Aug 22, 2008

Counting Down

When you review a period of time in terms of the events filled with it, the duration somehow seemed a lot shorter as, face it, not all of our time are filled with exciting events we'd like to remember. Our minds are set to remember mostly the good things, so with time all the bad memories got erased - tripping in front of a gargantuan crowd in Times Square, the day you broke down just because it was a bad day and the nerd beside you is yakking away inconsiderably. Our minds will somehow deny the existence of these incidences least you become depressed over time.
I will start my third year of medicine upon return to Taiwan on September. As you might have known the entire medicine training in Taiwan takes 7 years, of which:
Year 1 & 2: pre-medicinal years - you basically study nothing which contributes to working in a hospital, except maybe English and Chinese.
Year 3, 4 & 5: fundamental medical education - what people study in 5 years you do it in 3.
Year 6 & 7: intern years - being slave in the hierarchy of hospital seniority system.
So, even though I started medicine 2 years ago, I wouldn't be considered a full-fledged medical student until September. The real thing that separates a sophomore from a junior in medicine? Anatomy and dissection.
Third years in TCU will go through a tough semester of anatomy and perform the most thorough dissection in all medical colleges. Some described it 'like preparing for your SPM' but I'd actually have fond memories on SPM preparations so I guess it doesn't fit me. Another senior totted 'it's dark when you wake up (late sunrise due to winter). You study and work all day. It's dark when you go back to retire (around 10 - 11pm). You won't see sunshine least you skip classes.' 'Ok' I said, intimidated.
Tough though it sounded, many seniors regarded their third year as the ceremonial step-over and entry to medical school. Most if not all have bittersweet but fond memories of teachers in the Anatomy Department. And most regarded the education - knowledge and spirit of learning - vital for their future career. In fact, the effort our teachers poured in during the semester will benchmark them from others in school. Anatomy is (the only) one blazing department which is truly outstanding in our school, or so I heard.
I was lucky also in the sense that I got grouped with 4 other cool guys (1 girl actually) for my dissection. All my group mates are dedicated workers as they are sincere friends, I look forward to work and forge friendships with them during the sunless days.
Not everyone is tailored for anatomy - some just find the sheer amount of memorizing murderous while others find its Latin and Greek origin dazzling. I would also equate the semester as a long and arduous marathon (anyone watched 'Run, fatboy run' lately?) - I could not afford to be spent out at the beginning. I will need to spread all my fighting spirit equally and maintain a consistent performance throughout. How then? I'd lower my expectations but put in my best effort in every evaluation. Put my best foot forward I will but no looking at the ranks and how others do (it just kills the joy seeing people finish one point higher). My aim - to have a 70 overall.
While I pray to God for a smooth semester ahead, I try to spend as much quality time with Mum, Dad and my sister to make up for the timeless semester ahead. I am sure by the end of January 2009 when I'm looking at this I'd smile and say 'heh, this is you afraid of anatomy 4 months back,' but I'm sure I'd have learned something more than anatomy then.


Colddrinks said...

Well, good luck for your third year.

It's hard to survive, but somehow it's also the happiest time during the medical student life.

Enjoy it.