Tuesday, March 24, 2009

30-day Hump and My Thoughts on Med School

After exams, I get these episodes of ketembelan (tembel: defined by urban dictionary as idiot. I always thought it was a Malay word that summarizes laziness, hyporeflexia and anhedonia. Ask Ali, dia yang pakai. But I guess idiot works as well).


Even back in the pre-clinical days in Bukit Jalil, after exams (which were mostly on Fridays) everyone else would either go to Mid Valley to watch the latest movie, play futsal in Bukit Jalil park or go bowling in Endah Parade. I would normally stay at home, lie in bed in the evening, watch the sunlight fades away on the ceiling. Of course after that I'd sembahyang maghrib, then continue admiring the darkness. All done in the 'aku-ada-masalah' pose although at that moment masalah was the furthest thing to me. Usually these tembel moments last for about half a day, a day at the most.

Aku-ada-masalah stance.

This time around it's no different, except the ketembelan has been going on for a full month! No kidding. My final exam was on the 24th of Feb and it's 24th March today.

I've been wanting to write something about med school, since it's only fitting as it's over and done with, and to me it's a big thing. I had several attempts at writing them out but none of my effort went all the way. I actually have 3 separate drafts of the same topic. So I've given up on composing it, and I'm just gonna go with point form, writing whatever that comes in mind.

1. Was it worth it delaying my studies by more than a year and having to pay extra for the semester I repeated? Yes. Every single second and every single cent.

I've said this many times and I'll say it again. IMU is a very small place. If one person breaks wind, everyone will smell it. So whatever you do, keep yourself under the radar. Best still, find a way to slip right through it.

Failure is part of the journey. In fact, I have failed more times than I have passed. Not to say I'm proud of it, but I'm glad it happened.

4. There are many elements that contribute to a wholesome, competent doctor. By far, the most important attribute is clinical knowledge. Being a leader, good listener, a humanitarian or a wholistic freak helps, but it boils down to patient treatment. If you don't know how to treat a patient, you can't treat a patient. (Yeah, yeah, yeah. A lot of people say attitude is more important because if you don't know something you can always learn about it. But how many actually do learn?)

Birthdays are over-rated.

I presume, unlike work where you leave everything behind when you go back home, in med school you bring back the stress even when the day is over. This is the most tiring thing about med school. The thought of exams, revision, case reports, presentations bla bla bla are just constantly there. It accumulates and peaks, sometimes a few hours before the exam and suddeny crashes. I guess this contributes to the post-exam tembel-ness.

Most med school follow the chronology of 2-3 years of pre-clinical (pure academic) followed by another 2-3 years of clinical. But having gone through it, I think the best arrangement is pure academic, clinical, pure academic and clinical. 2 cycles of what is currently practiced, but still within the same amount of time. To me it makes more sense.

During med school, I probably spend more time on youtube and Wikipedia more than anything else.

9. The best part of being single throughout med school: Not needing to handle the regular, monthly fits of a woman's PMS. I go 'bwaaahahaha!' when I look at my friends when their girlfriends are going through that cycle of the month. Most of the time I go 'bwaaahaha!'. Most of the time.

10. Speaking of which, when a person is having a fit, you put him in left lateral position, support the head, hold him down and give oxygen. When a woman is having a PMS-fit, you slap her at the left lateral position, support your head, hold her neck down, cutting off her oxygen.

11. Most memorable patient: A young man with an enlarged thyroid of which was highly suspicious of an adenoma. A hemi-thyroidectomy (cutting out only half of the thyroid) was planned, an operation which I think is not suitable for him as all the thyroid should be taken out. I managed to convince a surgeon to postpone the surgery and re-evaluate the patient. The surgeon agrees. A SURGEON!!! Agreeing to a medical student!!?? Gila, aku mati hidup balik pun belum tentu jumpa sorang lagi surgeon macam ni.

12. Most memorable moment: Playing Halo 2 on Xbox with Vijay and Ezran in the middle of the night. 100-kill Slayer on Ascension, with no weapons on map and random primary and secondary weapons. It was a neck and neck fight. Vijay, the shotgun expert, won. Ezran, the plasma grenade thrower, trailed behind with 98 kills and I, the energy sword wielder, had 96 kills.
3 solid hours of pure fun. I don't think the neighbours appreciated it. [Added on 28 March]: It was also an opportunity for me to brush up on my Tamil and Hokkien. We used call-sign such as Ambede Kaase, Thevadiya and Kudikare Kuppe. And all night we were yelling "Lai liao, lai liao, lai liao!!!"

13. 1203 Jalan Rasah. Gosh I miss that place.

14. Most memorable doctor: Dr Ezra. She was the center of any ward round she joins.

15. Most memorable nurse: Queen Latipah. Thank you for making our lives just a little bit more miserable (although at heart she is a very nice person. At heart je la). Nurse Tub Nai is a close second and is at the other end of the spectrum. She is truly, truly, truly a nice person inside and out.

16. The unsung hero: Pakcik Amir, the former canteen operator in Bukit Jalil. Many do not notice, but he is the glue that holds everyone together in IMU.

17. Most memorable lecturer: Dr Dhruba Chakraborty. Some of his favourite quotes are "YES OR NO!!!?? YES OR NO!!?? Why are you beri beri beri noisy like the passir malam???" Once in a while he gives a very serious one, the kind that actually makes a lot of sense. One that I will always remember is "When you laugh, you must laugh from the endocardium!" It re-defines laughing your hearts out.

18. My favourite disease: Bronchial asthma and dengue fever.

19. My favourite medication: Pethidine. Hell yeah. I had a dose of that when my appendix burst. It went from excruciating pain to feeling high as shit in matter of seconds. Even until now, pethidine to me is like the Roadrunner to Wiley Coyote; something I hope I could get but can never have. Goodness. I scare myself sometimes.

The best quality a med student can attain is humility. It is the keystone to the rest of the good qualities.

21. If given the chance, would I go through it all over again? Hell no.

There. The 30-day hump is over!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally.... welcome back :-)
i thought u were running across the nation just like forest gump..

25 March, 2009  
Blogger yipwt said...

dude...med school is done. Now go cycling.

25 March, 2009  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Med school is tough and internship is almost equal to servitude but it's all worth it in the end.
Cosmetic Surgery

30 March, 2011  

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