A country like Singapore, where people from all over Asia, even from all over the world, goes for medical treatment, has only three medical schools. Every year around four hundred and fifty students get the opportunity to study in these schools. The best and the brightest are chosen for studying medicine. After graduation, the young doctors provide quality service for the government. After that, they are sent abroad for post-graduation degrees. Then they come back home and provide specialist service in Singapore. They could have produced more doctors each year, but they don’t do it because they put a lot of emphasis on quality. If the quantities of doctors are more, the quality will deteriorate. The better the quality, the better will be the services they provide.
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On the other hand, when we graduated from medical college in 1999, there were 13 medical colleges in our country. In our time not every young doctor was lucky enough to get a government job. Only few got selected for FCPS and then it took almost ten years to pass the FCPS examination. So it comes to this, we are choosing the best students of our country and throwing them in such a difficult situation, where there is only frustration. An overwhelming number of doctors are graduating every year from 28 medical colleges and from numerous below standard private medical colleges (105 colleges at present). As a result the quality of the doctors are dangerously deteriorating, leaving the huge number of doctors unemployed.
When I went to study in Cardif University, UK, there was a boy from Hong Kong in our class. He was only 26 years old and he came to take this 1900 pound degree by saving his salary from internship. Whereas interns in our country are paid so little for their hard work, they can’t even imagine such a thing. Most of them have to take loans or use up their long saved money to study further. Our government used to send the doctors with brilliant academic performance aboard for post-graduation in the sixties. They used to come back home after completing their study abroad and stayed ever grateful to the country. This custom stopped as post-graduation degrees were introduced within the country, why send them abroad, if they can study here at home? But what if a boy or a girl of an ordinary family, who doesn’t have the financial freedom to go aboard, dream to explore the medical knowledge of the western world? If the country rewards him by giving him that opportunity, he is bound to be grateful and give his best for his country. Most of the students of Dhaka Medical College are going abroad and never coming back. When they see that they will have to join honorary training, a vicious system present nowhere in the world except Bangladesh, when they discover that they are lagging behind the political students who never touched a book in their lives, when they see that the teachers take the post-graduation examination with a mind to fail the students, they surely lose their interest to stay in the country.
After graduating from Dhaka Medical College I took my training under Dr Kobir Chawdhury, the pioneer of modern Dermatology in Bangladesh. I saw many female patients who came seeking help for their unwanted facial hair. We used to treat them with electrolysis back then but it was impossible to cure them completely. I used to think about how we could use laser to fix this problem more easily and effectively. I told Dr Chawdhury but he pointed out to me how difficult it would be to manage the finance and manpower required for this job. As I was young I was very much prone to taking risk and started studying all about laser in Internet. My husband helped me a lot. We were the first doctors to introduce laser surgery in the country. For almost seven years we were the sole provider of this service in Bangladesh. It makes us so much happy to see that many juniors even many senior doctors were inspired by us and added laser Equipments in their chambers.
I think every doctor is an entrepreneur. We don’t realize it, because we don’t have favorable environment around us. A doctor is never unemployed. Once he has a degree, he can practice anywhere he wants to. Why does he have to engage himself in politic to secure his career? We have lost our individuality and confidence; we are forgetting that we ourselves can be entrepreneurs. If we start with small initiatives, it will pave the way for a life where we are no longer puppets in someone else’s hands. You will be able to make a good life for yourself and do good for all those who are around you
Dr. Jahanara Khan Jhumu
Board Member at WOCPM – World Council for Preventive, Regenerative and Anti-Aging Medicine
Assistant Governor at Rotary International
President (title) at Zonta Club Dhaka 1
Chief Consultant,Anti-aging & Preventive Medicine at Ageless
Chief Consultant, Aesthetic Dermatology, Anti-aging & Obesity Management at Laser Medical Center Ltd.
She wrote this article for MBBS in Bangladesh for Medical Study.