Monday, March 5, 2012

I Shouldn't Have to Defend Myself

It's been ages since I've written anything but I've good reason to do so today.

Much has happened over the first few months of the year. But let's have a quick recap shall we?

I have:

  • Finished with college
  • Stressed about results
  • Gotten my results
  • Stressed about confirmation from JPA about flight date
  • Got confirmation from JPA about flight date
  • Stressed about leaving

So who says bumming is easy? Haha!

I guess it's pretty obvious that this blog's writer is leaving and soon. I'm flying off the India in less than 2 months to do what I've always wanted to do - be a doctor.

Of course this decision has been questioned, debated, challenged and mocked even. I often wonder why it's met with such hostility but then again, every decision one makes will always be second guessed by everyone else.

The first admonishment I always receive is, WHY INDIA?


Because it's dirty? Because it's a third world country? Because buried deep inside you is the belief that white equals superior? And being dark equals inferiority?

Shame on you.

I remember I told God that my dream to be a doctor is in His hands and that I believe He will send me wherever He knows I'll be the best doctor I can be. And He sent me to India. And no matter the naysayers and gloom doom prophets, you cannot deny that the clinical training there is the best in the world. And if there are prospective medical students not comfortable with the dirt and grime of the poor, I say, don't be a doctor. Our priority should first and foremost be them, because they need us most.


To that I say, BECAUSE I CAN. My scholarship is a gift from God, something I've prayed hard about since I was in high school. I've worked hard for it, cried hard when I didn't manage to get it the first time, praised God when He gave it later, and guess what? I continued working hard. I didn't take it and squandered the opportunity away. I like to believe I had lived up to the expectations my sponsors have and God's call to be excellent.

And for those who have came up to me and said, "Oh, I don't want this scholarship," let me ask you, "Do you even qualify for it?" Don't belittle us who have worked hard and long to be able to be called a JPA scholar. We shouldn't have to defend ourselves for accepting a scholarship that's a tremendous blessing from God.


This is just priceless. I can understand sometimes why doctors keep discouraging youngsters from following in their footsteps. It's this money-minded mentality that being a doctor equals BIG BUCKS FAST. As a JPA scholar, I am bonded to the NATION for 10 years of service. Notice nation is in caps. And who in the nation needs the medical service the most? Again I return to the aforementioned point, the poor. And they will be found in the government hospitals. If you don't intend to serve the poor, don't be a doctor.

Of course, the subtext behind the question is, DON'T YOU WANT TO LEAVE THIS COUNTRY?

NO, I DON'T. I was born here, I know no other place to call home. As much as I know there a sick people outside, there are sick people right on our doorstep too. And if we all run away, who will take care of them? I have no problem with the 10 year bond because I have no intention of serving anywhere else.

In all honesty, I shouldn't have to defend myself for the decision to go to India to study medicine under a scholarship from JPA. I am grateful that God has given me this wonderful privilege to do what I always wanted to do, without putting a burden on my parents.

I hope this post will encourage anyone who has had similar decisions questioned. Remember, the scholarship is a gift, see it as such and keep working hard because you owe it to God.


Chern, 5 Budi said...

All the best in India, Tze Quan!!
God bless you ^^

Ahmad Bukhari Rusli said...

this is I am inspired just reading em. Am looking forward to taking this journey with u tze :)

koala said...

Hey Tze Quan, I'm just a random passer by reading your blog but I can't thank you enough for writing this post and more importantly for taking the stand that you have with what you want and what you believe in. I recently graduated from law school and am faced with similar questions and pressure from people regarding what I want to do with my career etc and just reading your post has encouraged me to stand firm on my own beliefs about serving others and not dismiss them just because they seem too idealistic and too 'noble' to alot of people. Your blog post reminded me that I'm not alone in this journey. Thank you.