Housemen-bashing a scourge of the medical profession

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COMMENT It would seem that bashing of medical houseman is the unsavoury flavour of the day, and trending voluminously in the print and social media. These doctors described by consultants of the past as the “lowest form of life, even lower than the amoeba” must surely be going through some agonising times.

Some who have cracked under the pressure have been reportedly missing from work and increasing numbers are leaving the medical service. Both being major losses to our national “modal insan”.

The young has been perennially censured and lambasted by the older generation for being weak, lazy, spoilt and not up to the mark. Socrates complained of the young writing; “the children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority, they show disrespect for elders”

Us baby boomers (1946-1964) were no exception and were at the mercy of the traditionalist or silent generation (pre-1946). Yet, it was the succeeding and younger generation who have trail blazed the art and science of innovation and created the brave new world that is today.

Perhaps, it is the “older generation” that ought to undergo a paradigm shift in their thinking of young people, their work culture, aspirations and dreams. Perhaps, the senior doctors in the medical service needs a radical transformation of their outmoded training strategies to embrace “star wars medicine” and deal with the millennial psyche of the Gen Y.

Hammering them with anecdotes of graveyard shifts and similar no longer sounds smart, let alone inspiring to the millennial doctor.

Sweeping generalisations

Undoubtedly, there will always exist problematic individuals in every profession. But to make sweeping and scathing generalisations of the housemen rank and file for the act of the irresponsible few is totally unjust and uncalled for. Instead of playing the blame game, we should focus on the attributable circumstances that might direct the various stakeholders to potential solutions.

The Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) moratorium on new medical schools should probably stay indefinitely and the current ones monitored closely to ensure no compromise in the quality of medical graduates. Medical schools should be strictly and regularly credentialed and those not meeting the minimum standards should be struck off the list of accredited medical schools.

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