Monday, April 09, 2012


Not everyone can be a teacher. And I know that because I learnt it the hard way.

Some people say that sometimes, you've just got to thicken your skin for a while so that whatever morally demeaning words that come your way would not hurt so much and in the end, not affect your day. Someone once said that there is no such thing as a constructive criticism. It all depends on how the criticism is taken by the receiver. I can't be more thankful to have a few inspiring lecturers in the gynae posting. They are the ones who really make us think for ourselves and make us build our own character. And, it is a fact that wherever you go and work, there will always be people who would want to bring you down because that is just how they are.

Well, I try to keep that thought close to myself because for one, I just feel that those who are paid to teach us students aren't doing a very good job. Of course, I don't expect to be highly treated but what I am trying to say is that teachers should teach if they want to teach, not because they have to teach. I don't appreciate the mood swings that my group and I get from the various "external" (because they don't work for the university) doctors. Not only does it ruin the group dynamics but also in the end, we don't get to learn much.

If we don't ask questions, we are said to have poor participation. If we do ask, the feedback would either be: a) you don't have to know because it is not your level, b) well, what do you think?, c) why don't you go find out yourself in the books and tell me another time, d) why don't you focus on something that is more common?, e) I actually get the answer to my question

Today, I've got most of the above but not to the same questions of course. I ask questions because it is my way of reinforcing what I've studied and knowing what I've been lacking. And, I know for a fact that I lack communication skills as well as the knowledge. However, it doesn't mean that just because I can't converse, I don't know anything. But when it comes to writing, I'm alright (I feel) in a way that words actually flow. Perhaps, it is just that sudden blood rush to the brain when I have to answer something out of the blue which leaves me speechless. Give me some time to think and I'd tell but truth is, out there, you're never given time to really think about it.

I was quite eager to find out how things run in the combined clinic because we hardly see pregnant patients with an underlying medical condition. And even if they do, there would be one or two in a long long while. Yet, it is commonly asked in exams. So, I just wonder how am I to learn blindly from books when there are actual patients out there who I can learn from? I gathered a bit more courage, think around the problem and proceed with the plan regardless of the consequences. I'm not proud of what I did. But, I'm glad I did it. =) That would be talking to the patients who are waiting outside the clinic (which is one room out of the 10 I think) instead of staying inside and listening to what plans have been made.

I felt quite disappointed with the professionalism our country's doctors' have. Well, I'm not generalizing the population but it is bound to be a few of those "kind". It's not just in this posting, but I've experienced in the psychiatry as well as A&E. Today, when I tried to ask about it, I got a remark that made me stun for awhile of which I wish I could have said what I wanted to say. How was I to respond to "Instead of following the combined clinic which is a subspecialty that you don't have to know, why don't you tell me the hypertension CPG?" ( =.= *** what? everything? there are like 40 over pages. C'mon, I don't have photographic memory.) So, I kept quiet while thinking where to start. "Since you can't tell me everying in the hypertension CPG, then why follow the combined clinic?"

Birds of the same feathers flock together. Strangely enough, I met quite a few others who possessed certain "similarities". As regards to the professionalism, I don't see the need of going around saying "D*mn it, where is the bl**dy OT book?" and yelling away when there are still patients around. Neither do I see the need in laughing behind someone who just received bad news about their health which is similar to: She asked for it, who asked her to fool around? Now, she's pregnant. Or, what did she expect? Of course she is going to have HIV. What did she expect from using heroine? Just hepatitis?

Humans are only humans. And it's sad to hear that from a fellow human being who was taught to have empathy, who tells others to have empathy. I am not shocked at all if I still see junior doctors getting scoldings in front of patients by a senior doctor who then turns and speak to the patient nicely. I thought times have changed. I guess not. Maybe it might have improved a bit, but then again, this is what it is. If I have learnt anything today, I learnt that I do not want to be someone like that in future. I learnt from an inspiring lecturer that morales matter more than knowledge.

1 comment:

Kit said...

Hi there - I am glad to read this post and that there are still good doctors around. Keep it up!