Tuesday, May 10, 2005

[recom.org] Why I Choose Medicine

Babikia wrote:

Top students want to be doctors, not so top students also want to be docs, really bad students also want to be docs. The nightmare is that all of them, including the really idiotic ones can become docs someway or another. The nightmare worsens as the number of not-so-smart but $$ minded docs exceeds the nearly extinct smart with a heart of gold ones.

Tab wrote:
also, how can you justify the fact that someone is 'not so smart'? Can you point to a person and say, "hey, your SPM/ STPM result is crap... you're not cut out to be a doctor!"?
Can you point to a high achiever in exams and say that 'oh look, that student is bound to be a good doctor!"?
The fact is that we won't know who will make a good doctor UNTIL that person finally graduates from med school and becomes a real, bona fide doctor. It is then, and only then, that one is able to judge whether or not that individual is really competent and cut out to be a doctor.

I rest my case.

Babikia wrote:
That's how many msians are. Judging everyone by their academic results. You've just elaborated a typical msian with all the typical elements: exam results, medicine. Damn, you guys are fun. But I'm still gonna hack on all you future docs. One day, going to med school will be like going to high school. Anyone can get a medical education.

I agree with your point that Malaysian and most Asian country society has a biased emphasis on academic result and a neglection of other human qualities. And also, many parents indeed exerted pressure on their children towards becoming doctors so that they have something to boast of. Uncomfortable, but it is the truth.

But I don't get the point you keep on "hacking on all future doctors". Now I tell you:

I wanted to become a doctor because I derive great pleasure from being able to help others (ask those who know me personally in ReCom if you don't believe it). Just being able to see a doctor joining the tendons in a crushed finger and re-enabling the finger movement, gives me sheer thrill and excitement with a magnitude of more than the one you can derive from rambling around in an online forum. You feel happy when your patient recovers; you feel gratified when your patient looks at you with a grateful glance; even when your patient failed to recover or even died, you know that if there had been a chance for her, you were there to give her that chance. You know, talk about job satisfaction, cliche but it's true. Last but not least, the "taboo" - I want to earn money, a good amount of them to ensure a good life quality for my future family.

In my secondary school years, I obtained a fairly good result and I was involved in quite some array of extracurricular activities. Today, here I am, a first year medical student in Melbourne University, fresh and naive. It's only the tenth week of my course today, but I have already had some idea of life as a medical student. Stark picture? A bit grey, but not really stark. Studying medicine indeed involves a lot of memorisation and I totally agree with the saying that you don't need a rocket scientist brain to study medicine. You need to be astute, professional, disciplined, empathic, well-resourced, endowed with fairly good memory etc; but I can assure you, intelligence is not a prerequisite.

Let's go back to life as a medical student... Take an example, embryology, the subject I am studying now. Embryology is challenging and confusing, it takes ages for me to read, let alone understand and remember. But you know, it amazes me, it's something I want to know more about and have great interest in. It's something I like. How the zygote transformed from two layers to three layers, how 3 layers of cells fold into the shape of a fetus in the womb, they are all things that captivate my imagination whenever I read it and put myself in the embryo's shoes (weird expression huh?). I know it might be hard for me to do well or score in the exam, but the crux of the matter is, at the end of the day, I knew I enjoyed learning. That's it.

If everything turns out fine for me, I will be a GP in 5 years time. Yes, if you ask me, I can definitely foresee that the life as a doctor is going to be stressful and strenuous. Although I know the immense magnitude of the work pressure, the peril of the hospital environment and the sacrifice of the family and social life I have to make, but I am sure it's a trade-off I have chosen with a right frame of mind. I want to be an excellent doctor, someone who can make a difference in people's lives. I can come home dog-tired physically but I want my psyche to be contentful of what I have done everyday. With my good work, I want to be repaid with some handsome but well-deserved income because I know that my family deserve nothing but the best. Of course I know money is not everything in this world; but everything else being equal, money certainly helps you attain a better quality of life.

I hope that I can live my life to the fullest. Period.

And now, hack on me.


Max said...

Chang Yang, if I were you, I will not even care what that person said. He is trying to get on everybody nerve by making fallacious broad generalization. People like these do not deserve your attention. Good to know that you like medicine so much :) Keep it up!! Well, if one day you decide that you do not want to be doctor anymore, there is always room for you in the health care consulting industry :)

profmich said...

Chang Yang, we need more docs/would-be-docs like you.

Anonymous said...

Stictly speaking, a GP is a specialist, and the postgraduate course of general practice in Australia is another 6 years. Good luck:)

youngyew said...

Sorry, my fault, I confused GP and physician. What I meant is I will become a physician in 5 year's time.

Thanks for pointing out the error.

Anonymous said...

Study in Medicine is not an easy task...but worthwhile... do need a lot of passion, empathy, tough in handling all kind of cases that will come to you... different level of people... all kind of demands these days compare to many years ago... as what we handle is about human life,it not just prescribe medicine to them, what they need is caring, empathy& somebody to listen to... how many profession that have people come to you and express thier deepest feeling& share thier secrets to you? As a doctor, do require to know how to handle your own emotion,despite others... long working hours... all kind of comments from senior doctor, staff nurse...not enough rest through out the days... have you all ready for it?
However in the process to become one, do need a lot of memorizing, practice, which not many persons can... especially when the exam is near, but still have a lot of stuff need to revise... how many of us that get use to the stress? if anyone is given a chance to study medicine, in the mid of process to become one, they start wondering what is meaning of having a hectic life ahead?there will only a lot of people change course& only a waste of money and time.... what i trying to express is that, result do can reflect a person capability in handle his study in future...... it is only way to evaluvate... for those that had choosen thier way, all the best...

youngyew said...

Thanks a lot anonymous for your comment. Are you a medical student or someone working in the healthcare profession? You seemed to have said these from your own experience.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chang Yang...Vanee here.I managed to reach this post via the link u posted in ReCom lately..
Just wanna wish you all the best for your future career as a doctor.The country needs ppl like u..^^P..Don't give a thought about crap words spilled out by crap ppls like...(u-know-who)..hehe

Yong said...

When I am at this stage of my life, why I went into medicine is irrelevant. I don't even think about it. When I go home, I leave Medicine in the hospital. I do not carry work home with me. I do not brood if I did a good deed today; or whether I was glamorous at work. I do not care if my profession is glamorous in the eyes of my relatives or friends, or in my social circle. At the end of the day, it's irrelevant. I just want to spend time with my family, do the things that I enjoy, and provide for my family's needs. I just enjoy the security of being able to do this for as long as I am capacitated. I also strongly feel that a non-medical person will never fully understand the life of a medical person. Just like a civilian will never understand the codes and believes of a military person.

P/S Studying medicine is not as hard as people may think. And it definitely will not be hard at all for Chang Yang. I know.