“I Am A UM Student”
Haven’t read much of journals in recent,
Please pardon me – I am a UM student,
I don’t care much about disease aetiology,
All I worry is the Epidemiology,
I’d get stumped if you asked about M.I,
Better you ask me about Klang’s A.P.I,
Ain’t it scary I’m unclear ‘bout risk factors?
Yet without effort can control the Vectors?
I don’t know the symptoms, I can’t recall the signs,
But teach me Pollution, and about House Designs,
I know not management cos’ I know not my drugs,
But boy can I brief you in the treatment of Sludge,
What’s cinnarazine, and what’s loratidine?
I can’t really explain – some new Pit Latrine?
No, I haven’t heard of Prozac and Zocor,
It’s the Food Quality that we need to control,
Test me on ECGs, but I can hardly reply,
But show me the Water, and I’ll trace the Supply,
So the heck with CTs and X-Rays also,
The in-thing now is that of Waste Disposal
In less than 2 years, I would be a H.O,
I’ll impress my consultant with all that I know....
The above poem was written back as a medical student as a silent objection to what i perceived as misplaced priorities in our medical syllabus. At a time when we were first exposed to clinical medicine, the Faculty was impressing upon us that Public Health was much more important. This was reflected in the undue weightage accorded to Public Health in our professional exams. There was little emphasis on practical medicine - clinical pharmacology, for example. As a result, I am now seeing house officers and fellow medical officers administering potent medications they have no inkling about.
Oh how the great have fallen. From a world-quality university in 1970s, Universiti Malaya is now but a pale shadow of her former self. Undone by the racist NEP and very much by its own vanity, Universiti Malaya is irreparable - at least not under a BN government.