BECOMING A DOCTOR: A STUDENT’S VISION
For a medical student, the doctor is first and foremost the other, not himself: the professor who gives the lessons, the assistant who guides the students, the doctors who come across in the corridors, and who checks the badge color. Several reasons can lead to undertaking medical studies:
- kindness ;
- contact with the patient;
- the search for the Meaning of life;
- understanding the human being;
- prestige and respect;
- technology and the human sciences.
They are also studies that link theory and practice; they lead to a profession in itself. There is the flip side of this path: the extreme pressure during the first years of study to which is added the problem of the disease, the pressure that continues with postgraduate training, and, finally, the difficult choice of specialization. After having taken the first very selective stages – the exams – the reality presents itself in the form of new expectations: the possibility of working part-time and of combining work time and family time, for both men and women. Or that of choosing your specialization and being able to invest in it with passion.
The doctor must also assume social responsibility as the main actor of the health system in Switzerland; he has a central place, being the official interlocutor of the patient. He is the one who links scientific knowledge and medical practice. Consequently, a medical student feels a need to reflect on the medical branch, on his position within the health system, his rights and duties to be able to assume his position and to protect himself from trades which have no not the same interests. The future doctor that he is must indeed be the guarantor of:
- making contact ;
- decision making ;
- popularization and information;
- the choice of the best treatment in agreement with the patient;
- benevolence towards the patient as well as equal treatment.
A medical student at UV Gullas College of Medicine is prepared to take on all of these functions. He concludes with these two questions: what is, first of all, the financial cost of becoming a doctor? And to add: “whereas we need more and more doctors, why the cost of the final exam increases and remains it the responsibility of the student?” Then, what is the social cost of becoming a doctor, knowing that the strong selection pressure, the physical and psychological constraints that are present throughout your studies can lead to a state of continuous stress and thus to illness?
Beyond the personal path, J. Vaucher recalls what characterizes the path of the assistant doctor:
- he is often filled with doubtsabout his training/career;
- he has to take on a lot of responsibilitiesfrom one day to the next;
- he is often alone;
- it must be integratedinto teams already in place;
- he often has to work long
This young head of the clinic then asks the question: why do this work? He refers to the latest articles in the literature, reporting the exhaustion of doctors and the high frequency of burnouts. He does not have the answer, it is up to everyone, but he suggests avenues for reflection, to continue his activity. All require a change of mentality from each other:
- responsibilities do not mean making decisions alone;
- promote discussions with peers and “elders”;
- always discuss the problems and difficulties encountered;
- the profession of doctor requires many hours of work, but this is not incompatible with family or social life.
To conclude, “Every day do some reading or work apart from your profession. You will be a better man and not a worse practitioner for an avocation.“ One cannot practice Mbbs in Philippines alone and practice it early and late, as so many of us have to do, and hope to escape the malign influences of routine life. The practitioner needs culture as well as learning.”