Thoughts on Medical Programs, are you going ahead... too much???

I had the opportunity to help in a counselling event in my secondary school recently, discussed about the courses and life in university. As a alumni of UPM, I am very happy to share my thought and experience throughout my life as a medical student. which is really tough.

But something I found it out not so right about the reason 'why you want to become a doctor' nowadays among the young students. Not only from the counselling event itself, but I heard from my medical school juniors during their orientation, as well as forums in internet. They kind of 'think too much' in future, and I don know how should I 'break their beautiful imagination on that.

okay, here is some of the stories I would like to share of:

Story 1
1. One of my junior, mentioned that she want to be a brain surgeon ( neurosurgery) in future. She was very confident on this matter, stood firm on her statement and get quite upset when we questioned about her. Im not sure how was her condition recently, but what I heard from my juniors, she scored well in her neurology ( anatomy, physiology, pathology and pharmacology etc), but she kind of lost in the other subjects, not too bad but not up to standard.
Anyway Im impressed that she had a goal to enter medical course, while I entered the program with the phobia of ppl asked me "why you want to become a doctor" LOL.

I guess she set her goal too early, and she made herself focus only on the brain part, which make her forgot that brain is not the only organs in our body. Our human body is a structure of complex systems, yes I would not denied that brain plays an important role but hey, the heart is laughing. It is good to set a goal earlier, but it is bad when u narrowed your interest and passion way too earlier.

Story 2
2. When I helped out in the counselling event, one of my junior approached and asked me some questioned about pursuing master program after finished medical degree. Did I said the counselling event was aimed on STPM and SPM students?

And my first thought was..... OMG you are not even stepped yourself into medical degree yet, what makes you think so far to skip the most important foundation and jumped to master program? He told me that he had some research on the medical degrees in Malaysia, and he got 50% of the facts correct . He was not really aware that how fierce the competition will be when someone wish to enroll into Master Program in future.

I hate myself to be a 'dream-breaker' but I had to do so, to tell him the fact that enrolling into a public university medical school with STPM result is not guaranteed even you have straight As. UPM had only max 1 STPM student per batch since my batch ( we had 2 years consecutively with 0 STPM student before we welcomed the precious one, currently in year 3). Im not so sure with other university but I guess the condition is almost the same..... based on how many STPM students with 4.0 pointer appealed for a seat in medical course through internet and newspaper every year.

with further questioning I asked the junior, why you want to become a doctor. Not too surprising he told me become it is a secured job and he wants to earn. Nope, with the contract system introduced lately, becoming a doctor is no longer a permanent job in Malaysia. Even myself is worrying about my future, although Im a local JPA scholarship holder.
If you want to be a doctor to earn money, get away please, this is not a career that will make big business big money unless you make yourself into private sector. I don really like it when ppl relate doctor with business.

Story 3
3. okay a story of myself, thanks to my senior who wake me up much earlier even I don really like it and kind of reluctant to take his advice in the early stage ( senior if you read this plz don pukul me)
If you asked me, what is the specialty you want in your future?
I would like to say Otorhinolaryngology ( layman term Ear, Nose Throat). I was deeply inspired by my goddess lecturer in UPM, Prof Shuba who is so loving and kind to her students and patients. The way she educating her students and patients, how she empathizing her patients and of course, her excellent skills and experience makes me want to follow her path when I was year 3.

Did I change my mind in between?
Of course yes =...=   During my 5th year time, I make pediatric as an option of my career pathway in future, with the great guidance of paediatric lecturers in UPM, I found myself enjoying the session when some of them think this is really a hell ( If you went through paed rotation, you should know this is the scariest posting and highest failed rate among medical students). I tried my best to learn as much as I can during the posting. After graduation, I met my lecturer personally to ask on the career pathway.

So what makes me so indecisive?
If I want to go into ENT, I will have a be a MO in ENT department, service for at least 3 years before I could apply into master program ( some said 2 years, but according to my seniors chances are brighter when you are more experienced). The master course itself is a 4 years program. And the obstacles come, you are not the only one who wish to enroll into ENT master program. Fierce competition is there, and not everyone can get into the program. I met a senior who want to do ENT so much, but after 4 years of trying and failed to get into the master program, he ended up as a GP in private clinic.

for Paed, much have to be sacrificed. Leisure time, holiday, family time etc, you just have to stay focus on your patients. I wonder if I could manage myself well for that.

Things change until my senior advised me when I told him I have the mindset to try my luck for the fast track pathway or even take up an external paper to secure a place in the program during my HO, He said the passion I had now is purely based on my interest when I studied and practice as a medical student, not the real life working environment. Things may change and I might made a wrong decision to decide my practice for the future 30 years too early, which brings to regret. He discouraging me from doing it, and advised me to go through all the 6 postings in HO, not skipping any of them, and then only decide what I really want to do.

At first, I was quite reluctant to listen to him, thinking that it would be a waste of time if I already had my aim for it ( oh yeah he is a MO for 3 years btw). Still, I choose to accept his advice, not really appreciating what is the meaning behind ( this really mau kena pukul d Xp)
Then another senior who is closer to me, gave me the same advice, to go through all the postings before I decide what I want to do. Ya both of the seniors I mentioned above are from UPM so I knew them for some time. She wanted to be a OnG specialist so strong since she was medical student. But she changed her mind during her 5th posting in anesthesia, which she felt she wish to go further with it. And she is now a Anes MO in public hospital.

When this condition sounds familiar, I remembered the same things happened on my OnG consultant in UPM, which he did not want to do OnG at the first place but he ended up as a consultant in this field. And well I heard someone who wish to be a internal medicine specialist previously, currently changed his direction towards aesthetic medicine.

And the most epic opinion comes from my bestie when she said: " why you want to rush yourself to become a specialist when you can enjoy the path first. You are not the one should take the major responsibility to feed the family in future leh."
and ya hor, why should I rush??? As I could not find a better reason to beat this opinion, I decided to let myself take the path on my own pace, experienced and choose the specialty I want wisely; and let 老曾 be the one to go harder and further Xp

Story 4
4. Story of another of my junior..... this can be quite offensive but hey, I don mean to harm ya. So the story stared, he is currently a college student, doing his foundation in a private college, and want to do medicine in future. This sounds nothing bad isnt it. But wait, he told that he want to take USMLE in future and practice medicine in USA or Europe country. And I told him that USMLE was not easy. He started to show off 'how much he knows about USMLE"......... Dude, 老曾 studied for USMLE before and I tried on some of the questions of the test before of course I knew how hard it is.

And I tell the story to a best friend of mine, she laughed and said: " asked him to think of it only when he got himself into the medical degree program." Yes it is absolutely correct, what is the point to think so much when you don even secure yourself in a medical college. He talked like enter a medical school is just a piece of cake, and I cant really take it.

If you are arrogant and see yourself higher than others, you just make urself the joke of the day.

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1 comment:

  1. celine,你好
    我现在刚读完asasi upm
    我想问问 你现在已经在housemanship