Most of you probably know that before entering Medical School, i was actually accepted into a pretty good business university where i was offered two Bachelors of my choice – Bachelor of Social Science and Bachelor of Business (i was going to major in Finance). On the first day of orientation, i was bedazzled, befuddled and bewildered by the behaviour of my fellow cohort-mates. It was, i swear i am not joking, a fashion parade. One with cat claws visibly extended. The girls were pompous and arrogant, and basically had their heads filled with self-compliments of how good, beautiful, smart and invaluable they are. Of course, i was horrified and intimidated. I cannot foresee myself working with people who perceive themselves as the centre of their world, nor can i ever degrade myself to such a level in order to conform and survive.
I knew i wanted to do a Science course so i withdrew myself from the Business University on the very first day. Come to think of it, i probably skipped the registration ceremony on that day. I threw myself into the applications for Medical School. Actually, that is also a lie. I applied to overseas Universities via an organization which took care of most of the administrative work. I simply submitted the relevant documentations. My laidback approach was probably instigated by the fact that if i did not secure a place in Medical School, i will easily go into Forensic Science, and at that point of time (7 years ago), CSI was not that popular so Forensic Science was not that highly sought after. I was guaranteed a place by virtue of my results.
The point of telling you all these is that, i decided on the most challenging Science courses (Dentistry was just unfathomable – i went for the entrance exam comprising of modeling plasticine into molars, and manipulating wires into braces and basically just wanted to hang myself because i hate Art and Craft and decided that i was going to skip the interview which i was short-listed for HAHAHA) because i felt that people (girls especially – you will start to see a trend that i really dislike certain types of girls) who qualify into Medicine should attain at least a minimal level of grace and character, and working with such people would be inspiring and gratifying.
HAHAHA. Now the laugh is on me.
Ladies and Gentlemen, that was serious flawed thinking on my part. Whilst you meet the most inspiring people in Medicine, you also encounter the most insecure, self-inflating, obnoxious turds here. They are just better and smarter in hiding their weakness so by the time you discover them, it is TOO LATE. The knife had been lodged, right between your shoulder blades, and the pain masked by the art of medicine till it is too late. Ok, so maybe i am exaggerating a little. I mean, given a choice again, i would still do Medicine, because despite the strenuous workload, practicing Medicine is still gratifying, and there is a way to avoid the minions that always threaten to upset the rest because they fail to recognize the holes in their characters.
After a long convoluted way of opening paragraphs, i shall finally come to the main gist of this entry.
Last week there was an in house prize organized by the hospital for medical students. It was not compulsory – just a bonus monetarily and of course an added stud to one’s curriculum vitae. I participated in it because i wanted to know where i currently stood, what level of knowledge is expected of me as a final year medical student and as a future intern. Believe it or not (i was reflecting after my GP rotation), i realized that in my almost six years of Medical school, i never once received positive feedback regarding my performance. I know this is not specific for me, and almost everyone else has a similar experience, but i still can’t help but feel appalled. When i completed my GP rotation, i had some positive feedback that was sincere and not some random superfluous “Good effort” kind of shit; and that night i went home, not feeling estatic, but rather, just shocked, grateful and relieved. You have no idea what it is like to work your ass off only for the Dean in her old-schooled manner to constantly berate you for not knowing more. Sheesh. (The larger hospitals, i have noticed, seem to be the bigger culprits. Smaller hospital have greater support, feedback and ambience.)
So anyway, i did not study for the prize since it is not an exam. I just went for it with my current level of knowledge. I found it basic and i did say so when i was asked by a fellow student who chose not to take the exam for one reason or another. Two other students who took the test were appalled and started spluttering saying how difficult it was and talking to me in a tone that said i must think i am very smart when i am really not. For an absurd second, i was forced to play it down and pander to their hurt little egos that no, it is quite difficult and it is not their fault. Then i realized what i was doing and stopped myself. Hallo, we are in our mid-twenties, surely we are not that insecure?? And why does it matter if i think it was basic and you felt it was difficult? At this stage in our lives, should we not be focusing on trying our best rather than getting hung up on who does better than who? Seriously, wtf?! Also, notice i said it was basic, but i did not say i will ace the damn thing? Argh.
That day, i was sharply reminded of my initial decision to give the rest of the medical students a wide berth because i just did not appreciate remaining in this rut of mentality instead of transcending it to become more mature adults. This is another reason why i prefer hanging out with non-medical people (a phenomenon i realized that seemed to occur amongst the consultants whom i find inspiring and genuine). But i also know that these same medical students, in their own egoistical worlds, probably just assumed i was an anti-social personality (i found it amusing that one of them looked really startled when he discovered i was busy with sporting activities on most nights – why did he assume to know my life? That is another great self-inflated egoistical trait characteristic of most medical students).
Anyway, my point is, it took me five painful years to acknowledge and accept that not all medical students have the grace and character i thought they possess. I know i certainly did not have that when i first started out in Medical school, but i certainly made it a point to better myself. And i think that is the core difference that separates the nice from the not-so-nice.