Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Failure of A Medical School.

We can all conclusively agree that incompetence would be it- if we are talking about a sole determining factor that is. But surely, creative and finger-pointing of humans that we are, we can do better than just a reason- a list of reasons is how we like it. I would contribute to this list by adding one seemingly petty point, nonetheless if you follow through this discussion as I unravel how it came about receiving a nomination from me, you would see it magnified.

When in the first year of medical school, you were taught about the anatomy and physiology of human reproductive organs and by extension, the physiology of sex; when it is only logical that your level of maturity should match up that of an adult and exceed that of hormonally-driven adolescents; when you are constantly being reminded to look at a patient as a person vs. a diagnosis; when despite all these, you can still find humor in a lecture entitled Sexual Offenses, at so many levels, you have failed in the profession. For a medical school producing such insensitive doctors, it has my vote of failing miserably at its mission.

I will be the first to cast this vote upon the medical school that I am currently attending. I understand the limitation of holding an institution responsible for the downfall of a handful of its members; it is an unjustified generalization, but for an incompetent professional you blame the place he graduated from, for an insolent child you blame the parents- the same is the way life works in this context. I need not say the agony which comes along with this vote, of indirectly associating myself with these sorry souls, but I must put forward this story or the angry disgust I have been walking around with since that lecture will be severely channeled out.

How can you as a medical student still respond naively to the subject of sex? This is just past me. I have heard some of my female classmates admit to not fully understand the mechanics of sex and react shyly when academically talking about copulation. And some of my male classmates are still living their glory days of schoolboys teasing their female peers budding breasts. Now you have a rough idea things that threatens my sanity day in and day out. Perhaps some of them to their defense would say rightly that they are indeed unfamiliar with the subject in the practical part, hence their behavior. Well, I agree premarital sex isn't a norm in our society, but are you suggesting the reason I and a few of us are able to behave rationally to the matter is that we have had first hand experience? You don't need to have been at war to sympathize with war victims. You don't need to have had sex to have the knowledge about it. You don't need to have been raped to sympathize with a rape victim.

I have never before attended a teaching that had me highly disgusted. I am still perplexed at how a hall of medical students could produce a laughing noise to a lecture regarding rape. If you find it embarrassing or funny to be talking about sex, that is your personal issue you need to resolve elsewhere and not by trying to conceal with laughter to a very devastating subject. I did turn to a row of boys sitting behind me and asked "what the fuck is so funny?" They only averted their eyes and ignored me.

What got me doubly sick to my stomach was the lecturer himself. Yes, he too was making insensitive "funny" remarks. ("Funny" because the rest of the class found it something to laugh about). He was telling us about the punishment of a guiltily charged rapist, no matter the degree of penetration- whether a mere contact of the tip of the penis to the labia or a full penetration, is still 5- 10 years plus minus canning. So he said, if you were to do it, you might as well go all the way, if not it's such a waste- you'll be punished just the same. Would he have said this to the animal responsible of robbing his daughter of her virginity and life? Would he?

The immense amount of insensitivity I witnessed that day.

I am sorry that these will be some of the future doctors.


Blogger Fifer said...

you wil be the ONLY UPM doctor of your batch and under that lecturer who will be qualified to treat patients with medical understanding and compassion for human beings.

i cannot believe what you just wrote. i cannot believe that was what happened. i am utterly appalled at your lecturer. Your DOCTOR LECTURER. and equally repulsed by your fellow classmates.

it is now no wonder why you were so agitated in your smses. would there have been a better place to have been trigger happy? i don't think you can blame ignorance or hormones on that one. to find humor in rape is beyond me and beyond distasteful. i would have walked out and i'm sorry that you could not escape and you had to experience such an insult to humanity and the medical profession.


I suggest you tell people to read that.

3:14 AM  
Blogger amy said...

Thank you fifer for your strong feeling. The surge of nausea did reach the point of urging me to get out of the class. But I didn't. I do have a reserve of regret in that regards. The technicalities that paralyzed my making such a move frustrate me. I shall not illustrate here what they are for they would inevitably come out as excuses and this very fact saddens me.

When I was writing this, I did not have an audience in mind. I wrote it because it had to be written, for my own sake. Therefore some details (that are not relevant for me to have described to myself) were not included. I wish then to clarify them here:

1. The lecturer does have the title DR. in front of his name, but he specializes in the mortuary. As such he does not provide medical consultation for the living. Not under any circumstances am I suggesting that sensitivity does not need to be exercised where dead bodies are concerned, but at least no emotional bruise would occur to the involved individual; although we can't always say that for the family.

2. The lecturer was invited as a guest lecturer, meaning he is not a member of the faculty. As many of us, I too, cannot help the sense of belonging I have towards the school which I attend; therefore I wish to dissociate myself and my school from this man.

3. I was not the only one among my classmates to have had been slapped by disgust throughout the lecture. A friend sitting next to me shared the same amount of pain and it helped somewhat. I could not account for more than that because I did not personally witness more than that. But I know some of my other classmates who would have displayed the same reaction as mine.

Another thought crossed my mind just after writing the above post: that I likened a rapist to an animal. I began to think why I had this almost automatic opinion. It may be because it is such common use that is universally understood. But I remember as I was writing that sentence, I did type in "man" first, as opposed to "animal". I reworded because to me part of what constitute a man is a being which does not impose such harm to other beings. Hence to my logic at that moment, I couldn't possibly equal a rapist to a man. Then it struck me how I have insulted the animals- we are the ones with thinking minds. There is no longer one set image you can plant in your head upon the mention of the word "man"- you must further categorize: good man & bad man.

12:22 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home