14 Jul 2011

Quantum Mechanics

After the remedial attachment, our Chairman sent us feedback comments from year 1 and year 2 students. That was eye-opening.

"Can the lectures be more specific on what we actually need to know?"

"Too many drugs in Pharmacology."

"The test contents are highly unrelated to the lecture's."

"Do we need to know embryology?"

With increasing specialization, I agree that most doctors only need knowledge in a small area. Szeto loves to stun colleagues by asking them the names of wrist bones. But why would you need to know them unless you become a surgeon specialized in hand surgery?

On the other hand, there are lots of things I wish I spent more time on during my undergraduate studies. I regretted my wishy-washy knowledge on embryology when I worked on stem cells. When I began doing research, I also hoped I had learned more molecular biology.

Surely you are not convinced, but I have heard a better answer.

Years ago, medical students need to study physics in year 1. One lecture was on quantum mechanics.

Overwhelmed by the complicated formulas, a frustrated student yelled, "Why do we have to learn this?"

The professor of physics paused for a second and continued with the lecture. After a while, the student interrupted again. "Why do we have to learn this?"

"Because," replied the professor calmly, "we have to prevent idiots from studying medicine."

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