The other day I was chatting with CJ. After the usual inquiry of health, bowel movement and grandkids , we drifted to our favourite topic “the good days”. In the process we were wondering about the “VIVA VOCE” Exam, (a high sounding name) we had before we entered medical college.
“viva voce” means by or with the living voice – i.e., by word of mouth as opposed to writing. (Google)
Unfortunately for me, thanks to senility and JW of many hues, red, black and blue, helped by Chivas, I do not recall any questions. CJ and Thillaivasan remembered theirs. All I remember was we gathered outside the interview location on Reid avenue, prior to our turn, quizzing those coming out after the interview what they were asked. This was for us to get prepared for the exam. But remember, this was a competitive exam. So, some did not want to share. I did not witness this personally but was told one of the candidates was not willing to share his experience and some tension developed, immediately one his classmates came to his rescue and was ready to rumble! Saner minds prevailed and there was peace. The first of these two went to Peradeniya medical school and the other in Colombo with us. I will reveal his name after I get his permission . We had to borrow a white coat!We thought it would be fun to hear from the experiences of our batch mates. We seldom talked about this.
viva voce” means by or with the living voice – i.e., by word of mouth as opposed to writing. (Google)
I am under the impression that viva voce was to make sure you were not merely a bookworm but a well rounded personality fit for the medical profession. Secondly I thought the interview was not on subject matter. (Botany, Zoology, Physics or chemistry.) In fact I thought most, if not all, the examiners were non medical faculty members.Third Question is what was the consequence if you did not measure up. Was this the basis for allocation to Dental or Vet school, Agrculture or bioscience.?
1. We thought it might be fun to hear the QUESTIONS You were asked and by whom if you remember. 2. Your ANSWER. 3. Any special PREPERATIONS You made for the Viva voce.
Few years after our batch, the Viva Voce was dropped. Perhaps it was because there were a larger number of Medical school admissions with more medical schools. Also there were possible disadvantages to students from rural areas. English was a second language. Also because this process did not make a difference. If you wish to be anonymous send directly to us and we can put it up as anonymous.
Dharma and CJ