Oct 30, 2007

Of Medicine and Opportunities

Recently while I was going through documents for our SCOPE outgoings I came across this sentence on my senior's motivation essay. "For medical students, the sun never sets." In a small school especially like TCU, opportunities overflow. With only 50+ students, you get the same privileges like other more prominent universities, which has 150 students to feed. For example, for the SCOPE (Standing Committee on Professional Exchange) outgoing selections this year, Chang Gen Medical University (5th-ranking) shortlisted 8 students out of 22 participants; Taipei Medical University (4th-ranking) has a shortlisting rate of nearly 50%; For TCU, all 3 participants got through, with 3 more places to spare. I was very embarrassed by how unmotivated our school is. But once again, you can always blame it on the student population.
Anyway, back to the point - due to the small student population, you get exclusive individual attention - the lady in the Office of the School of Medicine recognizes you on your second visit there, the Dean smiles and greets you when you walk past him this afternoon, and you get to enjoy benefits much earlier than other medical students (in other schools).
We had a 2-hour session with a dermatologist this afternoon. Her lesson sparked up endless inspiration in my heart (and one of my friend's, as far as I know). Besides clinical work, she is also deeply involved in research and experimenting cures for different skin diseases (including hair loss). Like many of us she started approaching the laboratory when she was in Year 5. Thereafter taking several fellowships and grants to Japan, the US and France, she advanced not only in experimental techniques but also perfected treatment mechanisms and efficiency. Drowning in waves of euphoria I told myself this is what I want to become in 30 years' time - to be a physician, treating the needy, and also a scientist, to get to the bottom of every disease and drug.
I love to dream, dreaming is part of my life, and I'm glad I still have the ability to dream. For me, I can embark on my road to research as early as next summer (and in a foreign country) as I am guaranteed a place for SCORE (Standing Committee on Research Exchange). We had no applicants for SCORE this year (much unlike SCOPE), and I as a loyal customer for exchange programs gladly applied and go through the much hay-ho for SCORE. Nevertheless, I'm still weighing the pros and cons of going on a research exchange this year, or keeping it till next year. In the meantime, I'm looking for professors wanting a research student during the summer (and possibly in Taipei).
The sun never sets for medical students, especially so if you're in a small-and-not-so-prominent school.