There's a thing in medical school which makes it unique: it makes you humane.
Already finished my 4th year alhamdulillah and it was certainly not an easy peasy job. To be thoroughly engulfed in every posting was difficult since my attention span dies off so quickly. Most of my friends in my posting are super duper genius. They remember the names of the drugs, they know the classification, the mode of action of those drugs, they knew which nerves passes through which foramen, they knew which type of epithelium lining these particular organs, they knew these despicable hard to pronounced sometimes syndromes....and there was I, feeling blunt...feeling stupid at most of the time.
If to say among all the students in my batch, I would say I am at the lowest spot. I am barely breathing to secure a spot. I am not a genius. I can't study that hard due to my attention span, due to my constant pain on my shoulder and due to my hardcore fanatic self for Malaysian dramas. My triumph this year, or would I say my skinny triumph was definitely there because mom keeps praying for me day and night. And not to mention, from all those helps from my comrades....so many to be named. I feel little.
In Medical school, however, your brain plays only it's minor role to make you pass and secure you a place. Medical school grades you as a human, as a whole, holistically. Why do I say so? One thing everyone going to medical school must know is that, beyond all odds, medical school wants you to be a 'safe human to safe other human beings'. You cannot just being a smarty brainiac kiddo to survive, but you gotta have skills and logic.
I still remember, our deputy dean, Prof KJ once spoken; we actually observed everyone of you. We observed how you were doing during this whole forth year. We observed your attitude, your attendance to classes, clinics and operation theatres, we see how you behaved with your lecturers, how you greeted them, how you were being active and how you were not. Hence. one who studies medicine must be a human not a robot.
If other courses in these world, grade you based on your exams score, based on your assignments and based on your models (architecture, interior design), in medical school; they see how are you or how are you 'safe' enough to be letting go as doctors. You can't be selfish in medical school. You have to interact. Because after all, interaction is one of the core importance of one to be a doctor. You have to interact with patients, as without them you wouldn't be able to practice your knowledge and skills. Furthermore, you have to interact with nurses, with other doctors and many more people in the field. You can't work alone. That is why as in clinical years, which for us in USMKLE, started in 4th year, these are all being observed clearly.
Another is attendance...which many flopped. I am also not a perfect person...sometimes I do feel like playing truant. Sometimes, I did play truant. Pretending to be sick because just so lazy to attend classes which I think as wasting times, but please be mindful. Not to say, but most people take the chances to study medicine lightly. Endorsed by this handful amount of allowances per month, some just went astray. Being too comfortable, some just can be selfish. Attendance is not a play thing if one to know. How are we going to be doctors, who have to save lives if we can't even attend a basic class? Being frequently absent subjected one to be pictured as lazy, incompetent, not committed and if you think these are the qualities they would choose you as a doctor..then you are so wrong. One thing I found, some people are being absent in the name of da'wah...which sometimes they do it since it's not a very important class, so they have to attend for a sharing session and everything...but do they have this slight thought that they are giving a slight tarnish to Islam good names? Sometimes I ponder.
Also, punctuality....which most Malays are slacking off. I must admit, I would sometimes be quite late to many of the things I have to attend to...but then I learnt....punctuality is also one of the basic standard of quality people must have; especially for us future doctors. Being late is permissible but not always. It is sometimes nerve wrecking when classes are said to start at 10 am but one comes 30 minutes later. What is more shameful, is we Malays are the one who are always late...which we are indirectly giving bad impressions to the non-Muslims. I once was a leader for a particular posting, I usually came late, but during that time, I made sure I came 30 minutes earlier to class. It was always myself, then a girlfriend and a christian Sabahan friend who came early...as time passed and it was just 5 minutes before class should started, only that Sabahan guy friend was available. In my mind, where are all the boys? I mean come on, Even a non-muslim portrayed a good quality of being punctual? If you can be punctual for solat, then why not for other matters? I keep on pondering.
Communicating..means not only through speaking and conversation but it is beyond all these. Smiling, and one important thing is communicating by all means through your body language could make your life easier through medical school, especially clinical years. As you see, Kannada and Hindi are not so simple to be thoroughly learnt and be fluent in. Even taking history of patients, my kannada and Hindi mixed together into a cookie batter. But your body language can play a vital role while conversing. You can act out a particular thing you wanna ask the patient; example if you wanna ask about falling down the stairs...you can first draw a basic orang lidi staircase and act out falling....I mean it's simple...I always do that when I am out of local language vocab, sometimes I made the nurses and the patients laughed terribly. But being silly and funny is not a crime at all. I do think our students mostly wanna act cool and super decent. It's fine but sometimes you have to be creative to get your job done....and with all these silliness, the rapport between us the students and the patients is more tightly bonded.
Prof KJ, said it that it is not the cleverness that made one to pass this clinical years, or the whole medical school, but the act of being a safe human being......who can interact with others despite culture, race and socioeconomic background, who can be committed in classes and enjoying teachings, who can be punctual and respecting the teachers...and who can be good in communicating. Human touch is an art...it is a quality of wisdom which not everyone could master. Therefore, we must make it a practice to be a human being, only with that, inshaAllah we can be a safe, good doctors.