They did some creative editing, but otherwise most of my article came out intact.
Had the itch to contribute something to the Star. Also partially, wanted to smack some sense into kids before they jumped blindly into medicine without knowing what to expect. Have seen too many rich, spoilt kids at the Immediate Moneymaking Uni. who think life is a catwalk and promptly crash and burn when they enter the real world. Which is unfortunate, because in the process they've spent enough of their parents' moo-lah to buy a car, and also take up precious PMS spots from other deserving students. And some become so disillusioned that they never practice medicine even if they graduate.
Anyway, sent an entry from my diary from 2 years ago. Looking back, interesting how much I've grown since then (from my estimate, at least 4 inches at the waist).
Within a day, an email:
"got it, thanks. cld u send some digital photos with yr story? ideally pix of life as medic student."
So I sent some pictures for them to pick. Told them medical school days are years behind me; can't find much. Was hoping they'd pick a nice one, perhaps one of Veronica
"yr article will be out this sunday in the education section. thanks for pix. pls give me full name, ic no and address if u wld like to be paid for the article. RM150 to RM200 depending on length. thanks."
I get paid??? Woo hoo! Need to start working on my next article. Life as a student huh?
"How it feels to have your boogers freeze in winter: My life as a Canadian student"
"My days as a mostly drunken but sometimes sober undergraduate"
But seriously. I think it's good that there are now private medical schools in Malaysia that provide an alternative route for people who are, ahem, racially challenged, to get into medicine (although it's NOT good that they have to fork out RM600 for the registration forms and 'processing' fees).
Therein lies a a problem as well. When something becomes more accessible, it somestimes attracts the wrong population of students.
Wrong motives for wanting that MD/MBBS/MBChB behind their names (Reasons: mom/dad wanted kid to be a doctor. Or someone offers a medical scholarship to a student who isn't really interested in medicine)
Overly glorified impressions of doctors (hey, I mean, how glorified do you think I feel being awake at 2am, disimpacting a 87-year old man's rectum full of rock-hard stools?? If you have to powder your nose every hour, and are constantly afraid of scratching a manicure, then you're in for some surprise. Dry, hard poopie can do serious nail damage).
Wrong personalities (controversial one, this one. Some would say certain specialties do not require a personality; path or surgical. My humble opinion: you still need to be human. Personality's important)
I may be way off base here, and I hope I didn't offend anyone here (my sis tells me some of her medic friends visit my blog. And shh, some of them scare me)... but I say this from my year's worth of teaching in Malaysia, and 3 years' of teaching starry-eyed med students here, as well as having been a student myself. The fact is, it doesn't really matter what one does in life as long as that person is content. One doesn't need go into medicine or law just cos someone made the grades. And no, contrary to public belief being a doc doesn't make girls line up at your door. But our Malaysian thinking seems to be flawed: "Aiya, what a waste, your daughter got 5As, decide to go into teaching."
How often have we heard that one. Why is it a waste?
Go do something you like. For the reasons you like. And if you're silly enough to be like me, then know what you're getting yourself into. But for gawd's sake, go TRIM YOUR NAILS
. Not pleasant to perf your glove while disimpacting. And that's just from the doctor's standpoint. What about the person at the receiving end?
That's why, I recommend the book, The House of God
to would-be medics. My sis tells me her friends from Malaysia have trouble finding this one. It's by Samuel Shem. R. Marek Publishers (08/01/1978) ISBN: 0399900233. Hopefully that helps.