Monday, January 26, 2015

Life as a medical student #2 The lady who inspires me

''What your mind doesn't know, 
your eyes won't see, your ears won't hear, your hands won't feel.''
- Dr Uma Sothinathan

We all look up to strong, independent women. But how do we become one ourselves? There's this one lady - her determination, vision, and strength have always inspired me and is a great example of how we can do anything we set our minds to. Her name is Dr Uma Sothinathan, PU-RCSI Director of Clinical Competency.

I used to dislike her. She is one of the lecturers who emphasises a lot on dress code in university. It really gets on my nerve - it means I have to say goodbye to my skirts and dresses because they are all above knee length! I used to think that she's conservative and demanding. However, not long after I attended her classes and listened to her talks, I realised I was wrong. Proper and decent clothing is a protection to ourselves and also our patients. There's a reason behind everything she does. Deep down, how much she wishes that all of us would make Perdana University proud when we are working in the hospitals in the future. She speaks to us like how a mum speaks to her children. All because she truly cares.

She uses creative methods in delivering quality clinical teaching, with emphasis on reflective practice, mindfulness and shared learning in her students. She made us think - how to be a good doctor? She taught us to be compassionate. She taught us to stop and listen. She taught us to feel. Her humour, her passion in paediatrics, her sparkling eyes when she talks about it. All of these influence my life in ways I am still discovering. 

There's once she made me cry - when she was in-charge of the performance for White Coat Ceremony 2014. It was a group performance. She pointed out my mistake directly, corrected me and said I am not cut out for the stage. She said all these right to my face, I tried so hard not to cry in front of her. I mean, I may not be that talented, but I love stage performance! How could you deny the efforts that I have made to be able to shine on the stage. How could you. I continued to practise, and practise, and practise. She no longer gave any comments, she just sat down at a side and watched. Then when the music stopped, she walked towards me and said, ''You did a very good job. That's the way!'' 

Thank you, for allowing me to grow my own wings. 

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