hi Mark: Here is an extract that explains the title

VQE: The Tale of an Indian Physician in the United Kingdom of 1980s (978-1-64467-978-4 (sc) ASIN: B07J3NSQ38 (Kindle-ebook)

About The Title: V.Q.E is an abbreviation for Visa Qualifying Exam: the rigorous and challenging test that foreign medical graduates had to pass to gain entry to practice medicine in the United States in the 1980’s.

Book Extract

Unfortunately there was a stumbling block in my path. The Indian medical degree, MBBS, an acronym for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, (the jumbled sequence of the letters is due to its Latin origin, Medicinae Baccalaureus et Baccalaureus Chirurgiae) was not recognized in either the UK or the US. Therefore, in order to practice medicine in these countries, a fully trained physician from India had to be vetted by local boards through qualifying exams.
In the case of the US, the requisite exam went by the abbreviation ECFMG; ECFMG standing for Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, the designated certifying agency located in Philadelphia which was entrusted with the task of conducting certifying exams that regulated the flow of foreign physicians into the US.
The format of testing has undergone several transformations over the years. The process is rigorous and extensive. Initially it was a one-day six-hour long qualifying exam called the ECFMG exam. Later, in the 80s, the process was changed to a more extensive interrogation of one’s medical knowledge, called the Visa Qualifying Exam (VQE) and was extended to two nerve-wracking days. In its latest avatar, it goes by the name of United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) and consists of three parts that include a practical clinical component.
The list of testing locales has waxed and waned over the years. In the 60s and 70s ECFMG had several exam centers in India. Fearing a brain drain in the form of an exodus of medical professionals from the country, the Indian government did away with these native centers forcing thousands of Indian medical graduates to travel to Manila, Karachi or London (the closest centers to India) to take this exam.
Foreign travel for an Indian at that time was a prohibitive affair and beyond the reach of most middle-class families. A one-way ticket from Bombay (now Mumbai) to London or Manila could easily sap the entire life savings of a middle-class family. A trip for the express purpose of taking the exam was therefore out of question, being too risky and expensive.
It was then that I thought - why not travel to the UK and work there temporarily? This would fulfill my pecuniary needs and overcome the logistic hurdle of getting to an ECFMG exam center. Entry into the UK medical system was relatively easier. It did not involve complex visa issues. One could obtain a job almost immediately after passing the local certifying exam called Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB).
That decision was however fraught with questions of social acceptability, and the very thought gave me butterflies in my stomach. British colonialism had infused in us Indians an inferiority complex. We were made to feel inferior in every way. Physically we were not as strong as the British; we were cowards when compared to the ‘courageous’ Englishman. Our culture was primitive, our history was irrelevant, our languages including Sanskrit, considered by many scholars to be the mother of all Indo-European languages, was no match for English, and our education was as good as nonexistent – this was the line that had been fed to us for nearly two hundred years.
Lord Thomas Macaulay (1800–1859) a British reformer in an address to the British parliament once remarked:

It is, I believe, no exaggeration to say, that all the historical information which has been collected from all the books written in the Sanscrit language is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgements used at preparatory schools in England.
All parties seem to be agreed on one point, that the dialects commonly spoken among the natives of this part of India, contain neither literary nor scientific information, and are, moreover, so poor and rude that, until they are enriched from some other quarter, it will not be easy to translate any valuable work into them.

The mantra that the British kept drumming into our heads was that the Raj was altruistic, not exploitative. The British being a superior people were duty-bound to reform the backward natives, was the idea that was propagated for universal consumption; a notion explicitly expressed in Rudyard Kipling’s poem, The White Man’s Burden:
Take up the White Man’s burden –
Send forth the best ye breed –
Go, bind your sons to exile
To serve your captives’ need;
To wait, in heavy harness,
On fluttered folk and wild –
Your new-caught sullen peoples,
Half devil and half child.

Against this background, it was natural for me to experience a sense of social trepidation despite robust feelings about my own identity as an Indian. I wondered how I would fit into this new environment. Would I be able to adjust to the new lifestyle? How would I interact with the British people?
And on that note of apprehension, and unease, my journey to appear for the VQE began.


Offline Mark T

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2018, 09:05:40 AM »

That's great background and I hope it forms a component of the book, which I guess it must do, duh, but it's triggered an interest to know more, always a good sign for a reader.
I know little about contemporary Indian culture in India but I am from Durban which has the biggest Indian population outside of India itself and there was much cultural overlapping there, mainly with Hindis. There are also Tamils, Gujeratis and some minor sects I forget. Also plenty of Moslems, of course. I was considered an honorary charou, local word for Indians by Indians, for being able to sit with the brahs in Mrs Govender's Curry Den eating curried chillis and a range of other incendiary foodstuffs and drinking cane spirit from under the table all afternoon. The local patois is a real mixture too but I can still rattle it off like a machine gun.
Wharappen? Onetime watchimplay sharpshoot ekse.
 

The era of the British Raj ended in 1948, with Partition, and a massive death toll. What a sign off, after a couple centuries of colonialism. Fortunately, much knowledge survived. Ancient Indian texts offer much wisdom and spirituality. Culturally and intellectually, Indians need bow down to no one. But there is that impact of colonialism blended with caste traditions that I guess can create the zeitgeist you describe.

Your book sounds interesting, like it could be both sad and funny by parts.

   

Offline vivek1972

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2018, 10:03:36 AM »
Thank you for your comments Mark
I can send you an e-copy. Read it and wouls love to hear your comments

Offline Mark T

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2018, 05:10:00 PM »

Ish Vi, my time is limited for reading, comments could be a long time coming. Why don't you post the first 2000 words here, you'll get more comments that way quicker. And then the next 2000, and the next. Turn it into a sort of case study exercise. The site's in need of interest.
After a few chapters or whatever, you could stop and mull over the commentary and the rest of the book. At the same time, we'll put a link in your signature to where the book is available and maybe the beta readers will buy the rest of the story. It's a good way to gain some exposure and test the readership. The book is complete, knowhatimean?

Traditionally, it's WIP stuff that gets posted for review, and surely a lot of it never gets to any form of publication. This could be different. You can update the manuscript in terms of the digital product you have, right? I mean, incorporating changes to the existing e-book offering? Otherwise, there wouldn't be much practical point to the exercise. Think about it. In the meantime, you've given me an idea... thanks...

   
« Last Edit: November 24, 2018, 05:13:06 PM by Mark T »

Offline vivek1972

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2018, 05:32:34 PM »
Yes I think that is a good idea. Will start posting soon
Vivek

Offline Mark T

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Re: New Book V.Q.E Tale of an Indian Physician in UK of the 1980's
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2018, 06:01:08 PM »
Cool bananas.  ;D  I'm going to bump your post count so you can do your signature under Forum Profile yourself. It's a new policy, every newbie with a completed book for sale gets the same deal.