Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Barefoot on a Gravel Path to Nowhere

“I wish I’m in law school instead”

Me, to anyone who would listen

At the start of the year, and me uncharacteristically happy studying some dead guy's armpit. Snitched from Perry.

A year ago, I was this invincible boy walking into adulthood, responsibility, and the first of many difficult steps into the white coat of a healer. I packed myself to India – to Manipal to learn the noblest of arts. I can do this, I was sure. Heck, I can do anything.

A year later, I feel anything but invincible. My shell of confidence now sports a thousand tiny leaky punctures. I feel exhausted – but yet the road goes on and on.

No wall was built greater than self-doubt.

In the course of my first year in Manipal, I have become increasingly more introverted and desensitized. I cared less about what happen outside my bricks of medical textbooks. I coveted good grades and strove to stay in the upper third of the class. I sleep nightly with a plastic bag of genuine human bones stowed under my bed. A guy hanged himself from his ceiling fan a few rooms away from my hostel room and I did not lose a single second of sleep over that. Being badgered daily by beggars no older than toddlers as I journeyed between lectures and meals had extinguished my ability to sympathise and pity. Bodies and organs of dead men upset me no more than cuts of beef on a butcher’s slab, thanks to the two-hour dissection sessions we attended everyday, first thing in the morning.

In short, I no longer give a sh!t.
Doctors aren’t angels in white coats. Doctors are automatons – cold, calculative; more circuit-boards than heart.

During our last dissection class (because I am incurably lame). Snitched from Ezyana (middle)

I questioned my motives. Why am I here? I seek respect and prestige. I seek the security of a profession whose members are in high demand and are adequately paid. I seek fulfillment for being able to trudge through the treacherous mires of medical school, internship, and eventual practice.

I seek a lot things and none of them benefits anyone outside the scope of me. I am nothing but a pernicious, selfish prick, and I'm ashamed of that.

In less than ten days, I will have to fly back to the drudgery that is med school with an immediate start on second year subjects. I’ll admit that the urge of not returning rests seductively on my mind. It’s four more hard years of grueling training, and it gets a lot harder after graduation. Also from the tales I’ve heard, marital bliss is not something doctors can usually have – doctors make notoriously bad husbands and fathers. From where I am standing right now, the road seems to be paved with sh!t.

I need to find some meaning in this job. I really do.

Need shoes,
k0k s3n w4i


Zzzyun said...

i totally understand many sentiments of this post. and yes, sometimes i do question myself as in what is my real intention of studying to be a doctor...?

angels in white or cold automatons? i wonder.

anyway, we shld learn for our patients, coz we want to use our knowledge best to heal them from their suffering..

i dunno how to express this feeling. but its the urge to do our best for others.. but of coz for ourselves too.. =)

PS: did someone really hanged himself in his room? omg!

PPS: btw not ALL doctors make bad husbands and fathers. I know my dad didn't. he's the best father i ever cud have. ^^

michelleg said...

drs r so not adequately paid in msia in gov practice of course. that's where the people need help the most.

i would say that if u choose to be a dedicated dr and aim high in ur life (eg being a specialist and sub-specialist in a rare field), u wont have time for ur own life (family is totally out of the picture). if u wanna have a family then probably being a GP or general specialist is good enuf.

being a female is even harder. family or career? medic is a really long road. med skool (5 yrs min), specialist (5-8 yrs). total years wasted 10 or more years!!! ok think i've crapped enuf.. =)

meifong said...

helloz! i am back !!! finally found some time to rest my butt on the chair to read blogs..
actually i am "jailed" at home today..=(

it took me an hour to catch up on few of ur latest entries!~

anywayz, i don't know the real intention of becoming a doctor... but i do sure know my real intention of becoming a dentist! It's interesting & at the same time, I am earning for a living! the only pathetic thing is that i gotta study medical subjects in 1st & 2nd year. which i have no interest at all! but from my point of view, mbbs are boring.. the subjects are too dry..

p/s: kok, gathering on monday in midvalley at seven pm.. can or not.. 26th...

k0k s3n w4i said...


