Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Disgusting Hypocrisy of Medical Students

"Mmm, what you say?
Mm, that you only meant well?
Well, of course you did.
Mmm, what you say?
Mm, that it's all for the best?
Ah, of course it is.
Mmm, what you say?
Mm, that it's just what we need?
And you decided this.
Mmm what you say?
What did she say?"

Hide and Seek (2005) by Imogen Head

So accusatory. I like.

I am aware of just how little I am updating my journal these days. A haze of complacency and listlessness seemed to have settled over these days. I feel unmotivated to do anything at all. The only thing I feel like doing is just lie around and read myself to oblivion, and on the occasions I managed to gather a bit of drive, I would simply spend it plotting. Plotting, as in thinking-up-a-storyline plotting. Yes, I have rebooted my on-and-off intention to write a novel and I'm pretty pleased with how far along I am now - though I'm pretty sure that I'll just bin the whole manuscript again in a month (like I did with all my previous efforts) because I always end up thinking that everything I write is crap. Which they are, by the way. Crap, the lot of 'em. I seriously need to get tonnes better at this whole writing business. Anyone else writing a novel too? Anyone who ever thought about it?

Alright, this was suppose to be last week's post (before I got sidelined completely) and it's about a very particular problem I have with a number of medical students in my college. If you actually bothered to read the title, it's about their hypocrisy; a subject with a terrifyingly wide scope on its own but here in this post, I'll stick to just one standalone issue.

Cue exhibit #A,

This picture does not require a caption.

That's just one of the parking lots belonging to the Malaccan General Hospital which is perpetually filled up with cars. I took this picture at a somewhat morning-ish time, so the double parkers and space vultures have yet to start clogging the place up. My point being; parking spaces are seriously scarce here, just like food in Ethiopia and penguins in the North Pole.

More of the same.

This one is a shot of one of the roads within the hospital grounds and playing Captain Obvious here; that's a whole bunch of parked cars taking up a full lane. The tiny blue signboard in this picture reads;

"Para Pelanggan Yang Dihormati,
Kurangnya tempat letak kereta kami fahami,
Tindakan diambil untuk mengatasi,
Segala kesulitan amatlah dikesali."

It's a pantun, or a traditional abab (or in this case, an aaaa) Malay poem which apologises for the lack of parking spaces on the premises and that actions are being taken to remedy that. I like to think that it does a good job defusing a lot of people's annoyance and frustration at the parking problem by making people wonder why on earth it was written as a poem in the first place. I also can't decide whether this bit of Malaysiana is fresh and clever, or is irredeemably lame - but moving along now.

Critical vehicular overload.

And these are the cars which spilled out from the inside, lining the streets outside the hospital premises. Depending on their luck, an MBMB officer drops by occasionally to dole out tickets for illegal parking. That seems sort of cruel to me actually, seeing that most of these cars belong to sick people, or to the people who brought their sick relatives or friends here - and they simply do not have a choice.

Alright, they do kinda have a choice. There's an empty dirt lot right across the road charging RM2 a pop, though it really used to be free.

"Okay, so there's not enough parking spaces - we get it already!" says you. Where am I going with this?

Well, at any given time, hundreds of medical students from my college are posted in the Malacca General for clinical training and a good fraction of that number drive their own cars there, shunning the college shuttle bus which departs from campus at 7:45 am every morning. These individuals, sitting in their solitary cars would appear in the hospital on their own and collectively take up a good number of the parking spaces there, occupying them for the entire duration of their posting hours which stretched from morning till noon.

To be fair, I too drive to the Malacca General Hospital on my lonesome but that's because the distance between my house to the campus is almost the same as the length of the route I take to the hospital - and not living in the hostel makes carpooling a tad too much trouble for its worth. The difference is, I have never once - read: NOT ONCE - parked in the parking spaces reserved for the general public within the hospital. I often arrive early enough to get a place in the corner lot of the hospital reserved for my college's students and lecturers and on the occasions I didn't, I joined the illegally parked horde in picture number 3, or leave my car in the housing estate neighbouring the hospital and foot the half kilometre to whichever department I was suppose to appear in that day. This is because I'm aligned with the forces of light and good, a fact which I cannot assert enough.

This contrast me with the dickwad medical students who insist on taking up patients' parking spaces on the inside - in spite having been cautioned from doing just that by my college's admins at the start of their semester in Malacca. You can recognise them by this identifying sticker,


So, with this bit of info in mind, I urge everyone to do their civic duties - and scratch the shit out of cars sporting this sticker with your keys or coins if you see them parked anywhere in the hospital outside of the designated college student and lecturer parking. That's right, that's what I'm telling you to do. Forget that "turn the other cheek" jazz that Jesus spoke so highly of. Jesus never had to fucking circle the Malacca General Hospital's parking lot a million times in his Godmobile looking from a spot while suffering from a bad case of gastritis. Remember what he did to the fig tree (Mark 11:12-14 and 19-24)?

