Friday, March 30, 2007

I've been wondering

I can't wait for the 3rd year to start, just thinking about doing ward rounds, wearing the white coat in the hospital and having the stethescope around my neck just gives me an adrenaline rush. But as I read some blogs written by fellow american medical students who are currently in 3rd year(24 years old) as well, and also blogs from Malaysian doctors who are currently residing overseas, somehow it seems harder than I thought.

In Malaysia we have high school, then we go for pre-university programmes such as matriculation, STPM or A-levels just to enter university in a year or 2 after the major exams. After that, we start our medical degree programmes, so a medical student in Malaysia usually starts at the age of 19 or 20. It differs from the programme in America, where after high school they actually have 4 years of college degree in another course (or pre-med as they say) then they start the medical degree programme at the age of 22. In my opinion, the earlier you graduate, the faster you work, the faster you get your pay. But when I read the blogs written by the above mentioned people, I start to wonder whether we Malaysian medical students will be at par with those overseas when we graduate.

Firstly, due to the age factor, they may have started medical school with greater maturity than us, secondly because the are doing their second degree, as in they already have a degree before doing their medical degree. I think the 2nd point may have them a tad bit more prepared to be healers, having a larger view of diseases compared to us. Besides that, they also have other extra curricular activities they can join, instead of we Malaysian students who usually don't have time to join club activities in our own University (but I think it is more on the club activities are done on days where medical students are not free, and our schedule of lectures from 8-5pm does not help too). That is why usually we medical students are left out of the picture everytime an activity is held, partly due to the time factor, and also due to our own ignorance towards activities being held in the university.

So, my question is
  1. are doctors the same everywhere? or do patients in America have better treatment and are better diagnosed than those in Malaysia?
  2. if a Malaysian medical student graduates and an American medical student graduates will they be at par at giving treatment to patients?
  3. and will their chances at pursuing their speciality be the same if they were to be applying for a place in the post-graduate programme in the same university?

Answers anyone??

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