Sunday, August 19, 2007

Earlier than Expected

72453_9820From the day I chose medicine as a career, I have always known that the road ahead would be challenging. Long working hours, stressful environment, distressing tragedies are just a few examples in the long list of adversities faced by healthcare workers. Certainly most people would reap the reward at the end of the day, but concealed from the pride and glory is the sweat and tears as they grudgingly put up a positive front to their colleagues and patients on every single day.

Don't get me wrong here - I am not saying that being a doctor is a bad job. In fact I have been exaggerating the hardship here for the sake of drama. For the past few weeks, watching surgeries, appreciating the marvel of technologies, learning new stuff, talking to doctors, seeing real alive patients (yes you hear it right) have been some of the most rewarding moments since I entered medical school. At the end of each day, Xuan Ni and I usually exchange our daily experiences and stories while walking home along Grattan Street, and that have been been thoroughly enjoyable. We commiserated with the unfortunate cancer patients, tipped off each other about cute doctors, and assuaged each other's complaints as we shuffled home tiredly. And that, I must say, is the highlight of my days.

But still, everything came earlier than expected.

I knew that the future that awaits me are the 36-hour shifts, endless walking in the hospital and breathing in medicine-scented air. But I never knew that busy days have begun to take its toll on me, and such schedules will probably remain until I retire in the unforeseeable future.

I knew that at some point in my life, I will no longer have the freedom of surfing online until the wee hours in the morning - but I didn't know that in order to wake up at 7 everyday, I have already been robbed of that freedom in the third year of medicine.

I knew that I have been living an obscenely slack lifestyle throughout the years, and that it ought to be substituted by the harsh medicinal lifestyle. But I didn't know how a research student's lifestyle could be so much more demanding than the lifestyle of a pre-clinical medical student.

Probably I never knew well enough.

I never knew how lazy I have been for the past 21 years, that even a mildly disciplined lifestyle seems like a punishment to me.

I never empathized enough when my architecture friends complain about sleep-deprivation. Until I begin to sleep less than six hours everyday.

I never knew I am not as adaptable as I thought. When it arrived earlier than expected, I flounder. But I will move on toughly. The only way to go through a hardship, is to move on.


bluez_aspic said...

And all university students say amen to that!

youngyew said...

LOL! Anyway, the pre-clinical to clinical transition is harsher than other transitions faced by most other students, I believe.

Jingyi said...

The whole population of AMS students are with you ChangYang. It's tiring but exciting at the same time. How great that you get to learn all these clinical stuff already, I'm doing lab research in UNSW so no clinical involvement for me just yet. March on dude and we will all survive =)

youngyew said...

Hey Jingyi, it's surprising to see your comment in such an old post in this blog! :D

I hope that you are doing well there... Actually there are not too much hands-on clinical stuff here, I spend most of my time waiting for patients, waiting for surgeries, waiting for anaesthetists and so on.

So how are you doing for your lab research? Is it fun for you? Actually I wanted to have some experience in lab research as well, and I even thought of doing some sort of holiday lab research in the end of this year.. But it turned out that I won't even have time for a long break, not to mention doing another research. So I guess I will never get to do a lab research in my whole life then. :(

Neptune Chye said...

Wow, you really know how to write!