Remember. Stickers. In the hospital. Break out your keys.

These asshole medical students are hypocrites because they are medical students, i.e. potential doctors in the near future. These are people who are suppose to be committed to a life alleviating people's pain and suffering, and they cannot do something as simple as understanding that there are a lot of people who need those damn parking space a great deal more urgently than they do. And trust me, none of the students currently training at the Malacca General Hospital is doing anything to help any sick people at all. What they are doing - and will do till the day they graduate - is take advantage of sick people. That's putting it as bluntly as I can. They are disturbing patients' rest to ask questions, to examine and ultimately, to learn from them. Medical students often forget that the most significant part of our curriculum depends solely on the goodwill, generousity and sufferance of patients. Eat humble pie, bastards.

I have a cousin who suffers from Thalassaemia B Major and the short of it is that she requires regular blood transfusion, all her life to keep her alive (unless she receives a bone marrow transplant, but let's not go there). She goes to the Malacca General Hospital monthly for that and had, at times, forced to miss her appointment because she could not get a parking place. Maybe it's hard for the high and aloof, upper-class medical student types to know just how selfish their actions really are. Maybe, just maybe, they aren't really cut out for this job seeing that they have so much trouble connecting with the needs of patients on a human level. That's how some of my colleagues make me feel - they seem to view patients as simply objects, rather than real, living people.

But I like to give them more credit. I want to think that they don't need a sick cousin to learn that bit of humility and humanity. Maybe they just need a little more time to do that.

In the meantime, people, scratch the shit out of their cars.

Aligned with the Forces of Light and Good,
k0k s3n w4i


Jia Hui said...

Totally support your post. Sigh. It's saddenning to see people like that. And to think, this is just one case out of the million of cases where people show ignorance due to their selfishness.

These people shouldn't even become doctor!! How are they gonna save lives when they can't even do their part as a medical student?

Anonymous said...

u shud go to the hostel are to see more of the scene locally.
the residence here is a bit crazy. vandals and prankster.
someone took my sandals when i wasn't around and place it randomly in front of other rooms.
at times, i wonder how good mmmc can be...

i'll remain anonymous. u know me k0k.

MichelleG said...

upper middle class.. yup i agree with u. just look at those cars with assholes pointed at them, average families wont be able to afford such big cars/more expensive cars.

well im just generalising now. but sometimes things are just unfair. nothing is fair in this world.

Zzzyun said...

yeah sometimes i feel really paiseh to disturb the patients as they are sick but still willing to do their best to talk to us.

sigh, and the people from the hostel and in the same posting shld carpool to the hospital. save petrol, more environmental friendly and more spaces for patients!

oh well.

ps: i had thought of writing a novel countless of times. but so far i havent got to a plot i like enuf =/

bevE said...

how to scratch the cars if u censor their license plates too? they leave it out there to be noticed what in the open

medics dunno how to carpool izzit. so kiasu

o.O i'm almost starting to read your posts again (i.e. i'm starting to pay more attention and read actual paragraphs now xD)

Betsy said...

Oh! Michelle told me about this issue too. She was so pissed off the other day. She can't find a parking and had to park outside. And she got fined for it.

Not only that, she had her blood transfusion one week later due to the inefficiency of the staffs at GH.
She was so frail the entire week :(

junior said...

As the doctors from older generations have always complained that medical students, and young doctors nowadays are indeed screwed-up, compared to those of the older days.

This is all because of the "tdk-apa" attitude.
someday, this "tdk-apa" attitude will surely eat them alive...

Michelle Mak said...

this is nothing to be compared to GHKL or HTJ in seremban...
and the guards there are so merciless..they just clamp ur car just like dat...

sinye said...

sigh, hav to admit, most mmmc students are rich brats..

and ya, not forgetting drunk medical students banging other ppl's car too after they had reached their first level alcohol toxicity. f* them.

k0k s3n w4i said...

Jia Hui: A lot of people, I think, have problem with empathy. People choose not to care for their own convenience :(

Anonymous: Yeah, I know you :P. I heard the hostel's an animal house, noisy and full of inconsiderate assholes - not that I experienced it personally. Still, to be fair our more level-headed colleagues, let's not generalise yet.

MichelleG: I was referring more to their attitude than their socioeconomic status - but yeah, you made a fair observation there.

Zzzyun: Well, I notice that a lot more people are carpooling now. Hope it keeps improving, eh? What sort of genre you thought of writing in?

bevE: If you read my post carefully, you'd know that you can identify them from the car stickers >_> Maybe you're reading 'cause we don't get to talk so much these days =d

Betsy: Well, she can try parking in the Taman and walk in. They don't saman cars in the residential zone. Or maybe she should get her sister to fetch her.

junior: I have to defend some of my more admirable colleagues - who really does give a shit - and say that that blanket statement is unfair. But, I know how the minority of jackasses colour the whole. You're from MMMC?

