Tuesday, March 25, 2008

That Medical Gollum

Deep inside every generally respectable, well-adjusted physician, you'll no doubt find a desperately kiasu medical student cowering in the shadows. Perhaps you'll have to shuffle through several layers of slick, shiny ego and shift through the muck of arrogance but believe me, dig deep enough beneath their personalities and there's still the shadow of their pasts.

Medical students. Type A personalities found easily enough in the corridors and halls of major teaching hospitals along with the occasional generic coffee houses downing expressos by the gallon to keep awake. Certainly a breed onto themselves - practically worthy of a genus and species of their own. Seemingly independent hermits holed up in their cave-like dormitories who live and breathe medical text ( transforming academia into glucose through the Craps Cycle ), dusty tomes and smeared PDAs never that far from the energy bars that keep them jittery and awake, prone to spontaneously blurt out ( vaguely perverted ) acronyms to dozens of obscure medical diseases.

And characterized by a particular sort of kiasuness where failing is simply not an option. Muttering deep into the wee hours of the morning about scores, CGPAs and book prizes with the occasional wicked cackle.

Away from me, thy foul creature!

Of course after the graduation, this particular breed finds itself lulled into relative dormancy and evolves into something resembling the rest of the human race - almost indistinguishable from the common man! Yet deep inside there still rests this peculiar medical student breed who hibernates deep only to spring back to life during medical conferences, bargain basement sales and the occasional competency tests.

Sad to say that our medical courses usually tend to bring out the worst in us. Happens when you have little tests and exams scattered throughout the week-long course that only feeds this devilishly competitive monster deep inside waiting to be brought into light.

Medical Student : I must do well! I must score! I must beat all the rest. MUAHAHAHAHA. They shall eat my dust.

Monstrous, eh. I've seen more than a few who've let this depraved creature carry them into unspeakable places.

Like universities and such.

After leaving medical school behind, I've done my best to bury this perverse creature as much as I can - so you won't find it making an appearance all that often. But then today when I flipped open a coursebook - for this course I'm attending for the next few days, I suffered a major relapse. Seriously.

There were two thick textbooks covering almost ten chapters each and also an accompanying CD with additional practice sessions and tests. Realizing this at the last possible moment would have given the medical student in me an acute myocardial infarction. There was a brief moment when the medical student ran amuck flipping through the pages while my heart went through cartwheels of ventricular arrythmia.

Fortunately I came to my senses after at least an hour of panicking ( no doubt bringing the medical student to the fore ) and actively memorizing flashcards with handy mnemonics. Stuffed the medical student back into the darker reaches of the brain and took deep fortifying breaths. Looked out the window and reminded myself that life doesn't come to an end even if I don't score top marks.

Quite an achievement for an obsessive-compulsive Type A personality like me.

Then I went out shopping.

I certainly have evolved. From medicalstudenitis to shopaholic. Hmmm.


Ryan said...

Score Score Score?! Tired of those life! I am now starting to learn to lead a "come what may" life. :P

AJ said...

"I certainly have evolved. From medicalstudenitis to shopaholic. Hmmm"

welcome to da club man~ hahahaha ;P

joshua said...

oh my... that's a revolution. for one, this post contains the most medical jargon as i recall.

haha never forget the ever elusive GOLD MEDAL of the Class and the Vivas.

Oh well, I just wanna survive and graduate in peace. That's good enough for me.

Good luck with your course.

Janvier said...

La di da. Thankfully never suffered from that. That we get through satisfactorily works for us.

Sincerely, King Bitch said...


Let's rid the world of medstudentitis!

savante said...

Yeah, I'm evolving into that kinda stage, ryan.

Not sure if that's a step up or down the evolutionary scale, aj :P

You mean I rarely use medical jargon? How odd. I should use more then, joshua.

Will do the same, janvier. Wouldn't want to get high blood pressure.

Gonna take a while to get rid of it all, king bitch :)


Legolas said...


Jason said...

Bitchy shopaholic :p

William said...

Teruk lagi if kiasu AND kedekut ilmu.

Anonymous said...

Not so unsual I did the same thing. Book and note burning. Wowee what a relief to know that all that shit was behind you and real life was starting!

savante said...

Why hmm, leggy?

Not sure if it's an improvement, jason.

Totally agree,w illiam.

Thank God I'm not the only one then, anon!


lordbyron said...

Paul:my own experience in Med School is disastrous.In Latin America teachers are cruel and love to humiliate you during rounds.Pretty girls can have a tiny brain,they will succeed notwithstanding.Your best pal will pay the secretary for the answers to a test(or else hell bed her).Rich students sneer at the few poor ones(US model allows no lower strata students)So,dear why are you complaining in lovely Malaysia?