a sobering thought

it’s the end of my 3rd year in medical school. for someone who is about to start her penultimate year as a medical student, i’m nowhere near the level of competency i thought i would be.

it’s a scary prospect, isn’t it? that it’s exactly the people like me who will be the doctors of the future, working right smack in the middle of the malaysian health system. it’s unclear as to whether we’d be the solution to the problem or the problem itself.

last week, during a particularly unnerving case presentation where i was reduced to jelly at the feet of my lecturer, he made a scathing remark about how a patient’s disease was left undiagnosed because her doctors were twits as students…just as we are now.

see?” he said, after several of my group mates gave conflicting accounts of the patient’s history, “this is why she now has a danger of getting cancer. doctors, like you!

it was a sobering thought. on one hand, i am almost completely discouraged from progressing any further, depressed at the notion that i’ll be a negligent imbecile who kills patients on a regular basis. on the other, i am determined to not make the same mistakes again and to somehow force my sluggish brain into being that little bit sharper.

just yesterday, i lamented to some seniors that there are very few medical students who are both book smart and take initiative. i wasn’t so much complaining about my fellow students as i was expressing my disappointment that i couldn’t live up to my expectations to be one of those who are. the fact is i know i can do better, i can be better, but i’m not doing or being all that because…because?

because i’m not as smart or capable as i think i am? or are my expectations really the imposed expectations of everyone else? how does it explain the couple of years of excellence that i managed to accomplish in the past? where did it go wrong? or have my less than intelligent tendencies always been there, simply waiting to come up and discourage me during the times when i least need them?

i believe in adapting and submitting rather than allowing myself to become disillusioned. i really did think that i’d be alot more impressive by the time i started 4th year, though. guess i need to readjust some parameters in my life.


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