Saturday, November 29, 2008

dear auntie kim: to be or not to be

I received a mail that I should have replied ages ago. Very very sorry babydoll. Me bad person *rotans myself once* (once enough-lah.. don’t think there is a need to get all Sylar about it). Then I started to get more mails of similar theme and decided this is a good time to debut: Ask Auntie Kim.
Kim’s my ‘other’ name. An alter ego almost. Everyone has an ‘other’ name. Phoebe Buffay is Regina Phelangie. Joey Tribbiani is Ken Adams. Miss ChongChong is Samantha. Miss KosKos is Monik Zakaria (I gave her that name and she hates me for it *giggle*). Mine’s Kimberley Lim aka Kim Lim :D I use it mainly in clubs so I can have a good time and get away with it. Shelby is just too different. People would remember that name and actions that went with it. Dangerous.

So about that email. Jennifer (not her real name) I hope you don’t mind me putting this out for the world to see.

Dear Auntie Kim,

Just wondering is it tough to be a doctor? I mean, balancing your social life and your job. What about during medical school? Is it very cramped? Because All I'd heard from people is Doctors are so busy, and especially or girls- it's a big disadvantage,...*basically all the bad side of it*. I'm intending to study medicine actually. Dispite all the "negative" feedback I received. I'm doing year 12 now. And HOPEFULLY will be getting into a medical school next year. Any advice?
Jenn
Dear Jenn,

There was a day when I was mending the Pediatrics Clinic and my ex-boss (specialist) at that time had just given this very eager diabetic boy a lecture of his great big potential at being the best lawyer ever and the crappiness of being a doctor when really, he wanted to do medicine. After my boss left for a meeting and his mother went to the pharmacy to collect his medication, we were both left alone in the clinic cubicle as I was finishing up the remains of his visit review. He plopped himself beside me and started to speak to me in a very solemn tone. In MANDARIN MIND YOU… y’know my “hua-yue” is abysmal! But it seemed important so I tried very hard to decipher. He asked me if it really was that bad being a doctor as my ex-boss had priorly mentioned. He then asked me if he should be a doctor or a lawyer instead. This is no laughing matter. This is not a time to quote 'Que Sera Sera'. This is a child’s ambition… the potential drive that would make him useful to society. As much as I wanted to tell him life can very much suck as a doctor I couldn’t bring myself to. I cannot tell a child who wants to be a doctor that he shouldn’t be a doctor. I cannot. It goes against the nature and order of things. So I told him, in my wretched Mandarin, that being a doctor, apart from being a good parent, will be one of the most difficult things he will ever have to do in his life. But if he wants it then do it. Study hard. Learn English because all good textbooks are in English (I had a hidden agenda for that). He will make his mama proud.

It is tough being a doctor. You will find yourself having to compromise a lot on social events. You will not be able to attend as many parties and functions as your other friends. There is a possibility you will not be able to attend any social events at all. Worse: you might not have many friends left since you’re always unable to participate in events. The pressure is very daunting. You could come to a point where you feel it’s just not worth it. You could break down. I broke down in
my 2nd year. It was a very difficult climb back up. I never knew what ‘no life’ meant till life in medicine. I truly know the definition now. As a houseman life takes a turn for the worse and the good life you thought lied beyond med school seems like a mirage. Maybe it appears as if I have an OK life now but what you see is the mere few Saturdays and Sundays that I make happen. It is very tiring to have 2 sides of life that works. When you make work your priority, your social life gives which leaves you to be a very boring lonely person. When you make social life your priority, your work gives and you get screwed big time by boss. It’s a 2-edged sword. Still, if you intend to get into medical school, then I do hope that you get it. Despite “all the bad side of it” it is still a magical profession and you will learn to live with the lifestyle that comes with it. Most importantly you will discover more about yourself than you ever would know. All the best my future colleague.
Sphygmo-cuff hugs & syringe kisses,
Auntie Kimberley

2 comments:

Terence said...

hey! i stumbled upon your blog some time ago and i must say it's pretty inspiring to see that a doctor your age still has a life, well kind of. and yes that was a compliment because i would think that doctors wouldn't have a life until they finally retire. but that would be like *ahem* a peaceful and slow-paced i-finally-feel-so-old type of life, which is why i'm trying to have as much fun as possible now (i just finished 1st year OMG STILL SO LONG TO GO)which isn't the best choice actually... *scoffs at self*

anyway, all the best to you in juggling two seemingly opposite lives!

shelbybaby said...

terence: "a doctor your age" almost roarred 'till i read "yes that was a compliment" keke so the roar turned into a purr instead. the general law of doctors not having a life 'till thay retire is utmostly true. what i attempt to do is break the rules abit 'cos i could die tomorrow and never have had a life. just finished 1st year... omg definitely still so long to go!! quick go have more fun :)

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