Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, May 19, 2011

By Lady Orochimaru

The above statement was hurled at this writer by a certain medical student. According to her, yours truly was asking her blasphemous questions about the ones who toil away day and night, always at the service of the people. By that she meant doctors, by the way.

Know that this particular writer has no prejudices against anything or anyone… she is just… immensely curious. What with the multitude of stories about doctors randomly pulling out gall bladders and kidneys and leaving behind scalpels and cotton wads in their patients, one cannot help but be curious: what is with this irresponsible (and often haughty) attitude of theirs?

We assumed that it is best to pose these questions to the medical students. Why, you ask? Firstly, because they are kinda stuck in a limbo: neither doctors, nor, well, 'non-doctor', so to speak. Secondly, their attitudes and their thoughts give an insight to what kind of a doctor they are going to be.

According to the fifth year student mentioned above (who had verbally assaulted yours truly) medical students 'live in their own world'. On commenting that it sounded very snobbish, she went on to explain what she meant (after another verbal assault, mind you):

“Us medical students are forced to stay separated from the rest of the world, because of the multitude of exams and items we have to give; there are the ones like me who are attached to their friends and families and enjoy having a good time a little too much, so we have a hard time. Then again there are others who wouldn't care if their own father died; they just want to become a doctor that bad.”

She and her friends also showed us an angle which we never considered before. Their dating pools are seriously limited: they date to pass their time, for it is “the only form of entertainment available” to them (don't ask for explanations, please don't…. this writer didn't either, to avoid further bashing). They also take immense joy in turning up at their relatives' places with human bones in their bagpacks and going all pokey pokey with them.

“I suppose there comes a time when the little things happening around you stop being funny,” says another student, “I mean, even after five years of MBBS, there is FCPS and even more after that. After spending half your life pouring in money for studying, getting bashed by lecturers and getting demeaning looks from patients in wards, most people just aren't that interested in the whole 'helping the society' department anymore.”

However, the ones who got forced into studying medical by their parents are the ones who freak the friggin daylights out of us. While there are the ones who actually pass the exams, and others who, despite the stringent admission process, get admitted thanks to their parent's heavy pockets.

Let's not even comment on what the latter category turns out to be.

However, both the willing and reluctant doctors-to-be have a lot of spiteful things to say about the doctors, which unfortunately I can't mention here (but you can always put your imagination to work). They also have some less spiteful things to say, which includes blaming the 'big doctors' of the country going off abroad when it comes to their own health. They are also aggravated by the fact that they squeeze out money from the patients without even giving them respect and of course, no one's interested in going to the rural areas. 'What can we expect to learn from such doctors? But that doesn't mean that all doctors are the same scoundrels, you know. Some actually hold on to the ideal image of what a doctor is meant to be like, and try to live upto the image”

It seems that most doctors-to-be start off with their hearts in the right place; but over the course of time, at the end of the road, as they finally face reality, a lot of them just lose the determination to pursue the dreams that they started off with.



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