Posts Tagged Medical School


School starts next week. And the start of a new academic year means that a new batch of medical students is coming! Woot!

3 years ago, I had 4 batches of seniors to look up to. They all seemed so mature and so smart! Suffice to say, I was greatly intimidated by their looks and level of knowledge but at the same time, hopeful, that someday I would grow into it too. But now, I only have ONE batch above me, and that signals the little amount of time I have left in medical school. 2 years until graduation baby (Insya-Allah). TWO FRIGGIN YEARS OMG.

*Picture from BMJ

Come next week I’ll be a “Kakak 4th Year” and oh boy, great responsibilities lie ahead. As seniors, we are expected to guide the juniors on the part and parcel of being in medical school – sharing books, notes, past-year questions, guiding them on different lecturers’ styles of teaching, and help them cope, physically and emotionally if needed. A few of my classmates went overboard of course, by actually courting the juniors (Stephen, Ah Fatt, Kay Kiet, Khir – korang takde orang lain ke nak carik?).

We have this “Buddy” system in medical school, in which every freshman is entitled to a “Buddy line” ranging from second to fifth years. Usually the fifth year buddy will handpick a first year junior that they want on the first day of orientation. Some chose juniors from the same hometown, same high school, or same names even.

Certain buddy lines maintain a very good relationship, to the extent of going out for lunches and stuff. My buddy line, however, has a purely academic relationship. Our relationship merely exist in the form of asking for advices on which textbook to buy at the start of the semester and Raya messages. Sad, but that’s about it. I won’t blame it all to my other buddies, they’re all very nice and hardworking people. But I feel that there’s so much more to do. At least for my part.

IMHO, I think the seniors should be the ones playing a bigger role, academic-wise or not. The juniors might be shy (or too full of themselves, :P) to ask for any guidance. So the seniors should keep track of the juniors’ progression, as they’ve already gone through it all before and they would know how to cope better. Most importantly, the seniors themselves should keep track of their own performances (grades and attitude!) so that they can lead by example, not just cakap-cakap kosong je, kan?

A first year junior suffered a nervous breakdown last semester, and I’m sure a lot of seniors did not even know about it. If only we seniors as a whole were more concerned, if only we cared for our juniors, events like this can be prevented from happening in UPM med. It MUST be prevented, as a matter of fact. UPM med students should be fun and hip, not boring and depressed!

OK screw your definition of fun and hip.

Therefore, one of my resolutions for the new academic year is to be a better buddy to my juniors! I shall start by texting my buddies…right about now. 🙂


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