Michelle Mak: If you ask me, I think they should clamp up those MMMC students' cars which is not parked according to the directives.

sinye: I won't say most. A good number of us are JPA scholars who didn't have a choice. A lot of us came from middle to upper-middle class families who aspire to be doctors, but can't afford elsewhere. A tiny minority (which I belong to, by the way) made MMMC their first choice because they wanted the chance to go to India. Then, there are the rich assholes, like that prick who got drunk and totaled 4 cars in our neighbourhood. I was fucking appalled when I heard about it - about how he told the owner of those cars to never fall sick and end up being his patient next time when he's a doctor. How can he sully the good name of the medical profession like that?! An absolute disgrace. If there's any justice, he'll never graduate (I heard that he's been failing and dropping all this while from the 7th to the 14th batch). And it's stupid and damaging to the rest of us that our college admins have not expelled him yet for all the other shit he did in the past. Hope they do now.

senorita.. said...

hmm, too many people study medic JUST to be doctors. fancy title n all. too few do it coz they want to save lives. and also many do it coz their family asked them to. (i rmber reading a news report or smtg saying docs unfit to do housemanships coz suffer from mental probs - depressions etc, usually coz they were forced to go into this profession in the first place).

sigh.... this is just sad.

k0k s3n w4i said...

senorita: approximately 25% of ALL people has, at some point, in their lives suffer from a mental illness of some kind, in accordance to the diagnostic criteria in the DSM-IV (that Damn Stupid Manual most psychiatrists use). Some studies came up with numbers as high as 65-75% even. I heard that they are claiming that 5% of postgrads are unable to do their housemanship because they are sick in the brain. therefore, medicos are technically one of the sanest demographics in the population. Data interpretation 101, girl.

I think the problem is that medical students think that they are above everyone else. That arrogance comes very easily.

senorita.. said...

oh,didnt know that. thanks for clarifying. for people like me whom have no idea of the other data, well, will be quite shocked to say the least.

Anonymous said...

"someday, this "tdk-apa" attitude will surely eat them alive..."
'tdk-apa' attitude is really widespread in the younger generation, but it is fatal in the of medical field. The one 'being eaten' won't be these ppl, but their patients itself.

most mmmc students are rich brats..
i wished i was one. but the point is not all the reach brats are lousy. attitude has little to do with wealth. i know a bunch of f*****king rich dudes who are smart and respectable (and on top of that ferraris and compressors).
the system is too lenient i would say.

i'm really sick of hearing messed up students spoiling mmmc's name.

k0k s3n w4i said...

senorita: I felt that that report misrepresented medical students as a whole. In fact, a lot of my colleagues bought into it without giving it any thought either.

anonymous: Amen, mate, on the spoiling our college's name bit. Oh, and apparently MMU ppl think that we are arrogant too. The reason we have so many rules and restrictions is because of a few assholes who are unable to regulate themselves :(

Zzzyun said...

i think its the same anywhere, ppl like to generalize a whole grp due to the (stupid) actions of a select few assholes. just tat drs/med students seem to ge more flak for no apparent reason. le sigh.

hmm, last time i wanted to write smtg fantasy based, like a whole fantasy world out of my imagination but now am thinking of a thriller/character based sort of novel.

coz i read this awesome novel "Grotesque" by Natsuo Kirino and it's really good! u shld check it out. i love how dark she describes the human soul can become, due to circumstances.

k0k s3n w4i said...

Zzzyun: I just woke up from sleep and when I read your comment while I was all bleary eyed, I misread something you wrote - and I thought "wow, that's a clever premise for a fantasy story". When I reread it again, I realise that you're just talking about writing a fantasy in general, without outlining any plot. Sooooo, it's technically my idea. I'm going to file it away in case I ever want to make anything out of it :P

I'm writing a fantasy story about ghosts with a strong thematic play on liminality. I think people focuses too much on the horror aspect of ghosts, and too much on how people react to ghosts. I also have a high fantasy story idea I'm working on at the same time.

bevE said...

i wanna read and proofread ur story. mane?

-_- so many ppl got the same stickers what, leave license plate number easier to check whether its front or back of car :D

k0k s3n w4i said...

bevE: -_- so many ppl got the same stickers what, leave license plate number easier to check whether its front or back of car :D

you make absolutely no sense whatsoever, as usual >_>.

I'll pass you a chapter from the middle of the story soon. It's still very unpolished at the moment. And I'll outline the story for you, and see if you'd think it'll be an interesting book to read.

Zzzyun said...

hmm i am wondering what brilliant idea did misreading my comment lead to.. *curious*

anyway i had a dream a few days ago and the front part seemed fitting to become a full-fledged story. but im just too lazy to start outlining the plot sigh.

and weirdly, that story involves ghosts too!