w.I.b:warung ikan bakar:
Harap-harap INI KALILAH !
Thursday, December 30, 2004
India Part 2: Vellore - Agra - Jodhpur - Jaisalmer - Mumbai - Goa - Chennai
Dear family and friends,
The trip up to north India has been very rewarding so far, despite the occasional inevitable hiccups here and there, especially at Agra, Uttar Pradesh.
By now, I am quite comfortable with the Indian society, and the streets, etc. Right now, as much I am thankful that we have skipped the south of India where the tsunami went, I feel sorry for what happenned, and pray that the mercy missions will be a successful one at ameliorating the devastating effects.
To all loved ones who are worried about us, I just want to assure you we are all okay, safely protected from the mountains and the deserts.
Our group are having doubts about the original plan of spending some time at the Goan beaches and also about Chennai where we will board our plan back home. The possibility outbreak of water-borne diseases are bugging some of our over-cautious plans.
My biggest hope right now is that our flight is unaffected. As much as I love the experience in India, I really really miss home and want to come back home as soon as possible.
I pray I will come back to you all safely, with nice photos and great stories.
Professor G.A Anderson of Hands Research Unit, CMC Vellore commented, "When we learn something by intention, we retain it in our head. But when we learn something accidentally, just because we happen to be there, happen to hear it, we will most probably forget it soon after."
Just like in the business of photography, there are times when we accidentally capture a very nice shot, but when asked to do it once more, we fail. Talented photographers, on the other hand, know what they are doing. With good technique and experience, they can capture good shots most of the time.
UM has a tradition that all of us can be proud of. Unlike other local medical schools which are relatively new, we have a heritage. Many still think of us as No.1. CMC Vellore is also made of a long glorious history. Probably the difference between these two is that CMC students can still feel the pride, they feel belonged, and they enter the school with intention. Most are sponsored to read medicine here, and will be bonded to serve for their sponsors. Monetary compensation is even lower compared to the Malaysian picture.
On the other hand, how many of us in UM entered the school by intention and not by accident? Not more than half. Are we learning by intention or just feeding on what the preset syllabus and the kind of patients that show up?
The conclusion of the study shows while there are some technical areas (simple things like suturing, assisting in surgeries) where CMC students are superior, the core issues that surround students doctors in the wards does not differ much between UM and CMC. No, if ever UM is lacking behind, it is not because CMC and other school offer a better ground, but because UM fell asleep along the way, with the students without purpose and vision but mere earthly aims, and the faculty leaders being complacent.
I do not mean that UM students now are superficial and the lecturers complacent, but if ever UM finally fall short of her glory, the reason for this would most likely to be the above mentioned.
My conclusion of the study: UM is not as bad what we thought. Compared to the best in India, we are not dwarfed at all.but there are certain strengths and advantages that it would be hard for UM to emulate.
The overall objectives of the medical course are aimed at producing a competent doctor with holistic approach to the practise of medicine.
Christian Medical College, Vellore, India:
The aim is to impart to women and men on education of the highest grade in the art and science of medicine to equip them in the spirit of Christ, for service in the relief of suffering and the promotion of health.
A closer look and scrutiny of these bombastic words would give a conclusion that the objective of both MBBS courses are the same. And very sound, too. However, I remember the UKM dean once said, "The curriculum objective can sound very good and designed with good intention, but at the end of the day, what really matters is whether the aspirations of the curriculum will trickle down to the grassroots, the students."
It is with these thoughts that I embark on the assignment to conduct a comparative survey between the clinical students of UM and CMC, which is one of the top medical colleges in India. (I like to compare, just to know where we stand amongst the rest. Given a chance, I would conduct a nationwide survey on all Malaysian medical schools. Appetie for peer reviews, anybody?)
The survey is complete, the SPSS analysis is done, I am right now in the paper writing stage. So far, the preliminary results show (as expected) the CMC students is getting a better deal. Of course, I have not considered the limitations and errors that may arise. But the issue here is this:- we have to realise our shortcomings early enough to make corrective measures. It is no shame if we are behind, but it would be bad if we sleep on it.
Nevertheless, comparison is tricky business. The whole process of training doctors is a dynamic one. One can be far behind, and yet catch up to be equal at the end of the course. One have plenty of time and forced opportunities to catch up during internship. Probably, knowing more and doing more at the training stage is just ammunition for showing off more.
Personally, I do not care so much the issue of which one gives a higher percentage of students knowing how to suture or intubate, but rather I give concern to whether UM can produce doctors who are genuinely holistic - ethical, good-natured, skillful, knowledgeable, and with a persistent and unexhaustive desire to continue the learning experience, and to realise the purpose of it all, whether in specialisation, sub-specialistation or generalisation.
To me, it matters to me which college gives a higher percentage of graduates who would return to their alma mater mater and gratefully say,"This was where they made me a doctor."
(to be continued...)
Warung Ikan Bakar is back, much earlier than January, with some slight changes. The Indian experience has so far reactivated my excitement in writing and reading. There is perhaps more background and thoughts to comment now. I hope to publish some good essays from time to time.