You know how when you’re in school, nearing high school and people start to ask you what you want to be when you grow up, three options pop in your head (Only applicable if you’re of Indian descent) Teacher ,doctor or engineer.Yeah well it was only two for me. Teacher?No way! Why would I want to be the brunt of innumerable jokes, called nasty names or try to tame an unruly bunch of ungrateful kids.
You see, I was one of those kids, sat in the back seat because I was tall but ended up acquiring all the traits of a back bencher.You know what I mean..snacking, doodling, hangman…we weren’t big on phones back then.I wasn’t unruly or unkind to my teachers(I might have thrown a paper ball on a teachers back once…or twice) and I was liked by all of them.But I had no exceptional admiration for them, because really, how challenging is teaching anyway right?
My mother was a teacher too and a great one as I have heard from numerous students of hers.She spoke about the constant stress and low pay high workload.But above all she loved being a teacher and always expressed how rewarding a job it was and how nice it was when students acknowledge and greet you outside of school.
Come med school. Year 1 comes and goes, Year two come and goes.Year three.Now it wasn’t a single incident that caused me to transform my views on this subject but rather I don’t even know when I started to feel this way.In year 3 and 4, we interact more with practicing doctors and the focus is more on clinical skills and about integrating the knowledge acquired over the past years to identify medical ailments in patients we see.And this is a skill we cannot acquire though anywhere but another person, a professor.
Enter amazing doctor, who actually notices insignificant little humans in white coats.This is Step one: of my transformation,”OMG he’s so busy, but he still notices us”
Step two:”OMG, he has sick patients and he wants to know our names.”
Step three:”He actually remembers our names!”
Step four: “He’s teaching us.”
Step five:”He’s teaching us so well, we’re enlightened now.”
Step six:”I can’t wait to be as cool and busy as him and still enlighten young minds.”
This is the abridged version of how my outlook towards professors have changed in the past three years.
The thing is a doctor is unlikely to be appointed to a job or even achieve a promotion solely on the basis of their teaching skills because of which they don’t even have to put in the effort to teach well.This is why i appreciate it more when a doctor takes time and energy to not just teach but teach well, because more times than less the knowledge we get from them isn’t in any textbook.
The older ones, come with years of experience, every word that they speak is of value, other are young and fresh, we can relate to them more.And then there are some, who are just bigger than life. A particular professor comes to mind, he kinda knew everything about everything related to his field and had just this limitless knowledge. And not only did he have this knowledge but he would teach you—however much time he had, he would teach. He was great at the bedside, loved being a doctor and loved being a teacher. It just came through in everything he did.
These days ,it makes me pretty excited to think about the day I get to teach a group of young budding doctors because boy do I know what a difference it makes to be taught well.Clinical teachers are a valuable resource and I feel like the value of a good teacher can never be lost.Like we study in med school, its like a vicious cycle except not vicious,A good teacher inspires students and an inspired student becomes an inspirational teacher.
To all my teachers: Where I am and what I do is the result of all the hard work and belief you put into me, for this –Thank you. .