Sep 11, 2012

Final Year Medical Students

Are called "intern" in the hospitals. Being the lowest member of the medical food chain, even patients and their family members know that you're the one to bully when they are dissatisfied.
Nurses see a question, picks up the phone, dials a number, and the intern is there to answer it. Even at 3 in the morning. This system is designed for quick response toward critical patients, but somehow our nurses had abused it into a 24-hour customer care.
"Why does he require a urine sample? I'm not getting that!" And the task of urine collection had just became yours.
"The family of 23-1 has just arrived. They wanted someone to explain his conditions," and you have to read up 3 months of medical history and be grilled by sons and daughters who never cared to visit for the past 3 months but suddenly decided to drop by and say hi.
Basically, we are a shady group of people - not yet doctors, but not ordinary students either. In the colossal hospital system, we are under the umbrella of the Department of Medical Education. In other hospitals where I've been to, they serve to protect students' rights when conflicts arises, solve students' clinical problems, and provide advise on avoiding overwork and burnout. After all, we're students. And students have the right to make mistakes.
In our hospital, the Department of Medical Education tend to boss us around asking us to clean up conference rooms whose mess are mostly not ours, holler for our clinical passbooks, reject our every request, pile up responsibilities without informing us, and sweep every scandal under the carpet within their might.

Robbed off our voice to the greater public, we're basically the sandbag of our superiors. Bending to their every request and unreasonable work hours. Although we have limits to patient admissions, there is no guaranteed sleep time or mandatory time off. We basically work with slightly-above-minumum pay for an entire year without holidays. Only recently they started implementing an admission-free day after calls which was lackadaisically enforced by some but not all departments.
So I'm asking the Taiwanese medical system and our hospital who is suffering from severe shortage of primary care physicians - how do you aspire to keep us in primary care when you make our lives a living nightmare? How can we NOT jump ship to other more lucrative specialties? You guys are destroying the future of medicine yourselves!