Mediocre doctors: Prove yourselves worthy

Sejak dari awal saya menjejakkan kaki ke bumi salji ini lagi, sudah terngiang-ngiang di telinga saya mengenai isu kemahiran dan kualiti para graduan dari negara bekas soviet ini. Dahulunya ketika saya mula-mula hendak datang ke sini, isu yang timbul adalah isu pengiktirafan beberapa kolej dan universiti perubatan di negara Ukraine.

Namun saya tak menyangka, dalam kalangan masyarakat professional di Malaysia, rupanya ada yang menganggap Ukraine dan Russia itu sama, melonggokkannya dibawah satu payung negara bekas soviet yang menghasilkan graduan perubatan berkualiti rendah.

Maka persepsi negatif telah awal-awal lagi terbina didalam minda, bahawasanya “graduan dari Russia dan Ukraine ini, graduan kelas bawahan.” Padahal tidak ramai yang mengetahui, bahawa sebenarnya graduan tajaan kerajaan ketika itu masih belum pun tamat pengajian!

Senior sulung saya di Russia, ketika graduasi dua tahun lepas mewakili batch pertama tajaan kerajaan ke Russia, menghadapi stigma yang cukup berat, menangkis segala persepsi negatif yang ada terhadap mereka.

Mereka bermula dengan disadvantage. Handicapped. Usahkan hendak berjuang, awal-awal lagi sudah dilabel loser!

Wahai masyarakat sekalian, inilah dilema yang dihadapi oleh kami para graduan Russia. Sebelum kami pulang berkhidmat lagi, kami awal-awal telah dibakulkan sebagai “graduan kelas kedua”!

Mediocre doctors: Prove yourselves worthy

I’M writing in response to the report “Mediocre students becoming doctors” (New Sunday Times, Feb 20).

Nineteen years ago, when I did my housemanship at Ipoh Hospital, I had the opportunity to work with people who graduated from various medical colleges all over the world.

At that time, there were not as many house officers as today. The majority of us graduated from India (both from recognised as well as unrecognised medical colleges), from the three medical faculties in Malaysia (including my wife and I), Pakistan, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Iraq and Belgium (who brought reference books in Flemish).

Initially, I could sense “favouritism” among the medical officers, clinical specialists and consultants towards house officers who graduated from certain universities.

As my wife and I graduated from the youngest local medical faculty from among the three, word went around that we were not as good as graduates from the other two faculties.

However, our attitude, dedication, commitment, accountability and passion during our housemanship earned us their respect.

I have had a colleague, who graduated from a prestigious medical college in the UK, asking me how to take blood from a patient because in the UK, she never had to do that (it was done by a phlebotomist).

She learnt and became an expert.

On the contrary, I also had a colleague who graduated from a well-known medical college in Australia who could not cope with the workload. It came to a stage where, during ward rounds, the consultant would prefer to ask the nurse about the patients’ progress because the consultant did not trust the doctor’s judgement.

On the second day after reporting for duty, a colleague took me aside. She was my senior in that department and had graduated from a recognised medical college in India.

She told me that she was assigned to teach me how to do an insertion into a central venous line.

She mentioned that she had performed many such procedures during her college days as well as during her posting at the department.

But I found that she was not doing it right. She, however, insisted that her method was correct.

In the end, the patient ended up with no central venous line but surgical emphysema and bilateral pneumothorax. The medical officer had to intervene and the patient had to have bilateral chest tubes inserted.

What I’m trying to say is that we should not prejudge our medical graduates based on where they graduated from. As graduates, they would have attained similar basic knowledge where medicine is concerned. What is lacking in some of them are the skills they should have acquired during their housemanship.

To those who have graduated from so-called low-ranking medical colleges, please do not feel disheartened. I challenge you to prove the critics wrong.

With the right attitude, dedication, commitment, accountability and passion to learn, you are not far from the quest to become a good doctor.

To the rest of you who have graduated from recognised medical colleges, discard the arrogance and be humble because without the right attitude, dedication, commitment, accountability and passion to learn, you are nowhere near to being a good doctor.


One thought on “Mediocre doctors: Prove yourselves worthy

  1. Very like this article:)
    Its very true that people are being soo judgemental regarding from which country a doctor graduated from. I wonder so much on why is it, and as a logic explanation, either people did experienced or they heard comments direct from the patient or medical students itself, or maybe just rumours from dont know where it come from.. Even as a preparation student like me, I almost got a headache when I was offered to do twinning with india or full course in indonesia. Yes there’s for sure pro and con for both choice, when i study both choices.. But yet I feel distracted with all the assumptions from people. And it is a very hard try not to get influenced by this when making decisions.. Thus i’m agree that it is up for us to prove.. that we are worthy.. fuh~ challenges builds strength isn’t it..?hu

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