32. The worst nightmare
A med school student has a dream related to anatomy when under stress from anatomy. Three students gather around to talk about their horrifying dreams. ¡°I was lying next to a cadaver in my dream.¡± ¡°I was a cadaver and I was dissected.¡± ¡°I failed in anatomy and started dissection all over again.¡± Ordinary people would pick the second dream as their worst dream, but to a med student, the last dream is the worst.
When I was a med student, there were much more fails back then. The number of years allocated to enroll in med school was 6 years, but only 2 out of 3 students graduated in time. The remaining 1 student failed at least once, and there were many students who failed more than twice. The average number of years taken to graduate from med school was 7 years. The students who failed more than twice took part in increasing the average.
There were more students who failed in basic medicine classes than students who failed in clinical medicine classes. Of course, anatomy is the subject that fails the most students. An anatomy instructor blames himself when a student with poor anatomical knowledge becomes a quack later on as a doctor. ¡°I would rather fail the student than make him a quack.¡± Failing a student makes the anatomy instructor both fun and disturbing. The disturbing part is that there is one more student to teach next year. The even more disturbing part is that there is one more exam paper to grade next year.
The fun part can be divided into benefit and justification. The joyful benefit is that other students study harder because of the student who failed to advance. The failing student shows how terrible it can become if anatomy is studied carelessly. A student who failed the year before has experience in dissection and can help the other students at the level of a teaching assistant.
The wonderful justification is that the student who failed has to pay the tuition again. The anatomy instructor brags to the dean of med school. ¡°The number of students taking anatomy has exceeded the entrance quota, and income from tuition therefore has increased.¡± To think of teaching and getting paid as a business, a student who fails is a regular. The anatomy instructor can talk down to the student who failed. ¡°Thanks for coming back this year. You are a regular so I will treat you well.¡±
Fish hatchery out in the ocean and med school are similar. Med students are kept in and raised inside med school the same way fish are kept in and raised inside hatchery. Students inside and outside of med school envy each other the same way fish inside and outside of hatchery envy each other. Outside, there is freedom and inside, there is food. Med school students are aware of this. ¡°Just like hatchery, there is no freedom in med school but there is a lot to take. Even if I¡¯m the worst student in school, I graduate with vast amount of medical knowledge.¡±
Hatchery and med school are different in some parts, and med students are also aware of this. ¡°Inside hatchery, there is just food. Inside med school, there is food, whipping, and lashing. Scolding is the less painful whipping, and failing to advance is the most painful one. Med school is worse than hatchery.¡±
After a student graduates med school, there is internship and residency course to go through. Does carrot and whipping apply to interns and residents? No, there is duty and whipping. This gets worse and worse. A specialist might yell to the intern or resident to be on duty every day. ¡°You stay in hospital tonight!¡± Like so, med school and hospital are both tough places to survive in.