Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Buying opportunities.

So for the past 1.5 weeks, I have been chatting with the FYs here and there. They are from all over the country but none from Cambridge, so no one really knows what we experienced back there. One of them worked in Addies before tho, and she said it was nice because there were many very fancy technology like the Da Vinci machine (3D console + laproscopic robot that allows surgeons to perform key-hole surgery over long distance). Many were in awe of those technologies. I was actually quite surprised tho. I mean, I saw those machines during the 1st week of my first ever placement when I was back there in a urology theatre. I didn’t know it was something that fancy, advanced and sought after? As I eavesdropped around more, only then I realised how advanced and equipped Addenbrooke’s really is, compared to other regional hospitals. And guess what, I had been loathing over my time in Addies because we weren’t taught properly and there wasn’t much teaching sessions…everyone was simply busy and we medical students are just obstructions. I guess, it’s true, when you are the major, top-notch hospital in the country, the doctors there are really the top-dogs and whatever they do are thousand years away from where we are, so it will take another million years before we eventually reach their state, why bother teaching so much about it now? (Tho it really wouldn’t hurt to tell me what you are doing…a bit of teaching wouldn’t hurt right? As long as it doesn’t hurt the patient..)

As I reflect upon these first few months in medical, I realised I really shouldn’t complain about the teaching opportunities. We are 20+ years old adults, had 3 years of pre-clinical teaching and mature enough to ask for help if we need any, do we really need spoon-feeding? The answer is, no, not really. And I do find that I learned much more reading from textbooks and interacting from patients, than sitting in the lecture theatres. Most of the time, I don’t understand like 70-80% of what the lecturer is rambling about and I ended up reading up everything on my own, at my own pace to finally understand it. So, it really is independent learning for us now.

Then, you may ask, why are we pay so much?! It’s freaking 40,000+ pounds per year that we are paying. If no one’s teaching us, why do we bother paying? I might as well sit at home and read on my own. True, but…how much do lecturers get paid? Not much at all. Most of our tuition fee goes to creating our learning opportunities, in a sense, buying a conducive environment for us to learn. This includes, stocking up the medical library (which is really really good, honestly, I can find all the books I need there and more..), giving us access to the hospitals anytime we want and also the practical skills laboratories. And along with these, easy access to the extreme experts… It’s not so much about formal teaching and spoon-feeding now, but more about proactive learning. The opportunities are right in your face, you just have to grab it.

SO yea… I guess I have to stop being so timid and soft-spoken when asking for help or opportunities to learn in the wards, and stop feeling like an obstruction which causes abdominal distension, vomiting, absolute constipation and pain...

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