How often do we really think about helping other when we're in school? I felt that medical education lacks the human part of the line. And that makes us poorer doctors than we should.

You're right about doing our best for others.

I knoe a paediatrician that looks and acts as if he eats children for breakfast. And he runs a very stentorian household (bet michelleg knows him). Credit to your, dad - there's always exceptions.

Ps: Here's a post in my old Friendster blog about the suicide.

And here's one with some pictures.


They should cut the wages of some of our ministers and give them to the doctors. We're saving lives here. Imagine if we go on strike XD

A GP will never be good enough for me, unfortunately. I know I won't be contented (more selfish thoughts here, haha)

You're not crapping. Med is really a rather unfair line for women (we had this conversation before didn't we?).


"jailed"? Go out too much with TY d issit? Haha

Being a dentist is much simpler. There's so much more ethical thoughts to dwell upon as doctors. Tho' the subjects are dry, the job would be nothing but. I thought about dentistry before, but staring into rotten gaping mouths everyday just doesn't appeal to me. Haha.

The gathering's postponed? Good. I didn't want to drive about in KL on a weekend.

michelleg said...

haha and that peadiatrician ban tv in their house. how sad!!

yeap we did have that conversation. it's really noble being a good dr cos in order to help others, our life is put on hold. kinda unfair la.. so we should be given special treatment! haha. in the old days, they really do look up upon drs but not now anymore.

k0k s3n w4i said...


*gasp*... tyrant! no soap for the wife? sadness...

meifong said...

he's here till friday only..=(

dentistry is a better option for women. med is really tough for women. i really salute women who take med/took med... really gotta juggle between family & career very well..

anywayz, u coming for monday's outing?

michelleg said...

actually they have a tv. but in their parent's room only!! only for his wife i guess.. but still astro-less!!

k0k s3n w4i said...


Yea, he told me. You guys really deserve more time together. S'pity.

I'm coming, yea. But I'll be there much earlier. I'm planning to catch Bean and Pursuit of Happyness. Want to join me?


Hear that? Meifong salutes you, LoL.

I remember their house. Use to go there almost every weekend in primary school. I remember watching telly in their master bedroom as well, ;p

meifong said...

I have watched Bean. Persuit of happiness belum.. tengok dulu la.. who else going? hmmm... 15 people are going for the monday gathering... hehe... when are u coming up?

k0k s3n w4i said...


I just only watched Bean also, an hour ago.

I plan to go to Times Square to place a book order, then catch Pursuit of Happyness and do a bit of book+clothes shopping at Mid Valley till evening. I all alone la. Kesian rite, haha?

Mischique said...

hey :P interesting blog you have. so you're studying in Manipal right? perhaps you know carol khaw smth smth, previously my dental coursemate. the indian 'slab of meat' you have there reminds me of my 1st year anatomy class which I'm glad that it's over!

Zzzyun said...

well, i agree with michelle that women doing medicine are really disadvantaged when making a choice btw carreer and family.

you can try to have both, but then we're not superwomen. (sigh) something will give way eventually. [prob gone mad or smtg, blek]

sometimes i myself wonder what shld i do in the future too. aikz.

PS: yee. the suicidal thing is creepy! did he hanged himself becoz of stress over studies or smtg like tat?

k0k s3n w4i said...



I do not know any Carols, but I can say for sure that she's not in my batch.

I actually liked Anatomy better over the other two basic subjects :)


Haha. Something will give way eventually ; I like the way you put that in words.

Anyway, I'm sure no women would like a househusband right? And I'm sure no man would want to be one either (unlike in the Philippines). So no choice lor.

The guy prob hanged himself cos his results weren't up to scratch. And his gf prob dumped him at the same time. He's under another college so I don't know for sure.

meifong said...

what day? i gotta work in the dental clinic also.. kindda busy...=( when are u coming & when are u leaving?

k0k s3n w4i said...


I am planning to go up on Monday morning and come back Malacca that night itself. Dental clinic? You're working on a vacation? Sacrilege!

meifong said...

aiks.. then cannot dee lor... hmmmm.. yar.. gotta practice preparing cavities mar...