If you look around this blog, you’ll notice that I consider myself to be an average medical student (when it comes to academics, in anyway). Clearly, that wasn’t always the case. To gain entrance to this course, students must have exceptional academic and non-academic merit.
High School was competitive. Everybody knew that with the few tertiary institutions in South Africa, doing a little less than their best could very well cost them their future. But regardless, I went out of my way to help my classmates – I explained work to them whenever I could, and we supported each other well.
Recently I’ve become so aware of competition in my class. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of competition. But what I am seeing is students who will step on anyone to reach the top. And I don’t care how badly you want to specialise in a specific field, stepping on others is NEVER justifiable.
The Boy says I live in a dream world. I guess that’s true, and that I have realised more and more recently. People aren’t nice to other people anymore.
There are kids in my class who will look you in the eyes and say, “No, I don’t have any practice-exams” when, in fact, they do.
A while ago some group members and I were preparing for a group presentation. I couldn’t remember the latest PEP-guidelines and asked for a quick reminder. To cut a long story short, they told me that the prophylaxis is two protease-inhibitors. And when that question came up and I answered, they were so quick to jump in with a “No, actually it’s NRTIs”.
It was a group presentation, so they pretty much shot their own marks in the foot.
We have logbooks for clinical procedures to perform. Last year, instead of ensuring that everyone in a group gets equal opportunities to practise their skills, some people would push ahead and do, for example, a gazillion IV-cannulations, and then some poor people hardly had the opportunity to perform the mandatory three.
I get that we all have dreams and aspirations. But our classmates will one day be our colleagues in South African Medicine – where health resources are scarce and thinly distributed. There are way too few doctors (of any specialty) in our country. So surely one should want your colleagues to be as well equipped as possible?