Friday, February 28, 2014

The changing lives of medical students

When I joined the dentistry course, there were so many things expected of a medical/dental student. Ladies had to wear saris, had to cut short their nails (this is the reason that my daughters decided in their childhood not to go into the medical field, because they liked to keep long nails), and make the hair neatly into a bun at the back. We had cupboards in the college where we were supposed to keep the doctor’s apron when leaving the college every day.

Look at the changed scenario now. Lady dentists may be thinking that they look older if they put up their hair. This is an age when ‘youth’ is the most coveted quality. Some are ‘gracious’ enough to put a clip at the back, but others believe in open hair policy. Sometimes the hair style is such that they come in front of their eyes (see the photo I got from the net).

 I am at a loss to understand how they get a clear vision of the area being operated on. Yes, many dental treatments are considered surgical procedures. Our counterparts, general surgeons keep the protocol of covering their hair in the surgery. Don’t dentists consider their work serious enough?

Many lady dentists also love to have long painted nails. Fashion statements are very important in today’s world. Earlier it was for the actors and ramp walkers that designer clothes were made. Now even for the healing profession members, designer clothes are necessary. Western influence has changed the general mind set, there are no qualms about exposing the body as much as one likes.

I see medical people with aprons (hopefully, only students, but I haven’t verified) in the hotels (not very close to the college or hospital they work), dust filled roads, and busy market places. Yes, they do shopping with doctor’s aprons!

One colleague was joking, ‘They have paid so much money as donation to get into the medical/dental college that they want to show the world what course they are doing.’

 It so happened that after I wrote this, I had to go for a communal lunch. Four medical students in aprons were standing close by and having lunch. Slowly I went near them and asked, ‘Are you medical or dental students?’  They were medical students. I asked, ‘Why do you wear the doctor’s aprons?’ They had the expression of ‘what a stupid question that is!’ I persisted, ‘What is purpose of wearing the apron?’ One girl thought for some time and told, ‘To see patients.’ Aha! So she has some idea. I told them that the apron is to be worn during working hours. ‘You should find out the reasons for wearing the apron, you are going to be doctors. It is a disgrace to our profession to roam around in doctor’s aprons in the market places and the like.’

Belgaum being a place with many dental/medical colleges, some of the local house owners keep students as tenants. Some parents also don’t like their kids to stay in the hostel. So they stay in houses, have bikes or cars. They throw the garbage in front of neighbors’ houses; have late night parties where both genders have a gala time. Since money is not a problem for these kids of rich parents, plenty of alcohol consumption goes on. One land lord of such medical students had a serious doubt once, which he disclosed to us, ‘I don’t see these people studying at all, but they keep passing exams. What kind of doctors will they make?’

Now coming to the examinations, once during a viva, the college chairman was also sitting nearby. The examiner kept asking the student questions after questions, but no answer was forthcoming. Getting frustrated, the examiner told,’ you must be knowing the answer, unless you speak out, how can I give marks?’

The student looked at the chairman and told,’ He had told me that even if I didn't answer any question, I would pass the exams’!!! Well, this may not be the case in all colleges, but even if it is happening in some places, isn't it serious?

No comments: