They supposedly do this thing at the beginning of medical school:
Look to your left, look to your right. Only one of you will graduate in the allotted time.
I don’t remember them doing it for our class, three years ago. I used to think it was because they were committed to getting us all to the end of med school in one piece.
Nowadays, I think I may just have bunked that lecture. Or fallen asleep during it.
Of my original clinical group, only two of us remain. One person may not even be in my year anymore, soon.
I have seen brilliant medical students not only fail, but get excluded from their course. These are students whose notes I have used to study for exams. These are people who taught me to draw blood or put up an IV or resuscitate a patient.
I understand that medicine is a tough field. I understand that doctors hold the lives (and livelihoods) of their patients in their hands. But I have to wonder if we are assessing whether one is a “good doctor” correctly – if people like me get to stay, and people like them have to leave.
This is South Africa. We cannot afford rotten doctors. But nor can we afford to produce so terribly few doctors.
I am seeing some of the best doctors being removed from this profession before they are even part of it. And there is nothing I can do about it.