Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Of Learning in Medicine (1)

medicine20logo (by changyang1230)I enrolled in medicine in the most unusual yet not unexpected circumstances.

Since I was little, I have always been a maths and physics guy. I read popular science magazines, I read my dad's old Chinese maths textbooks (they ARE interesting). I have never picked up a Biology textbook with much enthusiasm, neither have I ever been attracted by the animal or human body documentaries in National Geographics Channel.

Throughout my high school years, most people expected me to go on to study maths, engineering, actuarial science and the sorts, and I kinda took up the expectation as my own goal too. At one point I was considering MIT as a goal, seeing that participation in the IMO could be a useful line in the CV. However, my procrastination and lack of motivation eventually reigned over my temporary ambition. I never got beyond reading the university brochure.

Eventually, I enrolled in medicine. You could probably argue that I was just following the footsteps of my sisters, and I can't deny that it did play a huge part in my decision. But beyond that, I chose medicine because of the satisfaction I thought I could derive from medicine in terms of intellectual fulfillment, job satisfaction, social status and monetary stability.

Besides, I chose medicine over the other aforementioned options because I thought that those paths offer less satisfaction, and that I don't want to be doing maths in a cubicle forever. That could be just an excuse, I don't know. Even today, I still suspect whether this line was a lie I obstinately hold on to, just so that I could justify my not pursuing paths in alignment with my interest and talents.

But I thought it didn't matter.

[To be continued...]
Image Credit: Vagus Surgicalis


day-dreamer said...

Hmm... this post has especially caught my attention. :P

Yong said...

I chose Medicine because it is a meaningful and exclusive career. Did I choose this because of interest? No. I would have become a member of an orchestra/choir if I chose a career purely based on interest and/or talent. Financial stability - I totally agree. I feel the difference especially during the economic downturn here in America. In the real world, no matter what your job is, all you want at the end of the day is to go home to your family.

changyang1230 said...

day-dreamer: Why so? :D

Yong: It's interesting how any mention of the word "income" by a doctor is considered an absolute taboo by the general public. While it's true that greedy doctors are condemnable, I think that doctors who seek reasonable remuneration in proportion to their hard work are often unfairly stigmatised when they mention income as one of the considerations in their career option.